This time its NY’s Democrat Sen. Chuck Schumer urging legistlation to allow families to sit together without incurring additional fees for premium seats sometimes charged by airlines. He’s reacting to press last week about how families are being “targeted” and are being forced to pay additional fees when trying to sit together.
Airlines in some cases charge premiums for window or aisle seats, and when a family of 3-4 or more travel, they are almost always forced to have 1 or 2 members in this type of “premium” seat, thus creating this added fiscal stress.
The Senator is expected to send a letter to Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood urging him to implement rules that would prevent such an affront to the traveling family. Well guess what, should that rule be enacted, fares will go up beyond what the fee would have been (at least thats how airlines have historically reacted). Perhaps airlines will get creative and even charge a higher fare if you are booking more than 2 seats at a time.
I can’t agree with the Senator on this one (or much else that he has proposed in the past) simply because in my opinion, he’s trying to turn this into an entitlement issue that then actually reverse discrimates against those who don’t have children but would still have to pay a premium for sitting in a premium seat on an aircraft.
A family traveling together with a bit of planning can easily accomplish sitting together. Whether its sitting in pairs or using the middle seats on a wide body, it’s easy to accomplish.
Now I expect a fair share of you will disagree with me on this point, but being one without children I am not a big fan of fees being waived for the family who decides to pile into an airplane for their once a year trip to Disneyland while others like myself who fly frequently, and provide far more revenue to the airlines, are forced to pay more for the same seat.
But I am curious, what do you think? Should families be entitled to fee waivers when traveling together, or should they be treated like any other passenger? The polls are open: