Airlines Charging More for Families to Sit Together

There was once a time when the air traveler could pick his or her exact seat on a jet. Today, airlines are charging fees if you want the most desirable seats.

While picking a seat is of little concern to some travelers, some families are not able to sit together unless they pay these extra fees, which can be $10 per ticket or more. Imagine traveling alone with two small children!

Senator Charles Schumer (D-NY) is looking to change this practice and has urged airlines to reconsider the fees and institute policies that keep families together on planes.

"Children need access to their parents and parents need access to their children," Schumer said. "Unnecessary airline fees shouldn't serve as a literal barrier between mother and child."

Airlines have been looking for a way to recoup the rising costs of fuel and since 2008 have been adding additional fees. It started with a fee for a second checked bag that soon turned into fees for all checked bags.

Some consumers are left wondering why the airlines simply don't raise fares. In today's competitive market, the published fare is the thing that most consumers see and use to make their buying decisions. The added fees are sometimes a shock to travelers who don't see the fees while booking.

The Transportation Department is currently considering whether new rules are needed that would provide more transparency into the true cost of flying, which NCCC would support.