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Congress Wants to Make Flying with Kids a Whole Lot Easier

Image Source: Thinkstock
Image Source: Thinkstock

Flying with one or more kids is universally acknowledged to be one of the worst things ever. (I’m pretty sure.)

Add a colicky baby, restless toddler, or finicky grade-schooler on to the regular stress of traveling through the airport, and … well, godspeed to you, my friend. And then of course there’s this fun little extra: You’re never really guaranteed to sit next to your kids once you do secure a seat on the plane. Which means that you may have to do the whole awkward dance of asking a complete and utter stranger to move seats, just so you can be next to your 6-year-old.

There may be hope for you yet, though: Last week, the Senate added an amendment to the Federal Aviation Administration reauthorization bill, which, if passed, would require airlines to allow parents to sit next to their kids without any additional costs. And make no mistake, this is pretty big stuff — according to the Washington Post, more and more airlines have started to guarantee side-by-side seats only for “preferred” or “premium” customers, who pay extra. And that “extra” cost, for a typical family, can really add up.

But that’s not all the bill would do. It would also ensure that kids wouldn’t be separated from their parents while going through security checkpoints, and even grant pregnant woman one (major) added bonus: the ability to pre-board.

Senator Michael Bennet (D-Colorado), who proposed the bill, shared a little bit more about the measure on his official Facebook page April 15, writing:

“Our amendment to help families and pregnant women traveling through our country’s busy airports has been called a ‘game changer.’ It takes some commonsense steps to ensure kids aren’t separated from their parents during TSA screening or on the plane, and it gives pregnant women the option to pre-board their flight. We expect the larger FAA bill to pass the Senate next week. Then the bill heads to the House of Representatives with our amendment.”

Needless to say, this is all music to the ears of many, many parents out there — here’s hoping it gets passed sooner rather than later.

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