Flying’s enough of a pain as it is. Between the endless planning and money spent on the trip, we’re nervous enough about anything and everything going wrong on our travels. And then you have to make sure that you’re seated with your children on the flight–extra stress. But how do most airlines try to ease our minds? By making us pay more to ensure our kids can sit beside us. Well worry no more! After the Federal Aviation Administration agreed on extending the reauthorization bill, you may no longer need to pay extra to sit with your kids on flights leaving the U.S.
Part of the extension “requires airlines to generally ensure that children 13 years of age or under are seated adjacent to an adult or older child traveling with them” for no extra fee.
But here’s the golden question: will these changes impact flights going out of Canada too?
Since the bill won’t come into effect for an entire year, a few of the airlines are still discussing whether or not changes need to be made to existing Canadian policies.
“We’re reviewing our policies and procedures to ensure we’re able to comply,” said American Airline’s representative Matt Miller.
American Airline’s isn’t the only big-time airline not yet sure if they need to make changes to Canadian flights.
“We are currently working to fully understand the bill’s requirements and how they may or may not vary from our existing practices. If process changes are required, we will ensure a seamless transition for our passengers,” said a representative from Porter.
Some of the major airlines in Canada, however, already follow these soon-to-be regulations. WestJet, for example, got recent approval from the Canadian Transportation Agency, meaning no changes are necessary to WestJet’s policies… for now.
“On the Canadian side,… providing we have been given the proper information that one of the guests on a booking is a child, our reservation system will automatically seat that child with another adult on the same booking,” said WestJet representative Robert Palmer. “However, if we are not told that one of the guests is a child, that system cannot do its job. If the problem is not discovered until the family reaches the airport, we fix the problem by moving guests around to ensure that the child is seated with at least one adult on the same booking.” So make sure to specify that you’ll be travelling with a child while booking your ticket.
Air Canada’s website also says that “passengers travelling with children under the age of 12 will receive complimentary seat assignment ensuring children are seated adjacent to an adult/guardian travelling with them. Customers may contact Air Canada Reservations directly to be seated or review their reservation 36 hours after booking to validate their seat assignments.”
Until airlines officially change their policies in Canada (which could take until next September), rest assured, ’cause at least you’re guaranteed free child-parent seating on your return flight from the States.