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-   -   Status of law to ban separation of children on US flights? (https://www.flyertalk.com/forum/travelbuzz/1849000-status-law-ban-separation-children-us-flights.html)

markalanprior Jun 19, 17 11:25 am

Status of law to ban separation of children on US flights?
 
Greetings.

Last summer, there was wording in the FAA Reauthorization Bill of 2016 that would require the FAA to create rules (in one year) requiring that airlines not separate a child under 13 years old from a guardian on the same flight.

I can find lots of discussion of the original bill, but no status of the actual rules and their rollout. What is the status of this change?

Thank you,

Mark

CPRich Jun 19, 17 2:52 pm

It looks like the language was included in the law - FAA Extension, Safety, and Security Act of 2016 - Section 2309(a).

So it looks like the FAA has about a month to "if appropriate", establish a policy directing air carriers to establish a policy.

So it sounds like it's possible that something might happen to start maybe doing something, possibly. Maybe.

nmh1204 Jun 19, 17 4:20 pm

It says adjacant seat. That doesn't mean contiguous. It also says that the airline will seat them together wherever "practicable". I can't wait to see mums thinking they "know" their rights and argue they have to sit in the seat next to their child. The FAs could just say it's not practical tbh.

Giggleswick Jun 19, 17 5:32 pm


Originally Posted by nmh1204 (Post 28462604)
I can't wait to see mums thinking they "know" their rights and argue they have to sit in the seat next to their child.

Whereas dads will, of course, be either more reasonable or better informed?

CPRich Jun 19, 17 8:03 pm


Originally Posted by nmh1204 (Post 28462604)
It says adjacant seat. That doesn't mean contiguous.


ad·ja·cent əˈjās(ə)nt/ 1.
next to or adjoining something else. "adjacent rooms"
synonyms: adjoining, neighboring, next-door, abutting, contiguous, proximate;
What are you thinking the difference is (other than the correct spelling?). There aren't barriers between airline seats as is the difference in hotel rooms.

It also says "to the maximum extent practicable", not just "whenever 'practicable'"

nmh1204 Jun 20, 17 4:54 am


Originally Posted by Giggleswick (Post 28462913)
Whereas dads will, of course, be either more reasonable or better informed?

No, but most of the posts on here about parents demanding to sit next to their kids are about mums.


Originally Posted by CPRich (Post 28463383)
What are you thinking the difference is (other than the correct spelling?). There aren't barriers between airline seats as is the difference in hotel rooms.

It also says "to the maximum extent practicable", not just "whenever 'practicable'"

Adjacent doesn't have to mean touching, directly next to. And I didn't say whenever, I said wherever. Yes, the law says maximum extent practicable, but there's not always going to be an option that's practicable, hence I said wherever.

pinniped Jun 20, 17 9:39 am

The law, or regulation or whatever, doesn't seem to have any teeth to it.

The "where practicable" bit effectively means the airlines don't have to do anything. I imagine if I ask a GA about this rule before my flight tomorrow, he/she will look at me like I'm crazy. I wonder if they've even heard of it.

WHBM Jun 20, 17 1:11 pm

I'm not sure why the FAA makes such heavy weather about the issue. The CAA in the UK, and I believe in many other countries as well, required this long ago. I understand US carriers departing from the UK have to comply with this.

It's not hard for the seat allocation system to handle it at point of reservation. The family group is often just presented with seats rather than getting choice, but there you go.

Proudelitist Jun 21, 17 10:36 am


Originally Posted by nmh1204 (Post 28462604)
It says adjacant seat. That doesn't mean contiguous. It also says that the airline will seat them together wherever "practicable". I can't wait to see mums thinking they "know" their rights and argue they have to sit in the seat next to their child. The FAs could just say it's not practical tbh.

It also states the guardian in the SINGULAR. That means one adult...I cannot wait for the families screaming that mommy and daddy are separated as a violation of the law when in reality the airline only has to keep ONE adult with the spwan.

TrojanHorse Jun 23, 17 3:38 pm

Without getting into the merits of the law

No one is guaranteed a specific seat so people can be moved. I'm saying this to mean with in COS that they purchased.

So premium cabin people would be within the premium cabin, Y within Y, E+ within E+ etc

leungy18 Jun 23, 17 11:52 pm

I don't understand why the FAA is making a big fuss about this.

Once this is enacted, all its going to do is embolden seat-poaching and seat-swapping families. I've had parents with teenage kids yell at me -- a teenager who usually flies solo -- about how they really, really, really need to sit with their kid, and my aisle seat in particular. It's bloody disgusting how inconsiderate some helicopter parents can be.

It's really unnecessary to force kids 8 or above to sit next their parents.

I posit that the FAA amends this proposed regulation such that at least one parent or designated adult relative be with their spawn in the same cabin. That way we'll stop the parents who fly in F and leave their 6-year-old unattended in Y, without subjecting innocent families to a bureaucratic mess.

ft101 Jun 24, 17 12:28 am


Originally Posted by leungy18 (Post 28480470)
I don't understand why the FAA is making a big fuss about this.

I tend to agree - make the parents responsible for seating arrangements that keep their family together. However, I don't want to be held up in an evacuation as mum or dad are battling against the flow to get to their kids.

Ryanair introduced a rule that if there are kids in a booking, at least one adult must pay the going rate to pre-book a seat and can then select (free) adjacent seats for the kids. That seems reasonable enough to me.

RRDD Jun 25, 17 11:38 am


Originally Posted by WHBM (Post 28466186)
I'm not sure why the FAA makes such heavy weather about the issue.

Most of the "good" seats on US flights are quickly snapped up by Frequent Flyers and those willing to pay extra $$$, thus leaving only scattered seats for families that book late.

The airlines dilemma than becomes, which FF or $$$ customers do they boot into the poor seats so families can sit together?

LarryJ Jun 25, 17 2:02 pm


Originally Posted by RRDD (Post 28484632)
The airlines dilemma than becomes, which FF or $$$ customers do they boot into the poor seats so families can sit together?

The airlines block seats for gate assignment so that they can accommodate small children, passengers with disabilities, etc. Those seats look taken on the web site and apps but they are actually available for use in such situations.

mdkowals Jun 26, 17 11:36 am

This might become a nightmare on some routes (such as into and out of MCO during common school break periods) or during special events (a U8 soccer tournament that takes place in Omaha on a specific week).


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