Senate Passes FAA Bill with Bennet Measures to Improve Family Travel, Enhance Airport Security

Washington, D.C. - The Senate today passed a bill to reauthorize the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) with two measures backed by Colorado U.S. Senator Michael Bennet. The bill, which reauthorizes the FAA through September 30, 2017, includes language from Bennet's LIFT Act to ensure young children can sit with their parents on flights at no additional cost. Bennet also fought to secure language to help increase efficiency and security at Denver International Airport (DIA) and other major airports around the country.

"Flying through our nation's busy airports like DIA can be a stressful experience, particularly for families traveling with young kids," Bennet said. "Soon, parents can travel knowing they'll be seated next to their kids on the plane. This bill also supports efforts being taken by DIA and other airports to implement new security screening techniques to reduce wait times and better protect travelers."

  • Ensuring kids can sit with their parents on planes: 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 LIFT Act, which he secured as an amendment to the FAA bill when the Senate considered the legislation in April, requires airlines to offer adjacent seating for parents and their kids at no extra charge.
  • Improving efficiency and security at airports: Bennet pushed for the inclusion of two pilot programs that could help DIA and other airports increase efficiency of the security screening process and also to develop innovative screening techniques to ensure the safety of the traveling public. The bill also includes language co-sponsored by Bennet that will strengthen airport security in non-secure "soft" target areas at airports, like check-in and baggage claim areas.