It’s about to get easier for families flying with young children to sit together on United Airlines flights. The company is adding a new seat map feature that will help families with kids under 12 find seats together, free of charge, United announced yesterday.
The technology tool will help kids younger than 12 sit next to an adult in their party, including basic economy tickets. It will first find available adjacent economy seats and will open up complimentary upgrades to “Preferred Seats” as needed, the airline explains. If there are no side-by-side seats available because of last-minute bookings or full flights, customers will be able to switch to another flight to their destination that has available adjacent seats in the same cabin for free.
United’s announcement comes less than a year after the Transportation Department urged carriers to “do everything in their power to ensure that children who are age 13 or younger” sit next to an adult in their party with no extra fees. While customers with kids under 12 will start to see the adjacent seat options immediately, the airline says the policy change will go into effect in early March.