United Makes It Easier For Families To Sit Together


It’s no secret that more and more airlines are tacking on fees to for preferred seats in economy. Let’s not even get started on the limitations of basic economy seating. United has made a slight change to its booking system, making it easier for families to sit together with their younger ones.

United will now make it easier for passengers traveling with children under the age of 12 years old to sit together. The new change which is available only to those traveling in economy and basic economy, will show all available seat groupings that will allow you to sit with children booked on the same ticket.

If for some reason the engine cannot find appropriate matches in economy, it will open up the Preferred seating section and will offer complimentary upgrades for those seats. Prior to this, families would have had to pay the additional charge for Preferred seats if they chose to sit together with their younger family members.

Customers booking a basic economy ticket will also benefit from this change. Prior to this, those in Basic Economy would be at the mercy of the check in agents as you cannot choose a seat unless you pay an additional seat selection fee.

In a situation where grouped seats cannot be found due to time constraints or flights being fully booked, customers have the option to take another flight going to the same destination where there is availability, with both the change fees and difference in fare cost being waived.

United 737-900ER
Photo: Bill Abbott/Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0)

“In an era where more families are working in a hybrid environment, they’re traveling more often – and they’re flying United,” said Linda Jojo, Chief Customer Officer for United. “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.”

The new change which goes into effect in early March is expected to ease uncertainty as traveling parents now have more flexibility prior to the day of travel. Airport staff should be less burdened as well as they won’t have to worry about trying to find grouped seats, or asking for volunteers to give up their already assigned seats.

If the system works as well as United promises it to, it won’t be surprising to see other US carriers adopting a similar strategy.

[Featured Photo: United Airlines]

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