The child was forced out of a paid seat.
Despite the fact that she had paid almost $1,000 so her 2-year-old son could have his own seat from Hawaii to Houston, middle-school teacher Shirley Yamauchi was forced to fly the entire leg with her son on her lap after United Airlines removed him from his seat to accommodate another customer on an overbooked flight.
When another passenger notified Yamauchi that her son was in his assigned seat, she tried to explain the issue to a dismissive flight attendant, who offered her little recourse.
Knowing all too well the fate of passengers who protest United’s overbooking policy, Yamuachi said she resigned herself to a long flight with a child on her lap. “I started remembering all those incidents with United on the news. The violence. Teeth getting knocked out… I didn’t want those things to happen to me,” she said to NBC News.
United has issued an apology on the matter, saying that the toddler’s ticket had been improperly scanned, appearing as though he wasn’t on the flight and his seat was available for assignment. However, Yamuachi takes issue with this explanation, saying, “I saw them zap both tickets… It just doesn’t add up.”
United’s public statement is as follows:
Do you think it would be possible for her to get that travel voucher for another airline?