New dynamic seat map feature will sit children under 12-years-old next to an adult in their party for free – regardless of the type of ticket purchased
United Airlines has announced an improved family seating policy that makes it easier for families to sit together, including customers who purchase Basic Economy tickets.
United’s new dynamic seat map feature will find available adjacent seats for children under 12-years old to sit next to an adult in their party for free. The online seat engine first reviews all available free Economy seats and then opens complimentary upgrades to available Preferred Seats, if needed.
Customers traveling with children under 12 will start to see more adjacent seat options immediately and the complete policy change will go into effect in early March.
When adjacent seats are not available prior to travel, the airline’s new policy also lets customers switch for free to a flight to the same destination with adjacent seat availability in the same cabin. Customers will not be charged if there is a difference in fare price between the original and new flight.
“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.”
Many airlines try and use a more manual process to seat families together that can include blocking random seats or asking agents to facilitate seat swaps at the gate. Those circumstances often result in more stress and a longer boarding process for everyone.
United Polaris®, United First Class® and Economy Plus® seats remain separate products and are excluded from this family seating policy change.