Sitting Next to Family on U.S. Flights

Yesterday’s New York Times edition listed the following article in its section International Traveler:

Quoting: Want to sit next to your family? You might have to pay extra

If you are flying in the United States this summer, be prepared to kiss your family goodbye at the gate. Even if they are on the same plane.

U.S. airlines are reserving more window and aisle seats for passengers who are willing to pay extra. That helps to increase revenue but makes it harder for friends and family members who do not pay the fee to sit next to each other. At the peak of the summer travel season, it might be nearly impossible.

Buying tickets two or more months in advance may help. But passengers are increasingly finding that the only way to sit next to a spouse, child or friend is to pay US$ 25 or more, each way.


Yes, there are more and more ways to charge passengers extra to cover the rising cost of fuel. But I wonder about the airlines’ safety policy of a parent having to sit next to a child during take-off and landing.

Back in 2006, on our flight to the U.S., my husband and I took the liberty to sit together with both kids sitting together in front of us. We were advised this was not possible as it went against safety regulations. Each parent had to sit with one child.

How will this fit in with the above charges? On one hand, I have to sit with my child and on the other, I have to pay extra. This would be ludicrous. Imagine a possible scuffle… just before take-off and landing.

New Regulation for Drinking and Driving in France

Starting 01 July 2012, every driver in France needs to carry an alcohol testing device (breathalyzer) in the car. This applies not only to local residents, but to tourists and business travelers as well.

You can buy this one-way gadget for about € 1,50 at most pharmacies, discos, and gas stations.

Not carrying one in the car will get you a fine of € 11,–

More about this on in German.

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