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Frontier, United Put Family Seating in Focus

With proposed rules from the Transportation Department in motion, both Frontier Airlines and United Airlines are making it easier for families to be seated together.
Two airlines announced major changes to their seating policy, making it easier for families to sit together regardless of which ticket class they booked.


Both Frontier Airlines and United Airlines announced they will take steps to ensure at least one parent is seated with a booked child on the same itinerary for no additional charge.


New Policy Applies to Children of Certain Age Without Purchasing Seat Choices

Prior to the policy, flyers on a “basic economy” ticket or flying an ultra-low-cost-carrier would have to either purchase a seat selection to ensure they could sit with their child. These policies ran afoul of the Biden administration, after a multitude of complaints from families. As a result, several pieces of legislation attempted to change the rules, before the White House stepped in with their own proposal.


Under United’s policy, families with flyers 12 years old or younger will be seated with an adult in their party, even if the group booked a Basic Economy ticket. The airline credits a “series of investments in a new seat map feature” for the changes. Family travers will start to see more availability now, with the full policy change going into effect in March 2023. The airline’s premium products, including United Polaris, First, and Economy Plus are excluded from the changes.


At Frontier, the policy will apply to families flying with children 14 years and younger. At check-in time, the child will automatically be seated with at least one parent without an additional fee. Flyers always have the option to purchase a seat to guarantee their place on the plane with their child. The new policy compliments other family-friendly options, including pooling points with family and “Kids Fly Free” promotions through their subscription Discount Den.


Family Travel Remains Target for Airline Recovery

The push to attract family flyers remains a key target for airlines as they continue to push forward from the endemic. In December 2022, Southwest Airlines announced they would test moving family boarding forward, giving flyers with young children more access to seats aboard their aircraft.


What are your best strategies for flying with children? Share your best ideas on the FlyerTalk Forums.


Familees think they deserve special perks just for being a unit.  Tough nouguts.  

dliesse February 22, 2023

Agree with the other comments.  Families shouldn't get additional perks just for being families.  If you want to pay Greyhound fares, you're entitled to nothing more than Greyhound service.

Jennlynd February 22, 2023

I'm sure they will be placed together towards the rear of the aircraft. Most airlines do this already if you call them. They won't be taking your fancy preferred seating at no charge.

sfoeuroflyer February 22, 2023

The correct solution is to offer family seating together for a fee.  If single travelers have to pay to get a perferred seat, families should do the same.  No freebees.

CAJazzBear February 22, 2023

Sooo... As a solo traveler, I pay for a better seat, but someone traveling with a child gets a freebee? 

Yes, I understand the desire/requirement to be seated next to a child (I totally "get" it), but isn't this a form of discrimination?