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If you have a family and you are used to flying on a regular basis, you probably already know the obvious. It can be very hard to keep your entire group together.

Our fellow travelers aren’t always inclined to help us out and that leaves us all sitting apart. Airlines are not typically required to help us out in these instances, either, which can be a tough pill to swallow.

Photo: Pexels/Pascal Borener

No one wants to be left dependent on the goodwill of their fellow passengers but in many instances, they have no choices. This is especially difficult for parents who may be flying with their toddlers for the very first time.

Fortunately, the U.S. Department of Transportation has recognized that this is a massive issue that needs to be addressed quickly. Otherwise, families may simply decide to drive instead or stop going on trips altogether.

Photo: Pexels/Adrienn

The DOT put out a notice last year urging airlines to do all that they can to ensure that families are able to continue sitting together. The notice was designed to assist families, giving children ages 13 and under the chance to sit next to their parents without having to spend any additional money.

President Biden even broached the topic during his last State of the Union address.

Photo: Pexels/Daniel Frese

At long last, progress has been made on this front. United Airlines is rolling out a new policy that is designed to speak directly to this issue. Even if you are flying in Basic Economy, you will be able to sit next to your young children.

If you are flying with a child younger than 12, you should be seeing new adjacent seat options as soon as you are in the process of booking a flight. United has rolled out a new search engine that is designed to handle this task. If the search engine does not find seats together, it will take time to check out complimentary upgrades, so that you will be able to find Preferred Seats.

Last-minute bookings, aircraft changes, and other unforeseen circumstances do not matter, either. United customers can now switch to a different flight for free and if there is a fare difference, the customer will not be charged. United Polaris, United First Class, and Economy Plus seat changes are not included and the policy goes into full effect in March.