AN American family have been reimbursed by Aer Lingus after they paid €742 for a ticket for their toddler son who turned two while in Ireland.
The Rooney family, who live in Quincy, Massachusetts, were shocked when the airline demanded the fee for the return flight as Jack had travelled to Ireland as an infant but had turned two during the trip.
The family travelled in July after Jack's grandmother, who lived in Co Down, died. Jack had his second birthday here and no longer qualified as an infant under Aer Lingus policy.
His mother, Jennifer, said she was shocked when the family were told to fork out the money.
"Aer Lingus let us go through the airport without stopping and telling us, 'Look, your son is going to need a ticket home'," she said. "When we got to Dublin Airport on our way home, the service desk said we needed to buy a ticket for our son to the tune of €742."
She paid, but sent the airline a letter after returning home, saying she would take it to the small claims court, as well as appearing on her local TV network where she outlined her grievance.
"Soon after the report aired, I got a call saying they would settle. They said they'd pay and they have since refunded me my $1,000 less the infant fee," she said.
The family had received 10pc off their fares for "bereavement flights", but Ms Rooney was unhappy that the family were separated for the return flight having bought the new ticket.
Aer Lingus said last night: "Given the circumstances under which the booking was made, we will honour the original infant fare."
By Sam Griffin and Emma Jane Hade