As if traveling with small children wasn’t hard enough, one airline is proposing that families should pay an extra fee if they all want to sit together. The President of United Airlines recently suggested that if moms and dads want to sit with their children, they should pay yet another fee on top of already rising airline tickets, baggage costs, and additional taxes and fees. If not, then there’s a chance that children might be separated from their parents during both short-haul and long-haul flights. That also means there will be no one to monitor their Fortnite and screen usage while up in the air.
United Airlines President Scott Kirby, in a new interview with Skift says that while the company values customer service above all else, they also think that preferred customers should be treated with more priority on their planes than say, a traveling family. He suggests that United charge different rates for different seats inside their planes. In other words, if you want to sit in front of the plane, you should pay extra. Otherwise, you’ll find yourself sitting in the back.
Critics have pointed out that if airlines such as United charge extra for every seat on the plane, it will make it harder for families to sit together. Kirby offered this response, “Look, when you go to a concert, do you think you should pay the same price to sit in the nosebleed seats or to sit up front? I don't know why airlines are unique. Every other business that has something like that charges more for a better product. It's a better product. You know it's a better seat. I don't know why airlines would be unique by offering lower prices for a lesser product. That's what we do.”
Of course, not every family thinks it’s a good idea to take their young children to a late night concert, let alone pay for front row tickets to see their favorite artist perform. But when it comes to air travel, they need to find a way to make it to grandma’s house in Long Beach, California when they live in Fairfield, Connecticut. For many families, air travel is a necessity, not an option, like a concert.
United Airlines is yet to make any proposals or changes to the way the company charges for seats. There have also been no additional comments made after Scott Kirby’s statement, although it’s safe to say that many moms and dads – who definitely don’t want their children sitting on their own – have been left at the edge of their seats.
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