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Will you have to pay for your child under age two to fly?

Posted at: 02/13/2013 11:18 PM
By: Amanda Ciavarri

If you have a child under the age of two you probably know they can fly for free if they are in your lap and not taking a seat, but a new proposal could require parents to buy every child their own seat.

While many people are concerned about the added cost, officials say it's really about safety.

Right now you don't have to buy  your child under two a seat on an airplane and they can just sit on your lap for the flight.

If you want to bring along a car seat for the child and get a seat for them you would have to pay half price. For a trip to Florida from Rochester that would be about $150.

The new law would require parents to buy a ticket for all kids, no matter how young they are, and it's uncertain if the half price rule would stay or go.   

The National Transportation Safety Board, or NTSB, says the potential issue when it comes to young children on an airplane is that during turbulence a parent may not be able to hold onto their child securely.

The NTSB says preventable deaths and injuries have occurred with children under age two because they were not in a car seat.

Though no one is arguing the safety aspect of the proposal, the complaints begin with the possibility of paying more.  

“I know people are going to say, well that's terrible, that's more money, but if they had to pay half price it's not that bad, and I've never seen a happy child on an airplane that is sitting on their parent's lap,” said travel agent Lori Angelone Chaba.

Chaba says she thinks this proposal is a good thing.

“Right now you wouldn't think of letting a child go in a car without a car seat. There is a law (that) you have to have your child in a car seat. Why is it on planes you are allowed to hold them?” she questioned.

However, several parents are not on board.

“You are going to end up having to hold them anyway so it seems like a waste of a seat. Then, with all the other expenses with the airlines and the baggage fees, it just seems like one more thing they are trying to make money on,” said Chris Ryczek.

Ryczek has four boys and says if he had to pay for all of their tickets when they were young, they all wouldn't have been able to fly.

“I think with the first we might have done it, but I can tell you, we have four boys and with the second, third and forth we would have done some other kind of transportation,” he said.

News10NBC asked Chaba if this proposal goes through and there is an added cost to parents if she thinks less people would travel. Her answer was a simple no.

“I think if people are saving to go on vacation, they will just save that few extra dollars,” said Chaba.

According to the Federal Aviation Administration's website, they say the safest way for young children to travel is in a seat of their own and in a car seat.

There is no word yet on when the change would take place if the proposal is approved.