United Airlines Will Soon Allow Families to Board Early
Starting on Feb. 15, United Airlines will once again allow families with young children to board their flights early.
According to the Associated Press, United Airlines will permit families who have children two years old and under to enter the plane early and get situated in their seats before the rest of the passengers fill the aircraft.
The change for United Airlines makes it the last major airline in the United States to allow families with small children to board first. Policies vary from airline to airline, with some allowing families to board first, and others letting first-class passengers board first, and then allowing families to enter before the rush of economy fliers.
Many airlines offer options for customers to pay extra to board planes early, and finding a balance between rewarding elite members and allowing families onboard first has been the key for many companies.
United Airlines senior vice president of customers Sandra Pineau-Boddison told the Associated Press, “It takes a little bit of the stress out of the travel situation. Some things are just the right thing to do.”
The Associated Press shared a full breakdown of boarding policies for the top U.S. airlines, via FoxNew.com:
• Alaska Airlines: Families with children under two can board at the beginning of the process, before first class and elite customers.
• American Airlines: Families with children board before first class and elite members upon request only. The age is at the discretion of the gate agent.
• Delta Air Lines: Families with car seats or strollers can board before first class and elite members.
• Frontier Airlines: Families with children age three and younger board after the airline's elite members and those who have paid for extra legroom but before the rest of the plane.
• Hawaiian Airlines: Families with children under the age of two can board before first class and elite members.
• JetBlue Airways: Families with children under the age of two board after elite members and passengers in premium seats but before the rest of the plane.
• Southwest Airlines: An adult traveling with a child six years old or younger may board during Family Boarding, which occurs after the "A'' group has boarded and before the "B'' group begins boarding.
• Spirit Airlines: Families board after passengers who paid extra to board early and those who purchased space for a carry-on bag in the overhead bin.
• United Airlines: Starting Feb. 15, families with children age two and under can board before first class and elite members.
• Virgin America: Families with young children can board after first class passengers, those in the extra legroom seats, passengers who paid for early boarding, those with elite status and those with a Virgin America credit card. They do get to board before other coach passengers.
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