United apologizes after giving away toddler’s purchased seat

HONOLULU (AP) — United Airlines has apologized to a Hawaii teacher who was forced to hold her 2-year-old son on her lap for three-and-a-half hours after an employee gave the toddler’s purchased seat to a standby passenger.

Hawaii News Now reports that Shirley Yamauchi says she paid almost $1,000 each for two tickets because children over the age of 2 are required to have their own seat.

She boarded the plane in Houston with her son, Taizo, and they took their seats.

The Kapolei Middle School teacher says a flight attendant came to check if Taizo was present before a standby passenger showed up with a ticket with the toddler’s seat number.

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

The company issued an apology five days after the incident.

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