Braley Works to Help Families Traveling Over the Holidays PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Travel & Tourism
Written by Jeff Giertz   
Friday, 23 December 2011 14:51

Presses Transportation Secretary LaHood to stop airlines from sending parents and kids to the back of airplanes 


Washington, DC – As the holiday travel season ramps up again this week, Rep. Bruce Braley (IA-01) today urged US Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood to ensure airlines aren’t treating parents traveling with young children unfairly.

A Wall Street Journal report last month raised questions about the perils many parents face when traveling by air with young children.  The Journal reported that many airlines have adopted seating policies that relegate parents traveling with children to the back of the plane.  Many airlines also restrict the type of strollers that can be gate-checked.  Some airlines count diaper bags toward carry-on bag allowances, and charge parents who check both a car seat and a stroller.

“Many Iowans will be traveling by air over the holidays,” Braley said.  “But too often, it seems like families flying with young children have to play by a different set of rules.  From airlines purposefully keeping parents and kids in the back of the plane to charging parents fees for strollers and diaper bags, airlines should treat parents traveling with kids just like any other passenger.  That’s why I’ve requested that Transportation Secretary LaHood immediately review airlines’ policies.”


The full text of Braley’s letter to LaHood follows.  A copy of the letter can also be downloaded at the following link:



December 19, 2011

The Honorable Ray LaHood

Secretary, Department of Transportation

1200 New Jersey Avenue, SE

Washington, D.C. 20590


Dear Secretary LaHood:

I want to direct your attention to a recent article that appeared in the Wall Street Journal.  This article details the travel nightmares that many families with small children go through while flying.  I’ve included a copy of the article for your reference.

As a parent, I know firsthand how stressful traveling can be with young children.  A parent’s worst nightmare is being separated from their young child because the child’s seat was re-assigned to the back of the plane.  This is something that clearly happens quite frequently.

As we approach the holiday travel season, millions of families with small children will be traveling by air around the country.  That being said, I would like to know what rules the Department of Transportation has in place to ease the stresses placed on families with small children who travel during the holidays.  Please provide me with an answer to the following question:

What rules does the Department have in place to ensure that airlines do not separate children from their parents when traveling by air?

If there are no rules in place, please explain why.

I ask that you please provide me with a response to this letter within 10 business days.  Thank you for your attention to my request and please feel free to contact me if I can provide further assistance.



Bruce L. Braley


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