A couple moving to the Canberra suburb of Bonner are having a double celebration after giving birth to their son William on an international flight, as well as receiving a rare golden flight ticket.
William H Banks was born a healthy eight pounds last night at 3:04am on Oceanic Airlines Flight 815 as it crossed the International Date Line.
A little known fact about air travel is that if a baby is born on a plane as it crosses the International Date Line, the baby is automatically given free passage for the rest of its life.
“We are over the moon about the birth of little William. And even more excited that he will never have to pay for an international flight ticket,” said Jennifer Banks in an exclusive interview with The Canberra News Digestive.
“I have already started putting together a basic itinerary for his lifetime of travelling by plane. We were lucky enough to migrate to Australia after our country was hit by badly the GFC, so in some ways he is our little economic refugee.”
Interestingly enough, there are no rewards given to families traveling by boat, where a completely different set of rules apply.
“We had a fallback plan of taking a cruise ship in case we were not allowed on the airline. All I can say is, thank god we didn’t need to travel by boat to Australia!”
In an effort to reduce the number of “free flights for life” tickets, airlines usually restrict air travel for women who are more than 36 weeks pregnant.