National Consumers League statement on United family seating policy change

February 21, 2023

Media contact: National Consumers League – Katie Brown,, 202-823-8442

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The National Consumers League (NCL) today welcomed United Airlines’ announcement that it will phase out family seating fees in its Basic Economy fare class. The move positions United as a leader in an industry that has long claimed that proposals to prohibit family seating fees are unnecessary. United’s change comes after years of advocacy by NCL and other advocates as well as more recent pressure from the Department of Transportation, Congress, and the Biden White House.  

The following statement is attributable to Sally Greenberg, NCL Executive Director:  

“While we are still awaiting all the details, United’s announcement is encouraging news. Budget-conscious families have for too long been asked to choose between saving money on their flights and the safety of their young children. While welcome, we still need common-sense consumer protection regulation that protects all passengers regardless of which airline they fly. Secretary Buttigieg, President Biden, and consumer champions in Congress should not take their eyes off the ball when it comes to putting family seating protections into laws and regulations.” 

Last week, NCL endorsed the Families Fly Together Act, sponsored by Senator Ed Markey (D-MA), Senator Richard Blumenthal (D-CT), Senator Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), and Majority Leader Schumer (D-NY). The bill would prohibit airlines from imposing any monetary charges on families that want to sit together during a flight. NCL has also called for such a prohibition to be included in the Federal Aviation Administration’s upcoming reauthorization legislation. 


About the National Consumers League (NCL)
The National Consumers League, founded in 1899, is America’s pioneer consumer organization.  Our mission is to protect and promote social and economic justice for consumers and workers in the United States and abroad.  For more information, visit