An Aeroplan error sticks a young local family with an air-fare shocker

A young local family, the Gradys, are being bathed in the spotlight of the national CBC television program, Go Public, after an Aeroplan error stuck them wit a $4,600 bill for their toddler’s return home after a family vacation in Europe.

“It just seemed absurd to pay that much for our son to come back with us,” mom Emily Grady told CBC reporter Kathy Tomlinsom. “It was like paying for somebody else’s mistake.”

Grady booked her husband Scott and toddler Micah to fly with her — using Aeroplan points — when her employer paid to send her to France for an October conference.

En route to France, Micah Grady was a toddler under two, which meant he could sit in his mother’s lap.

Emily said it was a once-in-a lifetime chance for the couple to take their son overseas and immerse him in French, which they couldn’t afford to do otherwise.

“We live simply … and we avoid spending money on big-ticket items unless it’s unavoidable or has a lot of benefit to us as a family,” said Grady.

The shock came when the couple checked in to fly home. Because Micah turned two during the trip, Air Canada told them the infant ticket Aeroplan issued for him to sit on his mother’s lap was invalid. Federal rules dictate that children over two must have their own seat.

“We had to lay down our credit card and buy him a ticket that we totally didn’t expect,” said Grady.

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