During Summer Travel Season, Spanberger Leads Bipartisan Bill to Ban Airlines from Charging Extra Fees to Seat Families Together

The “Fly Together Act” Would Prohibit Airlines from Tacking on Additional Fees for Parents to Sit with Their Children Under the Age of 14

WOODBRIDGE, Va. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger is leading bipartisan legislation to make sure children can be seated next to their parents on flights for no extra fees.

Congress passed the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) reauthorization bill in 2016. This law included language that required the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to establish a policy — if appropriate — requiring airlines to seat young children with their family members on flights without charging them additional fees. However, families across the country continue to be separated from their children during air travel.

The Fly Together Act would direct the U.S. Secretary of Transportation to issue a rule requiring airlines to seat young children with their family members on flights to the greatest extent practicable — and at no additional cost within the same class of service. Specifically, this rule would direct airlines to seat children under 14 years old next to a family member at no extra charge.

“No family should face exorbitant extra fees — just because they want to sit with their children during a flight. As a mom of three school-aged kids, I understand how frustrating these unexpected charges can be, particularly when air travel is already a turbulent experience,” said Spanberger. “These are unnecessary fees that are opposed by Democrats and Republicans alike — and we can take this commonsense step right now to block the airline industry from taking advantage of American families. Our bill would provide peace of mind to parents, keep kids safe, and make air travel more enjoyable for everyone.”

Additionally, the Fly Together Act explicitly prohibits the imposition of any changes in the seating or boarding policy of an air carrier that has an open or flexible seating policy in place that generally allows adjacent family seating — such as Southwest Airlines.

Spanberger is leading the bipartisan bill alongside U.S. Representative Ann Wagner (R-MO-02).

Click here for the full bill text.

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