Traveling with kids? Sorry, you can’t board early.
United Airlines recently – and quietly – joined other airlines such as American Airlines and US Airways in dropping early boarding for people with small children. Previously, this group of travelers was invited to board early – as well as other passengers that may need extra assistance and military servicemen.
The reason behind this dropped service, which other airline companies will also probably be dropping, is that carry-on luggage space has become smaller – just as more people are traveling and bringing carry-on items in order to avoid the checked luggage fee. Many times, one’s luggage will not fit period (such as when taking a small charter jet from Des Moines, Iowa, to Chicago, Illinois) but add in the extra drama of too many bags and not enough space…no wonder airlines are trying to cut down on headaches.
Through taking away the privilege of early boarding with people with young children, airlines are ensuring that those that pay for early boarding are able to get their bags on first – and those that don’t pay, well…have to suffer like other people who might be able to have all of their belongings in the area above their head or at their feet.
If you do decide to travel with children, ask about the airline’s policy regarding pre-boarding. You might want to pay the extra amount for early boarding privileges assigned with a specific seat rather than risk your diaper bag being unable to fit!