SCHUMER REVEALS: AS NEW YORKERS PREPARE FOR BUSY THANKSGIVING TRAVEL WEEK, AIRLINES ARE CHARGING PARENTS JUNK FEES JUST TO SIT WITH THEIR KIDS; SCHUMER SAYING THIS DECEPTIVE PRACTICE THAT SPLITS UP FAMILIES NEEDS TO END NOW AND IS LAUNCHING NEW PUSH FOR LEGISLATION TO KEEP FAMILIES FLYING TOGETHER
With Record Thanksgiving Travel Expected This Year Across America, Schumer Says It Is Unacceptable That Airlines Would Charge Extra $$$ Just To Sit With Their Kids
Schumer Has Led This Fight For Years And Says Legislation Is How We Can Finally Land Solution To Getting Rid Of These Junk Fees That Split Up Families Once And For All
Schumer: It’s Time To Make Traveling Less Turbulent For Families And Create Fee-Free Family Seating!
Standing with New York families as airports prepare for one of the busiest Thanksgiving travel weeks on record, U.S. Senate Majority Leader Charles E. Schumer today revealed that many airlines are charging parents deceptive junk fees just to sit with their kids when they travel that can lead to families getting split up on flights. Schumer, who has led the fight against fees like these for years, is now pushing for legislation, the Families Fly Together Act, to prohibit these deceptive fees on parents that 6/10 of the major airlines haven’t committed to removing and finally create fee-free family seating to keep parents and kids together when they fly.
“This Thanksgiving travel week is going to be one of the busiest on record, and airlines are making a stressful travel time even more turbulent by charging junk fees to parents who want to sit with their kids on flights. Plain and simple, parents should not be the ones to pay the price for wanting to care for and keep their kids safe while traveling,” said Senator Schumer. “That’s why I’m pushing for legislation that protects families and lowers travel costs by eliminating junk fees for parents in New York and across the country. The Families Fly Together Act is the ticket to stopping airlines - which already make billions of dollars in profits - from charging families deceptive unaffordable and unnecessary fees, and I won’t stop fighting until we’ve ended this ridiculous practice.”
"As a mom of three young children, I know that air travel as a family is already a complex dance of logistics, expenses, and inevitable chaos. I want to commend to Senator Schumer for co-sponsoring the Families Fly Together Act,” said Angela Marinucci, Amherst Town Councilmember-elect. “This crucial legislation is a significant step in prioritizing the cohesion of families while simultaneously addressing unreasonable junk fees that make air travel unnecessarily arduous for parents. It's time to ensure that flying with our loved ones remains a practical reality for families, and I appreciate Senator Schumer’s efforts in making this possible."
Schumer said that it should be common sense that charging families junk fees or enabling practices that can lead to parents and kids being split up is bad policy, and beyond creating a headache, can be dangerous and add undue stress to the travel process. Especially as holiday travel rush begins, and airports are inundated with record numbers of travelers, Schumer said it is important that traveling as a family is as stress-free and affordable as possible. While airlines often say that they will try to keep families together or make efforts to move people once on board, the senator said this is not a solution to this problem and often results in families still paying extra or having to beg patrons on the flight to move so that they can be with their kids.
Schumer added, “Right now families are either getting charged junk fees that they should never face in the first place or the airlines policies are to have them go through a game of musical chairs that is neither fun nor fair to passengers. Airlines have to get their heads out of the clouds and do right by families traveling with children.”
The Families Fly Together Act that Schumer is pushing to become law would ensure that a child can sit next to a family member on a flight at no additional cost to the base fare and prohibit airlines from charging extra fees for an adjacent seat next to an adult accompanying the child.
Schumer said the Biden Administration’s actions to protect consumers have already helped make significant progress on eliminating junk fees and holding airlines accountable. Recently, the U.S. Department of Transportation made it easier for parents to avoid paying junk fees to sit with their children when they fly by rolling out a new family seating dashboard that highlights the airlines that guarantee fee-free family seating, and those that do not.
Up until March of this year, no U.S. airline guaranteed fee-free seating for children 13 or under and an accompanying adult at no additional cost, but following pressure from the USDOT and years of the senator’s advocacy, 4 major airlines agreed to these requirements. Schumer said that while this represents significant progress, given that many major airlines are dragging their feet or putting profit over families, the U.S. needs laws to enforce fee-free family seating, which is why he is pushing the Families Fly Together Act and ramping up pressure on the airlines to ensure families are no longer burdened by unnecessary fees that pinch Americans’ pocketbooks. Text of the legislation can be found here.