A year ago, Sinead Maskell and her partner Matthew Guerin booked an easyJet package holiday to Cyprus for July 2022.
The couple, from Kent, were anticipating a trip for two to attend a family wedding. However, in August 2021, Sinead became pregnant – and their daughter, Sienna, was born on 29 April 2022.
The new mother informed the Sunrise Pearl Hotel in the southeastern resort of Protaras, and was told their double deluxe room would be furnished with a travel cot and steriliser.
Since a baby does not occupy a seat on easyJet the couple imagined it would be an easy matter to pay the nominal £25 each-way fee and add Sienna to their booking.
But staff working in the call centre for easyJet Holidays, the budget airline’s tour operation, gave a different estimate of the added cost.
“They told me they could not add an infant to the booking because it’s a package holiday,” Sinead told The Independent.
“In order for us to travel with the additional infant, they had to upgrade the room to a one-bedroom suite.
“They also said we had to change flights because the flights also couldn’t accommodate the infant.
“I asked for the cost of these changes, and to my horror, they said £2,700. I could not believe what I was hearing.
“My daughter will be three months at the date of travel and will only be sitting on my lap – and not eating or drinking at the hotel nor using their facilities.
“I have now spoken to four different people at easyJet who are all saying the same thing.
“I’m really struggling with what my options are because this holiday cost a total of £4,025 for two adults and I can’t justify paying nearly £3,000 for a baby.”
After The Independent took up the issue with easyJet Holidays, the company said sorry for the “confusion” – and waived all extra charges for the family.
A spokesperson said: “We’ve apologised for the confusion caused when the couple tried to add their daughter to their holiday booking.
“We can confirm that if any of our customers would like to add an infant to their booking, they’ll only be charged a small additional fee of £50, provided their existing room can fit a cot.
“We’ve been in direct contact with the couple and have added Sienna to their holiday booking with no additional fees.”
Sinead Maskell said: “The whole ordeal has caused my partner and I, as a new mum, a lot of distress and left a bitter taste. It should have been a happy occasion to attend my cousin’s wedding and to experience our first holiday as a family.”
There is no statutory limit to the number of infants that can be carried on a flight; each airline makes its own rules on the subject.