Each major airline around the world has its own unique seating policies. While some airlines allow you to book whatever seat you want free of charge, others want you to pay more for certain seats in the same class. Additionally, many airlines don’t show you the total price of tickets upfront, leaving travelers surprised when additional fees are added on.
Fortunately, this could all change if the Junk Fee Prevention Act gets passed. According to a statement from the White House, the Junk Fee Prevention Act would require airlines to show the total price of a plane ticket right away, including all additional fees, and would ban fees for family members to sit with their young children. Furthermore, if an airline has flight cancellations or delays due to factors under the airline’s control, they may have to cover lodging and meals for travelers.
Even though the Junk Fee Prevention Act has yet to be passed, some airlines have already begun updating their seating policies. American Airlines, United Airlines, and Frontier Airlines are the first three companies to revamp their policies, leading the way for a new standard in the airline industry.
American Airlines: The Dallas/Fort Worth-based company is making sure that families with young children can sit with one another at no extra cost. A Customer Service Plan recently released by American Airlines stated that children 14 and under are guaranteed a seat adjacent to an accompanying adult at no additional charge. This will bring a huge sigh of relief to families previously paying hefty amounts to sit together.
United Airlines: According to the Aircraft seating FAQs page on the United Airlines website, if you’re flying with children 12 years of age or younger, you’ll soon be able to sit next to them on United Airlines flights at no extra charge. Further, if your flight is nearly full and has no seats available next to each other, you’ll be able to change to a different flight that has adjacent seats available at no additional cost.
Frontier Airlines: Earlier this year, Frontier Airlines announced that they would be updating their seating policies to ensure that families can sit with their young children. In a statement released on February 21, 2023, the company shared that at least one parent will be seated with any children in their group who are under the age of 14 at no additional charge.
With these airlines taking the lead in updating their policies, the hope is that other airlines follow suit. Even if the Junk Fee Prevention Act doesn’t get passed, it’s time that all major airlines start evolving and eliminating unnecessary fees. With the cost of travel continuing to rise, the last thing that people need is to pay additional fees, especially when it comes to sitting together as a family.
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