United Airlines revealed a new family friendly seating policy less than two weeks after President Joe Biden called out airlines for adding extra fees to flights during his State of the Union address.
The new policy eliminates extra charges for families with children under 12 who want to sit together.
CNBC reported that new technology will open up more seats on its flights so children can sit with an adult in their party without paying a fee.
The new seat map technology dynamically will find available adjacent Economy seats at the time of booking and open up complimentary upgrades to other available seats as needed, United said.
The policy, which applies to travelers with standard and basic economy tickets, will allow families to rebook the entire flight for free if there are no adjacent seats open, the airline said.
The change will be fully in effect next month, although United already has increased some of the seat availability.
United previously had charged people for selecting certain seats ahead of the flight, regardless of age.
Biden addressed the government’s efforts to curb airlines during the State of the Union.
“Baggage fees are bad enough — they can’t just treat your child like a piece of luggage,” Biden said in the speech.
Last summer, the Transportation Department told U.S. airlines to “do everything in their power” to ensure travelers under age 13 are seated next to an accompanying adult without additional charges.
Delta Air Lines said it blocks certain rows of seats so families can sit together.
“Delta does not charge family seating fees and regardless of the ticket class purchased, will always work with customers on a case-by-case basis to ensure their family seating needs are met,” a spokesman said in a statement on Monday, CNBC reported.
American Airlines automatically searches for available seats together at the time of booking for main cabin and basic economy passengers.
Preferred seats and its extra legroom section open up the day of departure if they’re needed, a spokesman told CNBC.
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