If you are a solo traveler boarding a JetBlue flight, you might need to pay attention to some of its latest seating policies.
The debate on whether passengers should give up their seats for families so that parents can sit beside their children is one that's been discussed time and again on the internet. While many are of the opinion that they shouldn't have to trade their chosen seats for one that might not appeal to them, others believe it is best to seat families together.
Since the general public can't seem to come to an agreement on this subject, one airline has now weighed in on the matter.
According to PEOPLE, JetBlue Airlines has come up with a brand new seating policy that will allow large families traveling together to find proper seating within the flight. It will hopefully settle the debate of whether or not solo travelers should feel obligated or get forced to switch seats with family members who want to sit together. The latest press release from the airline states that the new seating policy will allow children who are 13 and under to sit with at least one adult accompanying them on the same reservation.
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JetBlue clarifies that this policy will be applicable regardless of the prior seating arrangements and will not charge any additional fees. This policy applies to all JetBlue customers, which will also include those who have booked JetBlue's Blue Basic fare. The Blue Basic fare is the airline's take on the regular economy class seating option. Under the policy, those who had made last-minute bookings about 24 hours before boarding the flight might require the help of a crew member to grab their desired seats.
#JetBlue will no longer charge fee for families booking seats together. This family-friendly seating policy allows children aged 13 & below to sit next to their parents/guardians in the same cabin. #UnitedAirlines scrapped this fee earlier to ensure comfort of traveling families. pic.twitter.com/ZHBTx3WOKS— Indian Eagle (@indianeagle) September 28, 2023
"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 of JetBlue said, according to their press release. "This enhanced family seating policy reflects our commitment to continue to meet the needs of our customers and provide exceptional service."
It probably settles the debate on whether solo travelers should give up their seats for parents who want to sit beside their kids. But the airline still urges their customers to book their flights ahead of time to ensure family members get to sit next to one another. PEOPLE previously had a chat with travel expert, advisor and writer Nicole Campoy Jackson on this topic, where she said that it's not a solo traveler's responsibility to accommodate large families.
"As much as it's possible, passengers should be choosing their seats ahead of time for this exact reason," she explained in the July interview. "I don't think that you can board a plane with the expectation of someone leaving their seat for you. Generally speaking, don't board a plane expecting passengers to shift for you, especially if your seat is not as comfortable as (or more than) theirs."
According to Conde Nast Traveler, Frontier Airlines also announced earlier this year that at least one parent will automatically be seated with any children under the age of 14 for no extra charge. "Since last October, we have been doubling down on our efforts and further enhancing our system for ensuring a parent is seated with any children under the age of 14 in their family group," Frontier's senior vice president of commercial, Daniel Shurz, said in a statement. "The system is working well and we are receiving positive feedback."