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JetBlue Becomes Latest Airline to Offer Family Seating Guarantee

The airline now guarantees young children will be able to sit next to their parents or guardians, provided certain conditions are met

by Fergus Cole

October 2, 2023

Photo: Courtesy of JetBlue

JetBlue now guarantees that children aged 13 and under will sit next to their parents or accompanying adults on the same flight reservation.

Under the new policy, JetBlue will automatically assign children seats next to the accompanying adult on the same reservation at least 24 hours before their flight departure at no additional cost.

For bookings made less than 24 hours before departure, JetBlue staff may have to assign adjacent seats manually. The low-cost carrier said that the new policy is part of its commitment to improve the travel experience and provide comfort and safety to every one of its passengers.

Photo: Courtesy of JetBlue

The policy will apply to all passengers regardless of their cabin class, including those on Blue Basic (standard economy) fares. However, the carrier can only guarantee that families are assigned seats next to each other if certain conditions are met.

This includes the requirement that all passengers are booked on the same reservation and that suitable seats are available in their selected cabin class at the time of their booking. Those making reservations in Mint class – JetBlue’s first class equivalent – will only be offered the guarantee if all passengers are booked on the same fare class.

Passengers must also not change their seat assignments once their family seat selection has been made for them. The guarantee will also only apply if the aircraft they are flying on allows for adjacent seats depending on the number of children on the ticket or if their scheduled flight isn’t downgraded to a smaller plane or one with a different seat configuration.

However, JetBlue says that even if some of these conditions for the family seating guarantee aren’t met, its agents will do all they can to ensure that children aged 13 and under will still be assigned seats next to their parent or guardian.

JetBlue’s Airbus A321LR is currently fitted with 24 Mint Business Class seats and two Mint Studios at the front of the cabin / Photo: Courtesy of JetBlue

“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 and Chief Operating Officer at JetBlue. “This enhanced family seating policy reflects our commitment to meet the needs of our customers and provide exceptional service.”

The announcement comes more than six months after President Joe Biden called for a crackdown on so-called “junk fees,” with JetBlue becoming the latest major U.S. airline to guarantee adjacent seats for children and accompanying adults at no additional cost, taking it on a par with American AirlinesAlaska Airlines, and Frontier Airlines.

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation’s online Family Seating Dashboard that was launched in March, there are still six major carriers that do not provide such a guarantee: Allegiant Air, Delta Air Lines, Hawaiian Airlines, Southwest Airlines, Spirit Airlines, and United Airlines.