Airline lobby calls Rep. Nadler's family seating bill 'needless'

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Nadler said as he announced the filing of his bill Thursday morning that it was important for Congress to instruct the Department of Transportation to prevent families from being separated because of airline fees for priority seats like aisles and windows.

“Air travel is complicated and expensive enough for families without adding new stresses,” Nadler said in a statement.

“Families should not be stuck paying hidden fees, or buying ‘premium’ seats, simply because they wish to be seated together on crowded flights," he continued. "It is positively absurd to expect a two or three-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.”

A4A countered said Thursday afternoon "[A]irline seats, much like tickets to sporting events or concerts are at their greatest availability when purchased early, which is when most families book travel.

"Airlines have always worked cooperatively with their customers to seat parties, including those traveling with children, together," the A4A said.

The group added that "[T]he great news for consumers and families is that the airline industry is hugely competitive, and customers have choices of airlines and different products within airlines.

"As with all other products and industries, it is the market that can — and should — determine how air travel is priced, not the government,” the A4A said.

Nadler's bill has been dubbed the "Families Flying Together Act of 2012."