Saturday, December 10, 2022

Federal transportation advises airlines to accommodate children under 13 with their parents free of charge

While acknowledging that complaints about family seats amount to “lower value”, the US Department of Transportation (DOT) has issued a warning to the country’s commercial airlines to ensure that children under 13 are seated with their parents at no additional cost.

The notice from the Aviation Consumer Protection Office (OACP, for its acronyms in English) established that, despite the low number of complaints, there are cases where children up to 11 months do not sit with an adult during one flight.

Given this scenario, the OACP will begin at the end of this year a review of airline policies and consumer complaints registered at the agency.

“If airline seating policies and practices are considered barriers to a child sitting with an adult family member or other accompanying adult family member, the department will be prepared for possible actions consistent with its powers.”the DOT stated in a press release.

The agency’s determination is part of several efforts by Secretary Pete Buttigieg after consumer complaints against airlines rose 300% in June this year, according to the federal agency’s latest “Air Travel Consumer Report.”

In addition to the notice regarding seats for minors, DOT has published the first Bill of Rights for Airline Passengers with Disabilities.

According to the federal agency, this new feature will enable air passengers with disabilities to understand and enforce their rights.

“Today’s (last Friday) announcements are the final steps towards ensuring an air transport system that works for everyone,” said Buttigieg. “Whether you are a parent hoping to sit with your young children on a flight, a traveler with a disability traveling by plane, or a consumer flying for the first time in a long time, you deserve safe, affordable, affordable and reliable air service.”

Recently, Buttigieg said his department will take enforcement action against airlines that violate consumer protection rules.after the events of major delays and flight cancellations in the United States.

Through June, and similar to 2020 and 2021, refunds remain the highest category of complaints received by the department, followed by flight issues.

The federal agency claimed it increased the staff assigned to handle passenger complaints by 38%, while it launched investigations against 20 airlines for failing to provide cash refunds on time.

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