If you're one of the many individuals out there with kids, then chances are you've enjoyed the pre-boarding perks granted to you by various airlines over the course of your worldly travels. This gives you and your brood an opportunity to hop onboard, get your gear stowed, and strap your children in for the ride ahead. Unfortunately for you and yours, US Airways, American Airlines, and United Airlines have slowly but surely done away with these privileges, meaning that parents will have to elbow through the crowds in order to make sure their families are safe and secure.
In regards to United Airlines decision to change its policy last April, outraged parents have taken to Change.org to express their thoughts and feelings about the alteration. Over 30,000 individuals have signed the recent petition, which, in the world of online petitions, is quite a few. Judging from the outcry surrounding this story, that number is sure to increase steadily until the airline either changes their policy or tells enraged parents where to shove off.
Kaja Meade, the New York City mom who started the petition, is understandably peeved about the changes. "Like many other parents, I rely on preboarding as part of my travel plan. It’s not an amenity, it’s a necessary service," she explained. "This is another airline policy that’s bad for travelers, and I’m concerned that others may follow United’s lead."
Could United Airlines be dumping the "pre-boarding for families" perk to force individuals to buy their more expensive tickets? US Airways, for example, currently offers a package that allows anyone, including those without children, to board early. Additionally, they've also moved the family boarding group to after military personnel and those who sprung for the first class and elite packages. Parents, it would seem, can't catch a break these days.
"We figured it would be better to simplify that process and reduce the number of boarding groups," explained Charles Hobart, a spokesman for United Airlines. "If families do need additional assistance, our gate agent will work to accommodate them. That message has been communicated."