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Consumer Groups Pressure White House Over Family Seating on Planes

September 13, 2021

Travel Pulse

Consumer advocates are pressuring the Biden Administration to have the Department of Transportation revisit its decision on how families are split up while traveling on airplanes. Meanwhile, consumer advocates aren’t the only ones who say airlines need to do more to put families at ease. A study released in June by the firm IdeaWorks, which consults airlines on how to boost ancillary revenue, noted the rapid embrace of seat assignment fees by global, full-service carriers in recent years. IdeaWorks president Jay Sorensen also pointed out that charging for seat assignments can cause consumer confusion, especially as it relates to family travel. Often, he added, airlines do a poor job of disclosing their rules for paid seat assignments, including cancellation and refund policies. “I am an advocate for ancillary revenue, but it needs to be ancillary revenue done smartly and correctly,” Sorensen said. “Too often, in their rush for ancillary revenue, airlines are remiss in dotting every I and crossing every T.”

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