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Flying Becomes Less Friendly For Families

By Paula Ebben, WBZ-TV
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Award-winning journalist Paula Ebben co-anchors WBZ-TV News at 6PM...
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BOSTON (CBS) – Flying is becoming less and less friendly for families. On top of higher ticket prices families may have to pay even more to sit next to one another. The fees can run $5 to $100 per seat each way.

“It’s terrible. It really makes it difficult to take a trip with your family,” says Mike Rennie of Bridgewater.

Many airlines are now reserving the exit row or window and aisle seats for passengers willing to pay extra for them. So, there are fewer seats available to choose from at the regular price.

“If you want to sit next to each other you’re going to pay more for that,” explains Anne Banas of Smarter Travel in Charlestown.

The easiest way to avoid the fees is to book with an airline that doesn’t charge them like Delta, Jet Blue, or United. If that’s not possible you can always wait until the last minute when more seats might open up.

“As a last resort talk to the gate agent right before you board,” says Banas.

For some families the peace of mind of knowing you’ll be sitting together might be worth the extra money. If that’s the case, be sure to book early when more seats are up for grabs.

Families are not only facing a new fee but fewer perks. United, US Airways and American have all eliminated pre-boarding for families.

Banas says “it’s just making that whole flight experience less and less enjoyable and desirable for consumers.”

READ: Ultimate Guide To Airline Fees

More changes like this and some families may try to send the airlines a message.

“Rather than fly for the family trip we’ll do a road trip instead,” explains Kevin Eaton of Sturbridge.

A chance for even more family time, in the car.

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