Immoral Airline Fees: Fractured Families


Booking a flight for a family vacation?

Want to sit next to your kids?

That may cost you.


As reported in The Atlantic, an airline “crime against customer service” now charges additional “family fees” for parents who want to sit next to their children.


Yes, many airlines are now tacking on “preferred seating” fees for parents who want to sit beside their children.

According to The Atlantic, over the past year, American, Delta, and United have increased the number of preferred seats on their flights in an effort to cater to business travelers who are happy to pay extra for a more enjoyable trip. As a result, it has become nearly impossible for families to string together three or four seats in a row without paying a hefty fee.

Repeat business travelers are an airline’s “bread-and-butter” staple – which means they rank higher than family travelers. Consequently, “families flying off to their Disney vacation are probably going to pay as much as the market will bear.”

The Atlantic’s “How to Tell a Dumb Airline Fee from an Immoral One” lays out the “immorality” of the family fee.


Are you okay with paying extra to sit beside your child/children?

What do you think about this new airline fee?


World News Wednesday


15 thoughts on “Immoral Airline Fees: Fractured Families

  1. Flying outside the US is definitely more comfortable than inside – but at this point I do fly a lot and flying is normally connected with my job. I can understand the airline’s decision and I agree with the poster above who said that flying is not a right, it’s a choice (when it is not for work) and so with a free market, the airlines can try different things. I remember a year or so ago I think Air Malaysia announced that they wouldn’t allow small children in first class to keep it quiet. There was an uproar then too – but they know who are paying for the majority of their tickets – business travelers.

    • Thanx for this additional viewpoint of airline fees. Because most of my flights are very long, I must admit I pray often (& fervently, when exhausted!) for child-free cabins, so I can understand Air Malaysia’s action to that end. But it still seems heartless (and I know hearts have small place in business) to make parents pay extra to sit beside their children. Though caught between a rock & a hard place, I think you & the commenter below are correct in pointing out that, overall, the bottom line is the bottom line. 😐

  2. Wrote a post myself on this recently. The thing that chapped me was that I was checking one lousy bag and they charged me what they called an excess baggage fee. I really didn’t mind the fee. It costs what it costs, but don’t try to convince me that one bag is excessive.

    At the same time, flying is not an unalienable right. Businesses need to cater to the customers that keep them in business. This is supposed to be a free market. If airlines learn that families won’t pay the preferential fee, they’ll figure something out, because even though they are erring on the side of business now – they’ll discover they need mommy, daddy and child. That may mean a couple of years of road trips rather than flying to Disneyland, but road trips are a lot of fun. It’s called choice – and having to pay for it is not immoral.

    Pornography? Immoral. Drug trafficking? Immoral. Slavery? Immoral. Airlines? I don’t think so.

  3. I used to fly nearly 100K miles a year. But I’ve redeemed most of those miles for merchandise because it is now simply too ridiculous with all the “add on fees” and blackut dates.

    But the good news is that you take your spouse and four year old son and six year old daughter with you on a vacation. At the airport the two children get strip-searched because they are profiled as terrorists and your daughter’s teddy bear is torn stuffing from skin. You sue the airline for pain and sufferring and win. You now have enough money to rent a private jet for all the rest of the vacations of your life.

    • Don’t even get me started on blackout dates – tacked on fees are bad enough. And, yeah, lol & everything but this whole scenario could actually happen. As funny as it is, it’s just as probable! 😐

  4. What a shame! I would prolly kick the Airlines asses, but I would never pay extra to sit beside my children!

    BUT there is one extra pay I think is right. If you weigh way too much & need more space, you have to pay for 2 seats. Last year we sat 5 hours next to a pretty fat (yes, I ve said fat!) man & we could not even move. My hubby sat half on my seat too. After we talked to the stewardess, they sat him away for a bit on the front row. I don’t want to be mean to anyone but it s no fun at all for anyone….

  5. I’m sick to death of the airlines and their fees! I refuse to fly anymore. My son is getting married (2nd wedding) in Jamaica in May and I’m not going, because I absolutely will not fly!

    • Can I get in on this rant? I am soooo in agreement with you! I fly all the time & on every single trip there’s a new fee for this, that & the other. I swear, the only thing left to charge for now is the oxygen! Which, I have no doubt, they will find a way to tack a fee onto that as well! 👿

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