Measure Also Ensures TSA Cannot Separate Children from Their Parents During Screening Process
Washington, D.C. - The Senate adopted Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet's amendment to ensure young children can sit with their parents on flights and won't be separated from their parents by TSA during security screening. It also allows pregnant women to pre-board for their flights.
"Parents shouldn't have to pay extra to sit with their kids on a flight. Separating them is not safe and often leaves them at the mercy of other passengers who must decide whether to trade seats. Separating young kids from their parents during the screening process can be just as traumatic, and the TSA shouldn't be allowed to do it," Bennet said. "Our amendment puts in place commonsense protections that will reduce the extra and unnecessary stress applied to families and pregnant women traveling by air."
With the transition to new airline policies offering premium seats and boarding options for a fee, families across the country are facing anxiety-inducing challenges and choices. Parents are forced to pay additional fees when checking in to their flight just to ensure they can sit next to their small children on the plane. In many cases, parents must disrupt the boarding process to ask willing passengers to change their seats, despite the fact that these good Samaritans may have already paid additional fees for seats themselves.
Bennet's amendment would make several changes to ensure a smoother traveling experience for families and pregnant women. The measure would establish new rules for security screening, boarding procedures, and family seating arrangements. It would ensure airlines have policies that allow family members to sit next to their children on a flight at no additional cost and expressly require the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) to allow parents to accompany their children throughout the airport screening process to ensure they are never physically separated. It would also require airlines to accommodate pregnant women during the pre-boarding process.
Senators Patty Murray (D-WA) and Richard Blumenthal (D-CT) are cosponsors of the amendment, which is also supported by the National Women's Law Center, First Focus Campaign for Children, and the National Consumers League.