Eventually, with the help of a consumer watchdog, Emily and Scott Grady of Revelstoke, British Columbia, were told by the booking agency, Aeroplan, they would get a full refund.
The couple were hit with the pricey ticket as they were heading home after an October trip to France. Air Canada staff told them since their son Micah was now 2 years old he was required to have his own ticket and couldn't sit on their laps, the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. reported Monday.
"It just seemed absurd to pay that much for our son to come back with us," said Emily Grady, who had booked their trip through Aeroplan six months earlier. "It was like paying for somebody else's mistake."
"We had to lay down our credit card and buy him a ticket that we totally didn't expect.
"Because when we booked he wasn't 2 and when we left he wasn't 2, I assumed we would be good to go."
Gray wrote a letter to Air Canada's top executive, explaining what happened, but she said the airline only offered a 15 percent discount on tickets for a future flight.
That's when the CBC's "Go Public" watchdog program got involved and went to Aeroplan, which decided a full refund was in order.
"After investigation among Aeroplan and Air Canada, Aeroplan found out that the date of birth of the child was incorrect in the passenger name record in our system," Aeroplan spokeswoman Isabelle Troitzky said.
"Your request for answers was the first Aeroplan heard about Mrs. Grady's complaint ... . We welcome member feedback and take complaints from our members very seriously."
Aeroplan also got Air Canada to refund $90 the Gradys paid for preferred seats on return flights they missed while getting a ticket for their son.
"It was a huge relief to hear from Aeroplan today ... ," Emily Grady said. "The sincerity, thoughtfulness and additional 'goodwill points' definitely won back our confidence in Aeroplan."