Airlines Cut Early Boarding for Families

Families who fly with United Airlines (NYSE:UAL) may be in for a bit of a surprise at the airport.

A number of airlines, including United, no longer allow families with small children traveling in coach class to board planes before other passengers, CNN reports.

Want to Sit Near Family? Airlines May Charge You More
Want to Sit Near Family? Airlines May Charge You More

The practice was seen as a convenience for parents, especially with very small children. However, airline representatives say that eliminating the practice allows them to streamline the boarding process, speeding it up for everyone.

Other industry observers have termed it “anti-family” and suggested that trying to board potentially unruly children along with everyone else will actually slow the boarding process down.

Other airlines, including JetBlue (NASDAQ:JBLU), Delta (NYSE:DAL) and Virgin America continue to allow families with small children to board earlier than other passengers, although age restrictions for the children involve vary from carrier to carrier.

US Airways (NYSE:LCC) has tightened it early boarding policy, still allowing families with small kids to board before the general announcement, but not as early as previously.

Other air travel conveniences are costing consumers more. Spirit Airlines (NASDAQ:SAVE) recently announced that it will raise fees for carry-on luggage checked at the gate to as much as $100 a bag.

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