Biden administration is asking Congress to ban household seating charges

Passengers wearing protective masks are seen boarding prior to a JetBlue flight to London at JFK International Airport in the Queens borough of New York, August 11, 2021.

jeenah moon | Reuters

The Biden administration is asking Congress to pass legislation that would ban airlines from charging families traveling with children under 14 to sit together, their latest attempt to crack down on consumer surcharges, the Transportation Department said Monday.

“After reviewing airline seating policies, DOT remains concerned that airline policies do not guarantee adjacent seating for young children traveling with a family member, and that airlines do not guarantee adjacent seating at no additional cost,” Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg wrote in one Letter to Speaker of the House Kevin McCarthy.

President Joe Biden has promised to stamp out so-called junk fees in all industries, such as hotels, airlines and banks.

earlier this month, Alaska Airlines, American Airlines And Frontier Airlines said they would include seat guarantees in customer service plans for families whose violations could result in DOT fines. United Airlines Last month it said it would give families traveling with children access to seats, which usually cost extra at the time of booking.

The Biden administration’s bill calls for refunds for passengers who cannot get adjacent seats for children in their group.

The Department of Transportation is working on a rule to guarantee family seating, but said because the “rulemaking process can be lengthy, the President and the DOT are asking Congress to do so without delay.”

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