Skip to comments.United no longer offers early boarding for passengers with children
Posted on 05/24/2012 6:54:41 AM PDT by US Navy Vet
As if it wasn't hard enough traveling by air with children, United Airlines won't be offering early boarding to families in coach with small children.
United quietly made the policy shift in late April and joins other airlines including American Airlines and US Airways that have dropped family pre-boarding.
The airline says the move was "to simplify the boarding process and to reduce the overall number of boarding groups," United spokesman Charles Hobart told USA Today.
Previously, families with small children flying coach were allowed on aircraft before general boarding -- a convenience for parents to get their children and their things stowed before the crush of passengers. But now, as more airlines charge for priority boarding, passengers are more willing to pay to guarantee space in the overhead bins for their luggage --space that could be taken by early boarders.
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Personally I would rather board last with kids.
Booking seats at the rear of the craft gets you on first in general by-section boarding, and thus more chance to find a spot to stow your carry on. Often those are the seats that book last. I can see people who want to catch connecting flights at the destination wanting to get out of the plane ASAP and sitting as far forward as possible, though.
It can work the other way, with passengers not wanting to have to shove by kids who, fascinated with the plane’s interior, dance around obliviously in the aisles.
Children should be stretch-wrapped in the lobby before they are taken on board and stowed in the overhead compartments.
Let’s face facts, the early boarding for families did not get them seated any faster.
If you were in the group following such families, you were still waiting for them to get organized in the aisle.
Only as long as they fit the measurement requirements. Otherwise, under the seat.
Too many priveleged classes around.
The white guys who work for a living still board last, though.
Not that it matters.
Too many privileged classes around.
The white guys who work for a living still board last, though.
Not that it matters.
>> Children should be stretch-wrapped in the lobby before they are taken on board and stowed in the overhead compartments.
ROFL! ESPECIALLY on international flights!
Are you a fellow business traveler by chance?
“Children should be stretch-wrapped in the lobby before they are taken on board and stowed in the overhead compartments.”
There ya go... I am cranky when it comes to flying these days and I have to do it often. Children boarding last would be a great solution!
Just a note... those that book the rear seats and board first will most often dump the carryons right in the front so that the front seats need to dump those carryons in the rear.
>>Children should be stretch-wrapped in the lobby before they are taken on board and stowed in the overhead compartments.<<
Bull. This is lib crap. We need children to pay for the social security and debt that this generation has given them.
Shrink wrap the parents who DON’T watch those kids.
I’ve traveled with my kids tons of times. I’ve gotten compliments on how good they are. It’s the parent’s fault and not the kids.
In fact, I would volunteer to keep the kids amused and quiet if they would shrink wrap the parents.
Oh sure, and find seats all together ...?
remember these planes are flyign almost fully booked these days
Personally I would sooner be the adult who buckles my kid in and puts an oxygen nask on their face in a disaster
But maybe some folks OK with their kids a row or 2 away from them, and someone else gets to babysit
I can see the stews are going to end up reshuffling a lot of people and delaying everyone as they try to find places for folding strollers and families that need to sit together
I vote “Bad idea”
white guys who work for a living and travel a lot should be smart enough to checkin 24 hours ahead of time and pre-select their aisle seats
at least it got them seated together
Now you get to wait in the aisle while families all try to find seats together or figure out how to split up the kids
Children don’t bother me. Its the people who haven’t showered in a week, drunk, need two seats but only buy one, or just won’t shut the heck up that bother me.
I fly a lot and HATE it.
Don’t you have a seat number on your tickets anymore?
When we flew, I booked us all together. Dad had one child and I had the other or in a plane with three seats, I sat between the kids and Dad was across the aisle.
Isn’t that how it is anymore?
“This is lib crap. “
You have an extreme “nature vs. nurture” position. Extreme positions are usually wrong positions.
If you had been my parent, I’d had you stripping the booze cart of every bottle over 80 proof by the end of the trip.
Personally, I would choose to take my kids in last.
More time to play on the airport floor and be kids before they are strapped in for a long flight.
>>You have an extreme nature vs. nurture position<<
That’s what God made Benedryl for.
Trust me, I’ve raised my sister kids and my own. It takes a lot of effort or some creative parenting.
Forget that, you would still hear their muffled cries.
Anyone under 18 should be Fed-Exed to their destination and delivered to the hotel to be picked up by their parents when they arrive.
In fact send them ahead so you can finish packing in peace...
>>Anyone under 18 should be Fed-Exed to their destination and delivered to the hotel to be picked up by their parents when they arrive.<<
No wonder there is a huge uptick in Nursing Home abuse.
“Its the people who...”
And there are the ubiquitous 3rd worlders with their odorous containers of “food” who leave shoe prints on the toilet seats.
We accumulated many frequent flier miles, mostly on United. They were great little travelers and the only incident we ever had with them was an airsickness bout on one turbulent flight.
I realize that some parents ignore or even reinforce bratty behavior in their kids. But others come prepared with sticker books, discipline and a number of other tools to ensure any disruptions from their children are minimal to nonexistent.
Not one of my kids have every kept a seat down in some body's lap, been obnoxious, put the arm rest up so they could spill over into the seat which I paid for or scores of other behaviors imposed on me by adult travelers.
On the contrary, they've been so cute, charming and courteous that strangers have asked us how we did it. It ain't rocket science, it is the right combination of love and discipline, from parents who care with the additional advantage of raising them in a polite society where it is reinforced.
>>It ain’t rocket science, it is the right combination of love and discipline, from parents who care with the additional advantage of raising them in a polite society where it is reinforced. <<
Great old commercial:
You’re right, of course. Misbehaving kids on airline flights is a generalization, and there are exceptions.
Having said that... MOST “new age” parents’ kids I’ve encountered on airline flights are holy terrors. Ditto in restaurants. There’s a certain belief among permissive parents that it’s acceptable to inflict their unruly spawn on everyone else and it’s our obligation to shut up and take it. “For the children.”
Take the bags OUT and put them on the floor! If the owners are at the back, they will not see you, and the bag will have to be put 'underneath' and they will be pissed. In my pre-elite days, those people were abouut the most annoying on board.
Over on Southwest, they now board children in the middle, halfway through the masses.
The wheelchair, frequent flyers, premium paying persons on first, then some economy flyers who printed their boarding passes early. Then the families. Then the masses.
Seems to work.
It never ceases to amaze me that the wheelchair passengers are suddenly mobile when the plane arrives. It’s like a miracle cure.
Space in the overhead wasn’t usually a problem until the airlines started charging for checked bags.
The airlines decided to inconvenience all of their customers for maybe $2000 extra revenue on the flight.
Airlines are pretty close to being the most dysfunctional industry there is.
Seriously now, do you really want to sit on the airplane toilet seat?
I like the way Southwest does it, after the A boarding group, just before the B group. Still plenty of room for families to sit together.
Your comments are all making me really glad my dad preferred ten hour drives in the station wagon...
I am amazed how much abuse went with the early board with small children. I give a pass to a “in hand” baby. But when children are mobile, it is just an annoyance.
What ALL of this is really saying is that the overhead bins are too limited and too small.
Doesn’t make sense to me from the Airline perspective of efficiency or the Parents either.
I’d want anyone slow to board first especially if they have their tribe in tow.
Not necessarily. Now the airlines are going to be charging more for aisle and window seats instead of just for extra leg room. There are going to be plenty of families that could end up getting separated. Its their choice whether or not to pay the extra $$ but its just yet another inconvenience.
Connecting once thru Raliegh going back to Orlando, FL we were in the gate area ready to board when they announced the pre-boarding of “Families with children and elderly people’.
I looked at the guy next to me and said, “We’re going to Florida. Families with children and elderly is all that is on the flight!”
I took enough long drives with my ex wife and her kids to know I preferred that they get in after the car was all packed. It was easier on everyone.
I even packed the kids in a particular order.
I’ve found that one of the dumbest ideas is to board premium, first class, and business class first. Then, the rest of us come through and invariably hit those people who are sitting in those first seats - usually the fat ones, the ones leaning in the aisle and not paying attention, the ones still fiddling with bags, the ones still on their phones. And of course, they get pissy about it if you even brush their arms.
I wish airlines would issue deoderant.
As much as people hate to admit the truth, obese people ARE a problem. Perhaps if they had a fat people board first it would at least have them admit they are fat. Perhaps a fat section? (/s)
Frequent Flyer Cranks: Shut. Up.
You’re not entitled to More and Better because you fly more... UNLESS YOU PAY MORE.
Parents with kids are broke and don’t fly that much... of course they’re going to buy coach tickets and monopolize all the overhead bins. You just don’t belong in this section if you fly all the time.
If you drive hundreds of miles a week for business, I guarantee it’s not in a two cylinder beater with holes in the floor that breaks down every hundred miles. You couldn’t get business done that way. You’d be a fool if you didn’t buy a big car with lots of leg room and creature comforts.
PAY MORE WHEN YOU DRIVE MORE to have a better quality of life.
The same is true with airline travel. Coach is all about the cheapest fare possible. People who rarely fly can take it for three hours. But you need to suck it up, Mr. I-Fly-All-the-Time, and upgrade to Business Class, if you want no kids and plenty of overhead space and leg room and no “amateur” travelers who don’t move fast enough in the aisle to suit you.
Are you also incensed when you open your McDonald’s bag and discover there’s no foie gras or white wine?
PAY MORE WHEN YOU FLY MORE to have a better quality of life.
I guess most of my recent experience is flying SWA!
I fully agree with you.
Well, I would be paying extra to sit with my kids.
Youre not entitled to More and Better because you fly more... UNLESS YOU PAY MORE.
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