President Joe Biden has pledged an end to “junk fees” such as those some airlines charge for seating families together. The U.S. Department of Transportation rolled out a new online dashboard Monday. (Joe Raedle, Getty Images)
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WASHINGTON — The federal government has rolled out a new online dashboard showing which airlines charge — and do not charge — families to select seats next to each other.
The announcement is part of the Biden Administration’s push to end corporate “junk fees,” underscored during President Joe Biden’s State of The Union Address last month.
“After weeks of USDOT and the Biden Administration pressing airlines to improve their customer service, American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Frontier Airlines have stepped forward to guarantee that parents can sit with their young children without getting nickel and dimed,” said the Department of Transportation in a statement.
The DOT said that it is also working on “a common-sense rulemaking” that would ban airlines from charging families to sit together.
The family seating dashboard is an expansion of the DOT’s airline customer service dashboard, which launched in September to address airlines’ commitments around what customers are entitled to when their flights are disrupted by delays and cancellations.
American Airlines rolled out its new family seating policy on Feb. 28 alongside a DOT announcement of its plans for the new dashboard.
Alaska Airlines and Frontier Airlines are also offering guarantees. All three airlines have some conditions for their guarantees, including that children and accompanying adults are booked in the same reservation.
United Airlines recently announced an update to its family seating policy, but it stops short of a guarantee.