CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — A new policy on United Airlines could possibly save families hundreds of dollars.
Announced Monday, families with children 12 years old and younger will all be able to sit together, without paying those added fees to choose seats.
On Tuesday, Corpus Christi resident Whitney Braun, flew from Corpus Christi International Airport (CCIA) to California with three of her children, to visit family.
“We used to fly about twice a year, but now that our family has grown so much we only usually go once a year maybe,” she said.
This summer, Braun’s family will grow to 9 people, so the hunt for the best ticket price will be more important than ever.
“That has always been a concern for me because, obviously, with a huge family we’re looking for the cheapest tickets," Braun said. "And, your cheapest tickets, usually you don’t get to pick your seat.”
It's a policy Braun said she will now have to consider when comparing ticket prices.
“We almost always purchase the step above where I get to pick my seat to make sure that we can all sit together. So, I think that’s a great policy,” she said.
“A lot of time we’ve heard stories, horror stories of parents having to sit in other areas of the airplane and children as young as 2 years old having to sit by themselves,” Tyler Miller said, deputy director of aviation at CCIA.
Miller is a fan of the new policy. He said it aligns with CCIA's goal of flying friendlier and creating a better experience.
“A lot of airlines are now coming out with different policies like this that are treating passengers better in a post covid industry,” he said.
While this policy only applies to United Airlines for now, miller said there are ways to keep the family together on other flights, the key is buying all tickets together.
“Many times, Southwest Airlines will allow families to board at a certain time during their boarding process because they don’t allow pre-seating, choosing your seat beforehand, so. It does depend on the airline," Miller said. "But there usually is a process for families or even groups of friends to sit together if you're on the same itinerary."
United also announced that if a family cannot all sit together they can rebook their flight with the same destination and cabin, that can accommodate all of them. Miller added that most airlines have this policy.
The new family friendly policy will take affect in March.
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