Mother forced to give up child’s seat on United flight to Boston

BOSTON (WHDH) - There was toddler trouble on board a United Airlines flight and the airline is now apologizing to a mother after she was forced to give up her 2-year-old son’s seat and hold him the entire way from Houston to Boston.

Last Thursday, Shirley Yamauchi was sitting on a Boston-bound flight with her 2-year-old son. She says her son was clearly sitting in his purchased seat but a flight attendant still came by to ask if her son was present.

After saying yes, Yamauchi says a passenger showed up, claiming that the seat was actually his.

“I told them I bought both of these tickets,” said Yamauchi, “and he tells me that he got the ticket on standby and he proceeds to sit in the center.”

She says she told the flight attendant about the problem but the woman shrugged, said the flight was full and walked away.

“I had to move my son onto my lap” said Yamauchi. “He’s 25 pounds. He’s half my height. I was very uncomfortable. My hand, my arm, my left arm was smashed up against the wall. I lost feelings in my legs and my left arm.”

Five days after the flight, the airline finally issued an apology.

A spokesman said because gate agents inaccurately scanned the toddler’s boarding pass, their system showed him as not checked in, so his seat was released to another passenger.

United says they are refunding the woman’s ticket, giving her a voucher and want to make sure this never happens again.


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