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Lawmaker Proposes Keeping Families Together In-Flight

Photodisc/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) -- A New York congressman and member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee has introduced legislation to help keep families seated together on commercial flights.

The Families Flying Together Act of 2012 would require the U.S. Department of Transportation to direct each 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; and (2) make the policy... available to the public on an appropriate Internet Web site of the air carrier.”

Two airlines – Allegiant Air and Spirit Airways – charge for advance seat assignments, which means families who want to guarantee they’re going to be seated together will have to pay extra.  And while other airlines might not charge for an advance seat assignment, they might charge more for window or aisle seats, making it difficult to find seats together for free.

Rep. Jerrold Nadler’s legislation would help to ensure that children are not separated from their families and seated alone on flights.

“Air travel is complicated and expensive enough for families without adding new stresses,” Nadler, D-N.Y., said in a news release.  “Families should not be stuck paying hidden fees, or buying ‘premium’ seats, simply because they wish to be seated together on crowded flights.  It is positively absurd to expect a 2 or 3-year-old to sit unattended, next to strangers, on an airplane.  It is up to air carriers to make their seating policies clear and easily accessible to the public.”

Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio

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