Airlines Can No longer Charge Parents Extra Fees to Sit Next to their Kids

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If traveling with your children on airplanes wasn’t stressful enough, until now, apparently some airlines were charging additional fees to sit together. The Department of Transportation has released new guidelines regarding parents and kids under 13.

In response to complaints by travelers about family seating where children were seated without their parent. The Office of Aviation Consumer Protection (OACP) Notice encouraging U.S. airlines to do everything that they can to ensure the ability of a young child (age 13 or younger) to be seated next to an accompanying adult (over age 13) without charging fees for adjacent seating.

The fact that this was even happening in the first place is still a mystery to me, but nevertheless, it’s a step in the right direction! The DOT also provided some practical tips that families may find useful before, during, and after air travel, which we have highlighted below. For a more detailed explanation of these tips, see the full article here

Travel Tips for Parents provided by the DOT:

Before and During Booking

  • Understand your airline’s seating policies.
  • Book your ticket as early as possible. 
  • Book children on the same reservation as adults. 

After Booking

  • Contact the airline directly through reservations if your family was not able to obtain seats together or if you are unsure about the status of your seats. 
  • Confirm reservations that are not booked with the airline. (booking through a third party site)

Before Travel/Airport

  • Confirm reservations and seat assignments before going to the airport.

  • Plan to arrive at the airport early on the day of your flight

After Travel

  • Share your experience with the airline and DOT.
    • If you should have a problem during your trip, you may file a complaint with the airline or DOT.
  • Have you ever been charged a fee to sit next to your child while traveling on an airplane? 

All of the information noted in this post can be found on the DOT website

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