United Airlines has unveiled a new family seating policy that would allow families with children under the age of 12 to travel for free. The regulation permits travelers under the age of 12 and an adult companion to purchase two tickets together, including economy basic prices.
Families who are unable to get adjacent seats prior to their travel can transfer to another aircraft with adjacent seats for free. United’s previous policy charged passengers for same-day modifications and cost discrepancies with basic economy tickets, which will thankfully no longer be applicable under the new policy.
As a quick note, Polaris, first-class, and Economy Plus tickets are exempt from the new rules.
To sweeten the deal even further, customers of United can now swap to another flight with adjacent seats in the same cabin to their original destination without incurring any fees.
Upon booking a ticket, travelers will be able to view and pick neighboring seats thanks to United’s new dynamic seat map feature, which will highlight open nearby seats that are available for booking. United has stated that they are committed to making its flights more family-friendly, and will be introducing additional family-friendly amenities this year.
This adjustment in family seating policy comes after Southwest Airlines increased their family boarding policy to enable families with children up to the age of 13 to fly together on some flights. The Junk Fee Prevention Act attempts to put an end to junk fees, such as advance seat fees, which have piqued the interest of the Department of Transportation and President Joe Biden.
And the result? Airlines would not be allowed to charge up to $50 per family seat. However, according to a United representative, the new family seating policy change is unrelated to President Biden’s effort, and the airline has been working on strengthening its ability to seat families together since last summer.
Overall, United Airlines’ adjustment in family seating policy is a win for families, and United has demonstrated its commitment to making its flights more family-friendly. Families may simply pick neighboring seats for free with the new dynamic seat map function. Hopefully, this policy change establishes a precedent for domestic aircraft seating regulations, and other carriers may follow suit.