Shatner Delivers Cheap Travel with Child, Steerage, Steers

My husband and I decided to forgo our family vacation this year to save for an upcoming bathroom remodel – count on updates from that DIY debacle to follow. However, in order to curb the effects of working full-time, chasing a 3-year old, and not having slept uninterrupted in recent history, I opted for a long weekend away ‘mit baby.’ I have a standing invitation to visit a horsey friend in Dallas. Call me crazy, but a cheap flight to Dallas with a seven-month old is my idea of a vacation.

Ever wonder what you get when you employ the Priceline Negotiator? You get a coach seat next to me bouncing a 21-pound 7-month old baby on my lap. After comparing travel and airline sites (to align with my original money-saving rationalization for this trip), I learned that I could cram Oscar and myself into a coach seat for approximately $220, the same price via the airlines or Priceline.

For the best deal, the airlines only offered their steerage rate, no transfers, cancellations, or refunds. An uneasy thought with the uncertainty of traveling with an infant. Priceline’s best fare (not using the Name Your Own Price feature) took some clicking back and forth to align flight times outside of werewolf hours. The final non-stop itinerary employed two different airlines, which for some reason I always find unsettling.

My fears associated with buying a bargain basement ticket were eased by one inexpensive add-on: Priceline’s optional travel insurance. After reviewing a few forum discussions, I learned that this $16 dollar option, while not completely infallible, does cover any unavoidable, involuntary circumstances, like car accidents, illness, etc. I don’t know if this includes being escorted off of a plane because your kid won’t stop screaming.

Fortunately for me and the business cowboys seated next to me, Oscar performed like a seasoned traveler. He tried to eat every seat-pocket item, followed along with the flight safety speech, slept as soon as the engines kicked in, and woke up in time to grab at our neighbor’s oxford and USA Today. Sorry, Cowboy.

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