United gives away seat, forcing mom to hold toddler for entire flight

Shirley Yamauchi and her son Taizo

Shirley Yamauchi and her son Taizo

A Hawaii teacher says she was forced to hold her 27-month-old son on her lap for three and a half hours after United Airlines gave the toddler's seat to a standby passenger. When Shirley Yamauchi informed the flight attendant about the incident, the flight attendant wasn't supportive and informed her that they can not help her with anything since the flight was full and she has to carry the child on her lap for the complete 18 hours journey of the flight.

A spokesperson for the airline told Hawaii News Now that Taizo's boarding pass had been incorrectly scanned by gate agents so their system showed that he hadn't boarded the flight and his seat was therefore sold.

The woman who hails from Hawaii said the ordeal took place when she was seated on the plane with her son.

In other words, a 2-year-old child absolutely requires his own seat, which in this case apparently cost about $1,000 ... until the airline makes a mistake, gives up the seat, then doesn't consider giving it back for the measly price of a standby ticket. He's 25 pounds. He's half my height. Following the instructions, Shirley Yamauchi did so and boards the flight with her child.

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Needless to say, it was an uncomfortable flight for both mother and son. Yamauchi is 5'2 ft. I was very uncomfortable. "I lost feeling in my legs and left arm", Yamauchi told Hawaii News Now. She added that after the flight departed, no flight attended asked her about the seating arrangement for the rest of the flight. "Your arms aren't capable of holding your child securely, especially during unexpected turbulence".

The US Federal Aviation Administration strongly urges against a child sitting on another person's lap during the flight. "It's the smart and right thing to do so that everyone in your family arrives safely at your destination".

"I started remembering all those incidents with United on the news".

United, which recently inspired outrage for having a doctor forcibly and bloodily dragged out of his seat so an airline employee could have it, did more than jack Taizo's seat - they put him in bad danger.

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"I'm scared. I'm anxious". She said she was scared to complain because the same thing might happen to her and her son.

United Airlines has already been in news due to several incidents happened in the past related to misbehaviour with passengers boarding a flight. It also sent her a travel voucher against her son's ticket.

"I had to move my son onto my lap".

"We deeply apologize to Ms. Yamauchi and her son for this experience. We sincerely apologize to Ms. Yamauchi and her son, and we are refunding their tickets and providing additional compensation", he said. "We are also working with our gate staff to prevent this from happening again".

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