With our new policy, the family that flies together, sits together
When you travel with kids, you find yourself in an endless loop of planning, calculating, and making checklists. Which flight comes with the best chance that they’ll nap for most of the way? Can we fit everyone’s stuff into one big suitcase? How many snacks is too many snacks?!
United is crossing one item off that miles-long to-do list. A new feature in our seat map makes it easier for travelers with children under age 12, including those who purchase Basic Economy tickets, to find seats together.
The dynamic seat map feature can identify families traveling with children under 12 so they can choose seats together at booking. First, it reviews all the available Economy seats. Then, if there aren’t enough free Economy seats for your family to sit together, the system opens up complimentary upgrades to available Preferred seats.
Sometimes, adjacent seats aren’t available, due to things like last-minute bookings, full flights, or unscheduled aircraft changes. In those cases, this policy also lets families with kids 12 and under switch to a flight that has seats available together, without being charged for any fare difference. The flight just must be to the same destination as the originally purchased one, with seats in the same cabin.
“In an era where more families are working in a hybrid environment, they’re traveling more often—and they’re flying United,” says EVP and Chief Customer Officer Linda Jojo. “We’re focused on delivering a great experience for our younger passengers and their parents, and we know it often starts with the right seat. We look forward to rolling out more family-friendly features this year.”
The best part of this change? It’s one of the few family seating policies that allows you to choose your own seats at the time of booking. Instead of having to ask representatives at the gate to help you swap seats—a manual process that’s more common on major airlines and adds to the already-stressful experience of having young kids at the airport—you’ll know your seat situation ahead of time.
The technological enhancements to our online seat engine tool also help us prioritize families who didn’t have seats assigned before their day of travel or those whose plans have been affected by schedule changes, aircraft swaps, or irregular operations. For other resources to make traveling as a family easier, visit united.com/family for information on car seats, strollers, nursing, and more. And remember, there are no change fees for most flights, allowing for much-needed flexibility when you’re taking a trip with kids. You’re good to go—as long as you don’t forget the snacks.
Note: United Polaris, United First Class, and United Economy Plus seats are not included in our family seating policy.