On Tuesday, President Joe Biden sharply criticized U.S. airlines, alleging that they were imposing unfair fees to families, and vowed to introduce new consumer protections.
Biden remarked in his State of the Union address, “We’ll prohibit airlines from charging $50 roundtrip for families just to be able to sit together.” Baggage costs are already a problem; airlines shouldn’t treat your child like a piece of luggage.
The association Airlines for America (A4A), which includes Delta Air Lines, United Airlines, American Airlines, Southwest Airlines, and others, said on Tuesday that none of its member airlines charge more for companion seating.
Biden praised the rules that the Transportation Department is creating to require “airlines to display you the full ticket price upfront and refund your money if your flight is canceled or delayed.” After a string of problems, including a holiday meltdown at Southwest that forced the cancellation of more than 16,000 flights, there are mounting calls in Congress for airlines to strengthen consumer rights.
US lawmakers have proposed broad legislation that would require airline passengers to receive refunds for delayed flights, prohibit further shrinking of plane seat sizes, and give consumers new rights to sue airlines for unfair practices.