Families can pre board with United Airlines -- again

Four years ago, United Airlines told families with small children that they had to wait to board like everyone else.

But the Chicago-based carrier is reversing that boarding policy. Starting Feb. 15, families with children age 2 or younger can board before other passengers, except for those with disabilities and active-duty members of the military in uniform.

The change brings United in line with most major airlines that have already adopted a family-board-early policy.

The airline says it made the change because letting families pre-board was a top recommendation that came out of an October survey of employees and passengers.

But Seth Kaplan, managing partner at the trade publication Airline Weekly, noted that airlines often test new boarding policies to try to find the fastest way to load a cabin without upsetting too many fliers.

“They are constantly coming to different conclusions when trying to balance between being efficient and making people happy,” he said.

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