United says it will be easier for families to reserve seats with their children for free

United says it will be easier for families to reserve seats with their children for free

United Airlines said on Monday that new technology will open up more seats on its flights so children can sit with an adult in their party without paying a fee, a type of fee that has recently come under scrutiny from the share of the Biden administration month.

United will give parents or other adult travelers accompanying a child under 12 access to “preferred” seating as well as economy class seating, if needed, at the time of booking so they can sit together.

The change applies to travelers with standard and basic economy tickets and will be fully effective next month, although United has already increased some seat availability.

The airline also won’t charge customers a fare difference if they switch to a flight to the same destination that has adjacent seats.

In recent years, airlines have charged travelers for reserving seats in a “preferred” location on flights. They do not provide extra legroom or other benefits, but are often in front of the aircraft, although they can cover a significant number of aircraft seats.

President Joe Biden has called on lawmakers to “accelerate the ban on seat fees for families,” the The White House said earlier this month. In July, the Direction des Transports told US airlines to “do everything in their power” to ensure that travelers under 13 are seated next to an accompanying adult at no additional cost.

“Baggage fees are high enough already,” Biden said during his State of the Union address earlier this month. “Airlines cannot treat your child as baggage.”

These seats usually vary in price. On a round trip between Newark, New Jersey and Los Angeles in August, preferred seats on a United flight were $37 each way for one person.

Delta Airlines said it is blocking off certain rows of seats so families can sit together.

“Delta does not charge a family seat fee and regardless of the ticket class purchased, will always work with customers on a case-by-case basis to ensure their family seating needs are met,” a doorman said Monday. -speak in a press release.

American airlinesThe booking platform will automatically search for available seats together at the time of booking for Main Cabin and Basic Economy Class passengers. Preferred seating and its extra legroom section, Main Cabin Extra, open on the day of departure if needed, a spokesperson told CNBC.

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