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Despite urging from federal officials, most major airlines do not guarantee kids can sit with an adult traveling with them.
Budget airliner JetBlue announced this week that passengers under age 13 will be guaranteed a seat next to an adult traveling with them on the same reservation at no added fee.
JetBlue said it is establishing a new system that "proactively identifies reservations with children and adults traveling together without prior seating assignments." The airline said those flying under the airline’s version of basic economy will be included.
“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,” said Joanna Geraghty, president of JetBlue. “This enhanced family seating policy reflects our commitment to continue to meet the needs of our customers and provide exceptional service.”
According to the Department of Transportation, JetBlue has become the fourth major domestic carrier to ensure children under age 13 can stay with an adult on flights. Alaska, American and Frontier also have similar policies.
Earlier this year, Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg sent a proposal to Congress to require airlines to ensure children and adult companions can sit together at no additional cost.
The department also launched a dashboard for fliers to see which airlines have promised to keep kids together with adults.
Last year, the Transportation Department sent the major airlines a letter requesting that they adopt policies to keep families seated together in all price tiers.
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