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Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Nadler Proposes Families Flying Together Act of 2013

By Woodrow Bellamy III

Rep. Jerrold Nadler (D-N.Y.), a senior member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee, introduced the Families Flying Together Act of 2013—a law that would require airlines to refrain from charging advanced seating fees to families looking to sit together on commercial flights. 

Nadler said the bill is necessary because of "ever-increasing fees" and "decreasing transparency expressed on commercial airline flights.  If passed, the bill would allow the U.S. Department of Transportation to begin requiring domestic airlines to establish new policies guaranteeing families to be seated together for the duration of their flights.

“Families should not be stuck paying hidden fees, or buying ‘premium’ seats, simply because they wish to be seated together on crowded flights.  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," said Nadler. 

The law would also require airlines to make family seating available to customers as an option on their websites. 

In 2012, Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) wrote a letter to U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood calling for similar airline regulation. 

While most major carriers require passengers to pay advanced fees for seating arrangements, Jet Blue and Southwest do not require families to pay premiums for seating arrangements.

Related: Aviation Today's Checklist


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