Airlines Praised for Allowing Families to Sit Together May Not Have Been Separating Them

New York Sen. Charles Schumer, who recently asked the airline industry to avoid charging fees extra fees for aisle and window seats for families so they can more easily sit together, says he’s making progress.

Babies on Planes: Yes or No?

JetBlue, Virgin America: No Fees for Family Seating

According to news reports, the senator said the CEOs of JetBlue and Virgin America have “committed to me that they will not charge families extra fees to sit together on airplanes.”

There’s just one problem: according to the original Associated Press story that started the whole airlines are anti-family conversation, neither JetBlue nor Virgin America were mentioned as being parties to the separate seating activity. Instead, the AP reporter noted that, “Since last summer, American, Delta Air Lines, Frontier Airlines and United Airlines have increased the percentage of coach seats requiring an extra fee” and he further added that Allegiant and Spirit charge an extra fee for any advance seat selection at all.

Sen. Schumer, however, believes other carriers will likely follow this lead.

How to Keep Families Together

FareCompare has several tips on keeping families together on planes, including choosing seats at the earliest opportunity available, and returning to the seat selection menu often as airlines release more seats as departure day nears.

United Drops Early Boarding for Families

And If All Else Fails –

Air travel analyst Rick Seaney, who provided many of the family seating tips said, there’s one more option. He joked, “If all else fails, let your cranky toddler sit by himself in a middle seat for a few minutes. Passengers on both sides of the tot will soon be begging mom or dad to take their places.” [Editor’s note: This is no joke – it works.]


Published: June 11, 2012