New Fees Make It Hard For Families To Fly Together

Just in time for summer travel, new airline fees could make it more expensive for families to fly the friendly skies.

“Seems like it’s a sign of the times,” said traveler Pete Miles at Denver International Airport on Monday.

Miles and his family are returning home to Sacramento after a trip to Colorado. Their next trip could be more expensive.

Since last year, airlines like American, Delta, Frontier and United have increased the number of seats they set aside for frequent fliers or people willing to pay extra. It’s making it more difficult for families to sit together. Typically the cost of the premium seats is $25 each way.

Miles said he and his family of four prefer to sit together.

“In order to keep the kids distracted and for them it would help make the trip go more smoothly,” said Miles. “The people around us would also like us to be there in order to keep them quiet.”

A recent Associated Press report showed how the airlines are charging more for aisle and window seats. On a July flight from Dallas to San Francisco, the AP found of 144 seats available, only 28 were available to passengers without having to pay an extra fee and 21 were middle seats.

The growing trend outrages New York Sen. Charles Schumer.

“We are calling on the airlines to stop it, and stop it now,” said Schumer during a Memorial Day weekend press conference. “It seems like every week we hear of a new attempt to charge for something that we used to take as happenstance.”

Schumer is urging airlines to allow families with young children to sit together without paying extra. He’s also calling on the Department of Transportation to come up with rules preventing the practice.

7NEWS asked a trade group representing the airlines why the fees are necessary. A representative from Airlines For America admitted airfares alone do not cover airline operating costs.

“As with all other products and industries, it is the market that can and should determine how air travel is priced, not the government,” said Steve Lott, a spokesperson for Airlines For America in a statement.

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