This Popular US Airline Just Made Flying As A Family Even Easier

If you're traveling for the holidays with young children, good news. JetBlue recently updated its family seating policy to ensure that kids under the age of 13 will be seated with at least one parent or accompanying adult. Whether you choose your seats or not, the reservation system will be able to identify families with young children and grant seat assignments no later than 24 hours before your flight.

Last year, the U.S. Department of Transportation published a notice asking airlines to implement policies to keep families together on planes. Then, earlier this year, the White House called for airlines to stop charging fees for family seating, with President Biden saying that no child should have to be separated from their family. As a result, a handful of airlines have made policy changes, including JetBlue. The New York-based carrier is the fourth to institute a family seating guarantee behind American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Alaska Airlines.

How the policy works

The goal of JetBlue's policy is to put parents and their children at ease, said Joanna Geraghty, the president and chief operating officer of JetBlue, in a statement on the airline's website. The new policy covers all passengers, including those who have purchased tickets with the Blue Basic fare, the airline's version of basic economy.

Of course, certain conditions are attached to the policy that passengers should be aware of. All members of your family must be booked on the same reservation. The plane's layout must allow adjacent seating, and the flight details must not be switched to a smaller aircraft with a different configuration. Also, adjacent seats must be available in the same airline class. For example, if you paid for the Mint fare, but your child has the Blue Basic fare, the airline can't guarantee that you'll be seated together, but it will still do its very best, as guaranteed by the company's service plan.

The great seat-switching debate

In recent months, there have been fierce social media debates about when it's permissible to ask someone to change their seat and when it's just downright rude. A small business owner who goes by the name @myconquering on TikTok said she refused to give up her window seat to a mother with 11-year-old and 15-year-old kids as she was running off no sleep and had a big meeting up ahead. She then heard the mother complaining bitterly about her to another airline passenger for the next 15 minutes.

Something similar happened to TikToker @surya_garg, who said her philosophy is that it's okay to switch if it's for a family with a little kid, but she was not willing to change her upgraded window seat for a woman who wanted to sit next to her 17-year-old son. The mother then proceeded to spend the duration of the flight spewing profanities at the woman under her breath, who was seated right next to her. Whatever side you're on when it comes to seat-switching etiquette, at least JetBlue is doing its part to help curb the chaos in the comments section.