The Family Travel Association is supporting this new bill aiming at making it easier for families to sit together on all flights.
Booking a family flight is expensive. You’ve saved up for a long time to finally book a family vacation, or maybe you don’t live close to your extended family and you’re finally able to afford to fly home for a visit, when you realize if you want to actually sit next to your children on the airplane you’re going to have to pay extra fees to ensure you’re all seated together.
It seems ridiculous, but many airlines require you to pay for assigned seating, and if you don’t there’s absolutely no guarantee that you’ll be sitting with your child on your flight. Meaning a child as young as 3 years old can be expected to sit unattended if you don’t pay for assigned seating. I know many people don’t pay the extra fees and hope that some stranger will be kind enough to switch seats with them so they can sit beside their child, but that’s not always foolproof either. Many people who do pay for assigned seating aren’t so happy to give up their aisle or window seat even though it’s for a parent to sit next to their child.
The assumption is often that if they’re willing to pay for assigned seating, then the family should pay as well. I have to admit, when I fly with my family I always pay extra for assigned seating (which as a family of six is quite a bit extra) but I prefer to know where I’m sitting and that my kids are close by.
This will hopefully change now that two US Representatives, Rodney Davis (R-Ill.) and Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.) are championing ‘The Families Flying Together Act‘ a bill that will require airlines ‘to prioritize seating families traveling with small children together.’
“It is positively absurd to expect a two or three-year-old to sit unattended, next to strangers, on an airplane. It is up to air carriers to make their seating policies clear and easily accessible to the public.”