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Congress Continues Its Unending Quest to Ruin Air Travel

July 25, 2012 at 2:55 PM | by | ()

It is an iron-clad rule in the airline industry that whatever Congress touches, it breaks. The best example is the tarmac delay law, which went from being predictably disastrous to being actually disastrous, and which Congress - at the behest of the shrill busybodies from Flyers Rights - tried to expand and make into permanent law. But let's not forget the U.S. government's plan to fine foreign tourists in order to increase tourism, which was actually a plan to fine foreign tourists so Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nevada could use their money to promote "Vegas-style tourism."

And let's also not forget Congress's repeated forays into a wide array of airline policies that they don't quite understand but that they're more than happy to bluster about: baggage fee structures, safety regulations, opaque fees, etc.

And so we come to today's Congressional brainstorm. It's being done—of course—For The Children.

New York Rep. Jerrold Nadler wants Congress to pass a bill that will force airlines to seat families together. We're firmly agnostic on the notoriously contentious children-on-airplanes debate, but at a minimum we expect parents to be kind of ruefully apologetic when their children act up. It's part of the bargain: parents signal that they know they're ruining the flight for everyone else, and everyone else kind of shrugs and goes 'well what can you do?'

What's not part of the bargain is forcing airlines to give up premium seats and other revenue streams, which they'll make up for by increasing everyone's ticket prices. Said Nadler: "Families should not be stuck...buying 'premium' seats, simply because they wish to be seated together on crowded flights."

Yes they should be. Of course they should be.

Parents don't get to have airlines subsidize their travel just because they're bringing along children. You want to lock up your self-esteem-soaked crotch dumpling in a steel tube with 150 travelers at 30,000 feet? Whatever. Parents have to travel too. But don't expect the rest of us to pay extra.

[Photo: StubbyFingers / Flickr]

Archived Comments:

Well said!

This was a joy to read and I'm glad someone else was thinking what I was thinking.