NEW: Parents, Pilots, & Passengers Share Support for Spanberger’s Bipartisan Bill to Ban Airlines from Charging Extra Fees to Seat Families Together

Through the Congresswoman’s Survey, More than 80 Percent of Respondents Indicated Support for Legislation to Seat Families Together on Flights at No Extra Cost — as Required by the Congresswoman’s “Fly Together Act”

WOODBRIDGE, V.A. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today announced the results of her survey asking Virginians if they believe parents should be seated with their young children on flights without having to pay extra fees.

During the summer travel season, Spanberger introduced the bipartisan Fly Together Act to make sure children can be seated next to their parents on flights for no extra fees. Specifically, 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. Last month, the U.S. House passed Spanberger’s bill as part of bipartisan legislation to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA).

Of the more than 550 responses received from Virginians who shared their stance, more than 80 percent support a requirement for airlines to seat families with their young children for no additional fee. Spanberger received stories of Virginia 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,” said Spanberger. “I’m proud that my colleagues in the U.S. House recognized the benefit of seating families together on flights without charging excessive fees — and I’m even more so glad to hear from Virginians who want to see this legislation make it to the President’s desk to be signed into law. I appreciate every Virginian who took the time to share their feedback with me.”

Some of the responses that Virginians submitted through the survey include:

“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

“I believe this is a no brainer as most families prefer to sit together for safety and reasons of convenience. We have enough forces out their trying to separate families and air travel should not be one of them due to corporate greed.” — Daniel, Stafford 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

“To me it is just common sense that parents and smaller children should be seated side by side. 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

“I fully support this legislation. I have had this situation happen to me where I was separated from my family and in a different seat away from them. The gentleman who ended up in the same row as them, decided to switch seats with me even though I was in a center seat. It just made more sense as my child kept asking for me and at least he would have some quiet time.” — Jimmy, Prince William County

“It is just the right thing to do!” — Daniel Cummins, Stafford County

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