WTOP: Bipartisan bill wants to stop airlines from charging fees for families to sit together

WTOP, MITCHELL MILLER

Air travel can be especially stressful during the summer, as this week has shown, due to technical difficulties and storms that have delayed and canceled thousands of flights.

And as many parents know all too well, flying can be even more of a challenge when traveling with young children.

Rep. Abigail Spanberger, D-Va., is the co-sponsor of bipartisan legislation that seeks to help parents and their children fly together, without having to pay extra.

“No family should face exorbitant extra fees just because they want to sit with their children during a flight,” Spanberger said in a statement, noting she’s the mother of three school-age kids.

The “Fly Together Act” calls for the U.S. Transportation Secretary to issue a rule that would require airlines to seat children 13 years and younger with their family members, without charging additional fees.

Spanberger notes that “unnecessary fees” are opposed by Democrats and Republicans alike and argues that her bill would help “provide peace of mind to parents.”

The legislation is co-sponsored by Rep. Ann Wagner, R-Mo.

Airlines have been charging anywhere from $10 to $50 extra to have a child sit next to a parent.

According to an Federal Aviation Administration dashboard that was initiated online earlier this year, only three airlines — American, Alaska and Frontier — don’t charge extra to have children 13 and younger sit with a parent.

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg has also called on Congress to implement fee-free family seating.

“Upon review of the airlines’ seating policies, DOT remains concerned that airlines’ policies do not guarantee adjacent seats for young children traveling with a family member and that airlines do not guarantee the adjacent seating at no additional cost,” he said in a letter to congressional leaders.

The Senate Commerce Committee has been taking up FAA reauthorization legislation, which lawmakers will resume addressing when they return to Washington next month.

The reauthorization has included a review of a proposal to add long-haul flights to Reagan National Airport, which is opposed by members of the Virginia and Maryland congressional delegations.

Recent Posts


Jun 17, 2024
Local Issues

NEW MILESTONE: Spanberger’s Office Returns More Than $39 Million in Federal Benefits to Virginians

Since the Start of 2019, the Congresswoman’s Office Has Returned More Than $39 Million in Backlogged IRS Refunds, Social Security Checks, VA Benefits, & More WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger announced today that her office has now returned more than $39 million in federal casework funds to residents of Virginia’s Seventh District. Casework dollars […]



Jun 14, 2024
Press

Spanberger Statement on Supreme Court Ruling to Strike Down Federal Bump Stock Ban

Congresswoman: “As a Former Federal Law Enforcement Officer, I Know that Weapons Designed to Inflict Maximum Casualties Do Not Belong on Our Streets, in Our Schools, or in Our Communities” WASHINGTON, D.C. — U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger today released the following statement following the U.S. Supreme Court’s decision in Garland v. Cargill, which overturns a […]



Jun 14, 2024
Gun Safety

During National Gun Violence Awareness Month, Spanberger Urges Speaker Johnson to Bring Bipartisan Bills to U.S. House Floor to Prevent Gun Violence

Congresswoman: “I Used To Carry A Gun Every Single Day — I Know What It Is To Be A Responsible Gun Owner” WASHINGTON, D.C. — On the floor of the U.S. House of Representatives, U.S. Representative Abigail Spanberger — a Member of the U.S. House Gun Violence Prevention Task Force — urged Speaker Johnson to […]