United to allow kids to board early once again

Investigation forces out United Airlines CEO

Families with young kids are once again getting to go to the front of the line at United Airlines.

The airline says that it is reversing its policy of the last four years and again inviting parents with children age 2 or younger to pre-board flights, right after passengers with disabilities and active duty military personnel in uniform. The new policy takes effect Feb. 15.

United (UAL) dropped the offer to families to board early back in 2012, said United spokesman Rahsaan Johnson.

“Feedback from customers that boarding was too complex led us to consolidate boarding groups and to have families board with their assigned groups,” said Johnson. “When we asked customers and employees last October to give us ideas about how we could improve, many suggested a resumption of pre-boarding for those with small children. This is simply the right thing to do for our customers and employees.”

Related: Free booze and 3-course meals on some United flights

Pre-boarding for parents with young kids used to be nearly universal but much of the industry has moved away from it.

Delta Air Lines (DAL) and JetBlue (JBLU) invites families to board early, although on JetBlue they board after premium customers.

Related: American Airlines is bringing back free snacks

American (AAL) will only allow parents with children on early if they make a request. Southwest (LUV) allows them to board in between passengers assigned group A boarding priority and those in group B.

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