Secretary Buttigieg Urges Congress To Pass Legislation To Ensure Fee-Free Family Seating

Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg sent a letter to the Congress proposing a legislation that would guarantee that young kids can sit next to their parents without getting charged a junk fee in passenger planes.

If passed, this legislation would ensure fee-free family seating on all U.S. airlines. President Biden called for Congress to pass legislation to ban these junk fees in the State of the Union.

This letter comes on the heels of DOT unveiling a new family seating dashboard last week that highlighted the airlines that guarantee fee-free family seating, and those that do not. After weeks of USDOT and the Biden Administration pressing airlines to improve their customer service, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Frontier Airlines have stepped forward to guarantee that parents can sit with their young children without getting nickel and dimed.

This reform will make it easier for parents to avoid paying junk fees to sit with their children. This is an added feature to the existing dashboard, which already includes services for delayed and canceled flights.

Since most airlines in the United States currently do not guarantee that they will seat a parent and a child together at no extra cost, the DOT has begun work on a rulemaking to ensure a young child is able to sit adjacent to an accompanying adult. Because the rulemaking process can be lengthy, President Joe Biden has called upon Congress to enact legislation.

The Biden Administration plans to send Congress proposed legislation in the coming weeks, according to the U.S. Department of Transportation.

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