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If you’ve had complaints from clients who’ve found themselves separated from their underage kiddos, you’re going to want to turn them on to flying with United Airlines and their new and improved family seating policy. The family-friendly travel policy applies to kiddos 12 and under and allows them to sit next to their adult person for free—even if everyone is flying on Basic Economy tickets. More adjacent seat options are already popping up, with the complete policy change going into effect early next month.

The new seat map feature will help relieve the possibility of crying kids and parental outrage by dynamically finding open adjacent seats when you book their seats. This smart feature checks through all available Economy seats first, then opens up free upgrades to available Preferred Seats if that’s all there is.

“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 Airlines. “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.”

Applying the New United Airlines Policy

In the case of last-minute bookings, full flights, unscheduled aircraft changes or any of the myriad things that can come out of left field when booking a flight, United’s new policy will also let you change your clients to another flight to the same destination with adjacent seats available in the same cabin—for free. The airline will also waive any difference in fare prices between the original flight and the new one.

The ubiquity of social media has no doubt influenced the fact that more airlines are trying to help alleviate family separation and the subsequent requests for seat changes that have lately been aired out with increasing frequency. However, the airlines’ solutions are usually done by hand—blocking random seats or having agents make the swap at the gate, for example—and the results are less than ideal.

Please note United Polaris, United First Class and Economy Plus seats are their own products and as such are not part of this family seating policy program.

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