An Open Letter from FTA Founder Rainer Jenss to all FTA Members
It’s discouraging to see more and more stories in the mainstream media these days about parents who end up being separated from children on board flights on U.S. carriers. According to reports, the DOT received 136 complaints from people who were forced to sit apart from their children. A review by Consumer Reports showed that small infants were being separated!
One family with a 2-year-old and another child who suffers seizures found both kids seated separately (and their car seat was denied onboard even with a seat reservation). In three cases the separated children were autistic.
At the same time, it’s encouraging to see more and more attention being drawn to these head scratching stories so that maybe something will finally be done to prevent future cases. No parent or guardian should be subjected to this unfair treatment because they didn’t pay for “the luxury” to sit next to their child. After all, I would argue that sitting next to your child this isn’t a luxury, it’s a necessity! Airlines just need to do the right thing here!
So what can we do? In light of the fact that most airlines simply stick their heads in the sand and object to creating any kind of formal policy, we need to get the attention of our politicians. I was pleased to see Chuck Schumer, one of my two senators, has thrown his voice into the mix. The New York senator recently publicly chastised airlines for not having policies in place that ensure parents and children under 13 can sit together, especially since a 2016 law was supposed to fix the issue.
“While complaints by parents seated rows away from their own kids on flights continue to climb, what’s flying under the radar is the fact that the feds were supposed to fix this problem in 2016 via a law now on the books, but they haven’t, and they should,” Schumer said in a statement.
We will certainly join Senator Schumer in his efforts to amplify the outcry and finally get some resolution to this problem. Please add your voice by contacting your representatives and demanding they take action to protect children and parents.
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