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JetBlue offers guarantee to seat 13-and-younger kids with their parents for no fee

By Forrest Brown, CNN

(CNN) — JetBlue Airways has joined three other US-based airlines in offering a no-fee guarantee that children 13 years and younger may sit next to an adult traveling with them on the same reservation.

“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, president and chief operating officer, said in a news release on Wednesday announcing the new arrangement.

JetBlue said it has a process that identifies reservations with children and adults traveling together who don’t have prior seating assignments. For no additional fee, JetBlue said it will ensure a traveling child is assigned a seat next to at least one accompanying adult – when seats are available.

Passengers who get JetBlue’s Blue Basic fare, the airline’s version of basic economy, are included in the seating policy. “For bookings made within 24 hours of planned travel, seats may need to be assigned manually by a JetBlue airport crewmember,” the release said.

JetBlue is still encouraging passengers to go ahead and pick their seats while they’re booking their tickets.

There are terms and conditions that apply to the guarantee. Among them, customers won’t be allowed to make additional seat changes once they are assigned seats with their children.

Going after ‘junk fees’

JetBlue’s Wednesday announcement comes months after the Biden administration launched an effort to end “junk fees” for US flyers.

As part of that push, the federal government rolled out an online dashboard in March showing which airlines guarantee families will be able to select seats next to each other without an additional fee.

Three US-based airlines issued family seating guarantees late last winter.

“American Airlines, Alaska Airlines, and Frontier Airlines have stepped forward to guarantee that parents can sit with their young children without getting nickel and dimed,” said the Department of Transportation in a statement in March.

JetBlue, headquartered in New York City, now becomes the fourth airline listed on the dashboard as offering a guarantee of no-fee family seating. According to the DOT dashboard, Allegiant, Delta, Hawaiian, Southwest, Spirit and United still don’t offer such a guarantee.

Pete Muntean and Marnie Hunter contributed to this article from previous reporting.

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