As if flying isn't difficult enough already, now if you want to sit with those in your party on a flight, you will have to pay more, if you can do it at all. Nowadays, we are paying for checked baggage, watching TV, snacks, boarding early and skipping security lines. Now you are paying for advanced seat assignments and the airlines say they have no choice.....I say that's bull! If your summer plans include flying, there is a good chance you'll say goodbye to your family at the gate and not hook up again until you land because airlines are reserving a growing number of window and aisle seats for passengers willing to pay more.

Airlines say they need to figure out a way to boost revenue and this is their best option. Advanced ticket purchases might be helpful, but more and more passengers are finding out the only way to sit next to a spouse or child is to pay about $25 or more each way.

The airlines also say they need to accomodate their most frequent fliers first which more often than not will leave you and I twisting in the wind....no surprise there. Gate agents will in fact, do their best to keep families together, especially those with small children, but there are no guarantees.

It's bad enough that you just payed $125 more to check your bags or you were forced to watch your 4-year-old get searched by TSA agents,(which has happened recently), only to get to the gate and find out everyone in your party has a different seat somewhere in the plane other than next to you.

The average ticket price this summer according to Kayak.com will be $431 so, if any given plane is completely full, how in heaven's name are they losing money? Are we to believe that each full flight loses money??? I find that very hard to believe. True or not, that's the reality at least for now. Hopefully, the Federal Government will look at these fee structures at some point and do something. I know..... I'm certainly not holding my breath waiting for THAT to happen.

So, the question remains, how is seaparating families on a flight going to boost revenue?I just don't get it, which is why this summer when we go on vacation, we are driving.

[Yahoo Finance]