United has announced an interesting new seating policy which makes it easier for families to sit together.
United has made it easier for children under 12 years old to sit next to an adult in their party for free – including those who purchase Basic Economy tickets.
United says that this policy introduction has been made possible through a series of investments in a new seat map feature that dynamically finds available adjacent seats at the time of booking. The online seat engine first reviews all available free Economy seats and then opens complimentary upgrades to available Preferred Seats, if needed.
Those travelling 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.
What’s more interesting is that in instances when adjacent seats are not available prior to travel – due to things like last minute bookings, full flights or unscheduled aircraft changes – United’s new policy also lets passengers switch for free to a flight to the same destination with adjacent seat availability in the same cabin. Passengers also won’t 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. 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.said Linda Jojo, Chief Customer Officer, United.
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United says that this new feature that it has developed will help minimise the tasks of boarding agents or those involved with this type of tasks. 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 says that it has worked since last summer to improve its ability to seat families together more easily by optimizing the airline’s seat engine to prioritize families who did not have seats assigned before their day of travel and prioritize adjacent seating for families during schedule changes, aircraft swaps or irregular operations.
The introduction of this feature was long-awaited and it’s good to see United finally introducing this. Airlines around the world, even if it’s a low-cost carrier, need to adapt this technology so that parents as well as children are assured a safe and comfortable ride, rather than having some unknown stranger beside a small kid.
I am not saying that airlines need to have seat selection free of cost for those travelling with small children but rather have a “guaranteeing” feature, just like the one United has introduced.
Meanwhile, United recently placed largest wide-body aircraft order with Boeing in the history of United States.
Featured image by United
What do you think about United’s impressive new policy? Let me know in the comments section below.
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