JetBlue Just Updated Its Family Seating Policy — What to Know

The airline is guaranteeing that children 13 and younger can sit next to an adult on the same reservation for no additional fee,

JetBlue is making it easier for families to sit together on a flight for free.

The airline introduced a formal family seating guarantee this week, promising children 13 and younger can sit next to an adult on the same reservation for no additional fee, according to the airline. The new policy will be integrated into the system to identify reservations with both adults and children traveling together who don’t have a prior seat assignment.

“We know traveling with young children can add challenges, and we want to do everything we can to put parents and families at ease by providing a smooth trip each time they choose JetBlue,” Joanna Geraghty, the president and chief operating officer at JetBlue, said in a statement. “This enhanced family seating policy reflects our commitment to continue to meet the needs of our customers and provide exceptional service.”

<p>Courtesy of JetBlue Airlines</p>

Courtesy of JetBlue Airlines

The new seating policy will apply to all travelers, including those who purchase a Blue Basic fare — the airline’s version of basic economy. Families who book their flight within 24 hours of their departure, however, may need to receive a seat assignment manually from a JetBlue airport staff member.

JetBlue now joins American Airlines, Frontier Airlines, and Alaska Airlines, which each committed to offer free family seating by including the guarantee as part of their customer service plans. Earlier this year, the Department of Transportation launched an online family seating dashboard, laying out the policies of 10 airlines in the United States.

Other carriers haven’t added free family seating to their customer service plans in the same way, but some have offered similar promises to make it easier for families to sit together, including United Airlines.

For its part, Delta Air Lines offers its own version of a dynamic seat map that blocks off certain rows in the main cabin so only groups of three or more people traveling together can book them. And last year, Southwest said it would start testing a new pilot program that will allow families with children to pre-board the plane first.

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