Culpeper Star-Exponent: “It’s common sense” — constituents weigh in on plane fees for families to sit together

CULPEPER STAR-EXPONENT

Millions were traveling by air for the end-of-summer Labor Day weekend and families shouldn’t of had to worry about paying extra fees to sit together on the plane, according to recent survey results from Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-7th.

The Fly Together Act, seeking to ban such fees, is gaining momentum, adopted in July by the U.S. House of Representatives as part of legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration, according to a release from Spanberger’s office.

During the summer travel season, the local congresswoman introduced the Fly Together Act to make sure children can be seated next to their parents on flights for no extra fees. The legislation would direct the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to issue a rule requiring airlines to seat children 13 years old and younger with their family members on flights to the greatest extent practicable — and at no additional cost within the same class of service.

More than 550 Virginians responded to a recent survey on the topic with more than 80% expressing support for the measure, according to the release.

Spanberger said she received stories of parents who have faced challenges themselves, pilots who believe airlines should better accommodate families and passengers without kids on flights.

“I believe that parents deserve the peace of mind that comes with watching over their kids during a flight, kids who feel safer flying by their parent’s side should not face barriers to do so and all passengers should be comfortable,” she said in a statement.

Here are some of the responses to the survey:

“The airlines have enough unnecessary fees now! No more ridiculous fees.” — Ron Byrd, Fredericksburg

“It’s a shame that this needs to be made a law. Seating family members together at no extra cost should be a courtesy that is customarily offered to airline customers who are flying with young children.” — Kelsey Johnson, Prince William County

“Airlines charging additional fees simply because families wish to remain together is blatant corporate greed. Thank you, Congresswoman Spanberger, for making a stand, and for continuing to work so hard. You’ve made it clear you’re there to represent the interest of the people and you’ve done it without playing political games like we see from many of the those from across the aisle.” — Jeremy Bopp, Orange County

“It appears like a no-brainer. Its beneficial for the parents/family as well as any other passengers Joseph Keady.” — Prince William County

“It’s common sense.” — Richard Vento, Culpeper County

“If the airlines don’t allow this for free, do they expect other passengers or the stewardesses to take care of the children? Sure, parents can get up and move around during the flight, but what about during takeoff and landing?” — Kevin Elliott, King George County

“Kids should be with their families, not elsewhere, on flights. Safety reasons and family reasons.” — Thomas Winebarger, Prince William County

“I’m an airline pilot and I see brave young mothers and fathers all the time struggling with every stress filled aspect of flying. Trying to get through TSA screening and then finding your way to the correct gate on time all while dealing with suitcases and diaper bags, it can be quite a challenge. This is one thing that the airline companies can easily do to accommodate families and help make their stressful day a bit easier.” — Nick, Stafford County

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