Feb 21, 2023 - Politics & Policy

United Airlines plans new family seating policy

Photo: United Airlines

United Airlines announced a new family seating policy on Monday that makes it easier for children under 12 to sit next to an adult in their party for free — including customers who buy the cheaper Basic Economy tickets.

Why it matters: Having to pay extra to sit together is a rising frustration for travelers on a budget.

How it works: A new seat-map feature "dynamically finds available adjacent seats at the time of booking," the airline's release says.

  • "The online seat engine first reviews all available free Economy seats and then opens complimentary upgrades to available Preferred Seats."
  • The policy will let travelers switch to another flight to the same destination without paying a difference in fare if adjacent seats are not available.

The change, which is being phased in now, will be complete by early March.

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