As if flying with kids isn’t challenging enough, now it turns out that some airlines are actually charging parents to sit with their little ones.
Consumer Reports combed through the 136 complaints surrounding this issue that have been filed with the Department of Transportation from March 2016 to November 2018. Their research found that airlines are in fact charging parents a fee to guarantee they can sit next to their kids.
Airlines Are Still Charging Parents Extra to Sit Next to Their Kids, Despite Legislation That Has Been in the Works for Years
To make matters worse, some of the complaints involved children less than two years old and those with medical concerns, such as epilepsy.
So what happens if parents refuse to or are unable to pay this seat change fee? Usually they are forced to beg their fellow passengers to be accommodating and switch seats.
As one can imagine, this has resulted in both minor and major disruptions, including some people being removed from the airplane or being forced to sit with a child over the age of two on their laps.
Back in 2016, Congress pushed to have the DOT establish a policy requiring that airlines seat children younger than 14-years-old next to an accompanying family member at no cost. Unfortunately. the policy was never established.
Here’s hoping the DOT will take notice of the mounting complaints and change their policy to accommodate young children and their families.
Katie Nave Freeman is freelance writer, producer, and mama living in Brooklyn, New York. Driven by her passion for storytelling, she is always seeking opportunities to elevate people who are working to better the world around them.