(CNN) — American Airlines will ensure that children are seated next to an accompanying adult, according to an update to the airline’s customer service plan. It is the latest response by airlines to requests for better family seating policies.
The move comes alongside a Department of Transportation announcement of a family seating “dashboard” it plans to release next week “to show which airlines guarantee families can sit together for free,” Secretary Pete Buttigieg said. on Twitter on Tuesday.
Buttigieg thanked American Airlines for being the first US carrier to add a family seat guarantee to its customer service plan, which he updated Tuesday.
There are conditions to the American warranty, which apply to children under 14 years of age.
They include the requirement that everyone in the group be on the same reservation, that adjacent seats be available in the same class of service at the time of booking, and that the original flight not be changed to a smaller aircraft, among others.
Full details are available at the airline’s customer service plan.
Last week, United Airlines announced a revision to its family seating policy that would help ensure that families with children under the age of 12 sit together free of charge.
The application for free family seats
US airline customers have long complained about seats that separate young children from their parents on flights and the extra costs associated with purchasing seats to sit next to each other.
President Joe Biden addressed the government’s efforts to reduce such fees in his State of the Union address this month, touting a Junk Fee Prevention Act that would also affect resort fees and ticket fees. for concerts, among others.
“Baggage fees are bad enough: You can’t treat your child like a piece of luggage,” Biden said in the speech.
A notice from July 2022 The Department of Transportation asked US airlines to make children sit next to available accompanying adults at no additional cost.
Delta Air Lines said last week that it “does not charge family seating fees and regardless of the ticket class purchased, will always work with customers on a case-by-case basis to ensure their family seating needs are met.”
Delta’s website refers to the family seats with “upon request”, referring to passengers who are unable to secure seats via the airline’s website or mobile app to contact their reservations hotline. Delta’s seat map technology blocks some areas for family seating up to 48 hours before a flight.
On Southwest Airlines, which does not have assigned seating, families with children 6 and under can board early, right after the “A” group of passengers. The airline’s website also offers the option of EarlyBird Check-in for a fee that can result in a group “A” boarding position.