Update on Families Flying Together

Earlier this month I shared some news about Family Travel Association (FTA) involvement in advocating for legislation to require airlines to keep families together on commercial planes. Well, the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has marked up the FAA Reauthorization Bill. And we have both good news and bad news to share.

The good news: Legislators managed to include in the bill an amendment requiring that families with children are notified, before tickets are booked, when they are assigned seats that are not together on a selected flight. The bad news: Legislators were NOT able to include an amendment directing each air carrier to establish a policy to ensure, to the extent practicable, that a family that purchases tickets for a flight with that air carrier is seated together during that flight.

The next step at this point is for the full House to consider the bill, which will allow for additional amendments. According to Ethan Gelber, the FTA’s editorial director (and also my friend), the failure of the Committee to approve the language means it is unlikely to move on the floor of the House should it be proposed there again.

As Gelber wrote in a blog post on the FTA site, “Another attempt could be made to get the language included in the Senate FAA bill, but there’s apparently little certainty about when they will move such legislation.”

Stay tuned.

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