This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The United Airlines headline of the day is their launch of the Boeing 737 MAX 9 aircraft, but I think the important footnote is how they treated the kids on these special flights. Today’s youngest travelers on the ‘youngest’ plane in the United fleet were in for a special treat…

If you are nice to the kids, you can win over the whole family. It is a simple strategy that is surprisingly easy to miss or ignore. However, United seems to have nailed that strategy today on a pretty special flight where all of the kids ages 18 and under received 737 bonus miles, among other goodies. This morning, United launched their brand new 737 MAX 9 aircraft into service out of Houston to the typical inaugural fanfare comprised of balloons, cookies, and flight certificates, but for the kids, it was a little extra special.

United 737 MAX 9 goodies. Photo courtesy of United.

Before we get to what United did just for the littlest travelers today, know that the new 737 MAX 9 is 14% more fuel-efficient than previous generation 737s, reportedly provides a smoother and quieter ride, utilizes faster next-generation satellite Wi-Fi, and has a longer range than the previous 737s. This means United can operate the 737 MAX 9 all the way from Houston to Anchorage, which is exactly what they did today. The biggest negative I have seen about this new aircraft is the atrociously narrow lavs with the hilariously tiny sinks in economy. Good luck taking your kids potty in there. United expects to have 10 737 MAX aircraft in its fleet by the end of this year, so let’s hope they work on a new lav design before too many of these are delivered.

Small bathrooms aside, what I love about United’s 737 MAX 9 inaugural flight, which happened to be heading to the family-friendly destination of Orlando, is that in addition to all of the normal inaugural hoopla, the kids onboard were given 737 bonus MileagePlus miles. United says this was their way of celebrating the youngest MileagePlus members on their youngest aircraft!

In fact, it isn’t just the kids on today’s first MAX flight that get bonus miles, but United told me all customers 18 and under who depart from Houston today on a MAX flight will get 737 bonus miles! It is a small thing in the grand scheme, but it is often the small things that add up to make a big difference. Congrats to United for their newest aircraft type and for making today’s inaugural extra special for the youngest travelers.

United℠ Explorer Card


Apply Now
More Things to Know
  • 40,000 bonus miles after you spend $2,000 on purchases in the first 3 months your account is open
  • $0 introductory annual fee for the first year, then $95.
  • New! Earn 2 miles per $1 spent at restaurants and on hotel stays
  • New! Up to $100 Global Entry or TSA Pre✓® Fee Credit
  • New! 25% back on United inflight purchases
  • Check your first bag for free (a savings of up to $100 per roundtrip) when you use your Card to purchase your ticket
  • Enjoy priority boarding privileges and visit the United Club℠ with 2 one-time passes each year for your anniversary
  • Earn 2 miles per $1 spent on purchases from United, and 1 mile per $1 spent on all other purchases
Intro APR on Purchases
Regular APR
17.74% - 24.74% Variable
Annual Fee
$0 Intro for First Year, then $95
Balance Transfer Fee
Either $5 or 5% of the amount of each transfer, whichever is greater.
Recommended Credit
Excellent Credit

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.