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Sarah Yang

Flying With Baby? You May Not Get To Pre-Board

PUBLISHED ON 05/25/2012

Traveling is already stressful, but add at least one baby and it can get pretty darn tough. For a long time, airlines have offered pre-boarding for families with small children, so they could get on the plane and settled before the rest of the passengers crowd the aisles. But now, according to USA Today, United airlines has decided to stop letting families pre-board, “to simplify the boarding process and to reduce the overall number of boarding groups.”

United isn’t the first airline to limit pre-boarding. USA Today reports that US Airways stopped offering traditional pre-boarding for families with children, but will let families board before general boarding (but and after first-class and business passengers get on). American Airlines has made families who aren’t in premium boarding groups go with everyone else, but its agents at the gate do look for families who might need more assistance.

There are pros and cons to boarding with the general public. Your baby might get fussy if you’re on the plane early and sitting there for a while, especially if the plane has to wait a long time for takeoff (ugh). But pre-boarding gives families more time (and elbow room!) to get situated and not have to wait in a long line trying to get to their seats.

Do you take advantage of pre-boarding when you travel? Do you think it makes things easier for you?