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United Introduces New, Family-friendly Seating Policy

Nick Ellis's image
Nick Ellis
Nick Ellis's image

Nick Ellis

Editor & Content Contributor

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Nick’s passion for points began as a hobby and became a career. He worked for over 5 years at The Points Guy and has contributed to Business Insider and CNN. He has 14 credit cards and continues to le...

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United Airlines is making a change that will make it easier for families with children under the age of 12 to sit together for no additional fee. The change even applies to those passengers who purchase Basic Economy tickets.

“We’re focused on delivering a great experience for our younger passengers and their parents and know it often starts with the right seat. We look forward to rolling out more family-friendly features this year,” said Linda Jojo, Chief Customer Officer for United.

Here’s everything you need to know!

United’s Family-friendly Update

United Preferred Seat
Families will now have a much easier time selecting seats next to one another on United Airlines flights. Image Credit: United Airlines

The Chicago-based carrier says this new perk has been made possible thanks to “a series of investments in a new seat map feature that dynamically finds available adjacent seats at the time of booking.”

If a given flight has no adjacent seats available anywhere in the cabin, United will also allow passengers to change to a different flight bound for the same destination that does have adjacent seats available in the same cabin. There will be no extra fees to do so, nor will a difference in fare be charged if the tickets are different prices.

United has been working on improving things for families traveling together. The airline says that last summer it moved to help keep families sitting together when they didn’t have seat assignments before the day of departure as well as in the event that things didn’t go as planned such as schedule changes, aircraft swaps, or irregular operations.

Flyers should begin to see more options to pick adjacent seats for their children immediately, and the seat map will now open up Preferred Seats if no free adjacent economy seats are left to choose from.

The full implementation of the feature should be complete in March, but note that the new policy does not apply to domestic first class, Economy Plus, and United Polaris tickets.

Hot Tip: Flying United Airlines soon? Read up on everything there is to know in our full review of the carrier.

Final Thoughts

United’s investing in new features that will make it easier for families to stick together when they travel.

If you’re traveling soon with children under the age of 12, you should notice the ability to choose seats next to yours for your kiddos without any additional charges. We hope that other airlines will make similar investments in their technology so that this practice becomes the norm across the industry!

Nick Ellis's image

About Nick Ellis

Nick’s passion for points began as a hobby and became a career. He worked for over 5 years at The Points Guy and has contributed to Business Insider and CNN. He has 14 credit cards and continues to leverage the perks of each.


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