They're at it again
. . .
United Airlines forces mom to give up toddler's seat she paid for
By Nancy Coleman, CNN
July 6, 2017(CNN)
Once again, United Airlines is dealing with a customer controversy.
Shirley Yamauchi said the airline gave away her 2-year-old son's seat on a recent flight, forcing him to sit in her lap for over three hours.
"He's 25 pounds. He's half my height," Yamauchi told CNN affiliate KHNL. "I was very uncomfortable ... I lost feeling in my legs and my left arm."
Yamauchi and the toddler were on the last leg of an 18-hour journey from Hawaii to Boston. When they stopped in Houston, a male standby passenger came on board with a ticket showing the same seat number as her son.
After a man was dragged off an overbooked United flight in April, Yamauchi said she didn't want to make a scene.
"I'm scared. I'm worried. I'm traveling with an infant," she told CNN affiliate KITV. "I didn't want to get hurt. I didn't want either of us to get hurt."
So the standby passenger sat down in the center seat. Yamauchi moved her son onto her lap in the window seat for the duration of the flight. United requires children who are 2 or older to have a purchased ticket, and the airline clearly states on its website that they must "occupy a seat."
Yamauchi told KITV she paid $969 for her son's ticket.
United said in a statement they didn't scan the toddler's boarding pass properly, which is why the seemingly empty seat was given away to another passenger. They are giving Yamauchi a travel voucher and refunding her son's ticket.
"We deeply apologize to Ms. Yamauchi and her son," the airline wrote. "We are also working with our gate staff to prevent this from happening again."
The Federal Aviation Administration says keeping a child in a parent's lap is not a safe option.
"Your arms aren't capable of holding your child securely, especially during unexpected turbulence," according to FAA guidelines.
In recent months, United Airlines also has apologized for falsely accusing a male passenger of fondling his child and been sued by another passenger who said he was shoved to the floor by a United employee in 2015.
Story and video: http://edition.cnn.com/2017/07/06/us/un ... index.html
United Apologizes As Another Passenger Loses Seat, This One A Toddler
by Amy Held, NPR
July 6, 2017
United Airlines is apologizing once again for giving up a passenger's paid seat in another embarrassing incident for an airline that had promised to do better by customers.
Shirley Yamauchi told Hawaii News Now that she was headed to a teachers' conference in Boston last week and took her son along, paying nearly $1,000 for his ticket.
Things went smoothly on the first leg of the trip from Hawaii to Houston. But as they awaited takeoff to Boston, a passenger who had been on standby approached her, saying her son was in his seat.
Yamauchi said she alerted a flight attendant about the issue, but the woman just shrugged and said it was a full flight.
In a statement issued to NBC News, United spokesman Jonathan Guerin said that the airline made a mistake.
"On a recent flight from Houston to Boston, we inaccurately scanned the boarding pass of Ms. Yamauchi's son. As a result, her son's seat appeared to be not checked in, and staff released his seat to another customer and Ms. Yamauchi held her son for the flight."
Yamauchi doesn't accept the explanation.
"I saw them zap both tickets. There was no issue, no problem," she told NBC News. "It just doesn't add up."
The incident also flew in the face of United's own policy requiring children older than 2 to have their own seat.
"I had to move my son onto my lap. He's 25 pounds. He's half my height. I was very uncomfortable. My hand, my left arm was smashed up against the wall. I lost feeling in my legs and left arm," Yamauchi told Hawaii News Now.
But despite the physical discomfort of the 3 1/2-hour flight, Yamauchi told the station that she didn't fight for her son's seat out of fear of retaliation.
"I started remembering all those incidents with United on the news. The violence. Teeth getting knocked out. I'm Asian. I'm scared and I felt uncomfortable. I didn't want those things to happen to me," she said.
Three months ago Dr. David Dao, who is also Asian-American, was dragged from his seat on a United flight, after refusing to give it up to airline staff. Video of the incident went viral and spurred an international outcry. His lawyer said he suffered a concussion and a broken nose and teeth in the altercation.
The publicity nightmare spurred United to apologize and announce a series of changes, including a commitment to "not require customers seated on the plane to give up their seat involuntarily unless safety or security is at risk."
Airlines are still legally allowed to overbook flights.
Dao received a settlement from the airline, the terms of which are secret.
Guerin told NPR in a statement that the airline is reviewing the details of the incident. "This should not have happened. We sincerely apologize to Ms. Yamauchi and her son, and we are refunding their tickets and providing additional compensation," he said.
Yamauchi told NBC News that she does not agree with the compensation. "It doesn't seem right or enough for pain and discomfort."http://www.npr.org/sections/thetwo-way/ ... -a-toddler