Airline seat fees may cause problems for flying families
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RALEIGH - Flying is already expensive, but airlines are tacking on yet another fee. Picking a window or aisle seat could cost you an extra $25 or more.
Frequent flier Charles Rizzo doesn't usually travel with a baby doll, but when he's flying with his 3-year-old daughter, Anna, the doll is a must. Now that airlines are starting to charge extra fees for window or aisle seats, it's a good thing the doll doesn't need a special seat.
“It's frustrating to feel like you're being nickel and dimed,” said Rizzo. “I'd rather have the fares be all inclusive.”
Aisle seats typically provide more leg room while window seats have a view, leaving only a few cramped middle seats for fliers who don't want to pay extra.
“Nobody wants to sit in the middle,” said Jodi Woolard with AAA Carolinas. “We understand the airlines need to make money, but the flying public seems to feel like they're being nickeled and dimed to death.”
For travelers, the worst part is that the seat fee option makes it extremely difficult and expensive for couples, groups, or families to get seats next to each other on the plane.
“It's essential I sit with my daughter, [with her] being 3 years old,” Rizzo said. “It's not an option. We have to sit together.”
Fliers say they may take the skies less often if they have to pay more to sit with friends and family.
“We would probably travel less because the travel costs would rise,” Rizzo said. “Since we have family out of town, that's kind of problematic.”
“I think we're going to see more people driving,” Woolard said.
Travel experts say frequent fliers may have access to window and aisle seats at no additional charge. They say most airlines try to work with passengers to seat parents with their children, especially young kids.