Shirley Yamauchi, a middle school teacher, was flying from Hawaii to Boston with her 27-month-old son Taizo, with a stopover in Houston. Shirley paid over $1000 for Taizo’s ticket since federal laws require any youngster above the age of two to have their own seat.
Shirley placed Taizo in his seat and grabbed her own after waiting almost five hours to board in Houston. Soon later, she said, a flight attendant arrived to check whether Taizo was on board. Then a man approached, saying the kid was in his seat after Shirley’s seat was assigned to a standby traveler.
Shirley, perplexed, contacted a flight attendant, but alleges she shrugged and stated the flight was full, despite United’s own requirements, which state that once children reach the age of two, they must have a ticket and occupy a seat.
The standby traveler, who later informed Shirley he only paid $75 for the seat, was one of the last to board, and the airplane was ready to take off. So Shirley, who is just 5’2″, hurriedly paced her 25-pound kid in her lap, obliged to hold the toddler on her lap throughout the three-and-a-half-hour journey from Houston to Boston.
During the journey, Shirley fought to get the seat belts around them both, and Taizo had to stand or squat on the floor when he became too heavy to handle. However, flight attendants did not query or address the situation.
He’s a tall youngster for a toddler. He approaches her navel. Shirley stated that it was a three and a half-hour flight. She said it was dangerous, unpleasant, and unjust. She couldn’t believe it was happening to her.
Shirley was scared to tell another flight attendant because of prior difficulties on United flights, and she was frightened about what would happen to her if she created an issue while flying with her kid. Rather, she waited until the plane touched down to alert other United employees about what had occurred.
She was told four different things by four different agents, she recounted, adding that one told her she should have spoken more while on board. Days later, United Airlines published a statement explaining it was all a technology glitch.
They scanned Ms. Yamauchi’s son’s boarding pass incorrectly. As a consequence, her kid’s seat looked to be unchecked, and personnel released his seat to another client, United Airlines spokesperson Jonathan Guerin said, apologizing to Shirley Yamauchi and her son.
Shirley’s son’s ticket would be returned, and she would also get a travel credit, according to the airline. Shirley, on the other hand, was dissatisfied. She saw them zapping both tickets. There was no trouble at all. They allowed them through, she added, dismissing the airline’s explanation for the mix-up. Shirley, too, disagrees with the compensation and has chosen to sue.
It doesn’t feel proper or sufficient for pain and suffering, she said. United promised to change, and she wishes to see that occur. She doesn’t want any other people to be in trouble, Shirley remarked, adding that she believes her lawsuit would help safeguard future passengers from similar treatment.
Attorney Michael Green agreed that the airline must be prevented from endangering people’s lives.
Shirley and Green are correct. United Airlines violated federal laws. A youngster above the age of two must have their own seat. Furthermore, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) states unequivocally that traveling with a kid on one lap is dangerous.
One’s arms are too short to safely hold one’s child, particularly amid unanticipated turbulence, the FAA advises. The FAA goes even farther, asking parents to strap their kid in a government-approved child safety restraint system (CRS) or device, stating that it’s the sensible and right thing to do so that everybody in one’s family arrives safely.
One should not do it. Flying with a baby—no matter how young—on one’s lap puts him at danger of harm or even death if the aircraft encounters extreme turbulence, Consumer Reports says, urging parents to purchase an extra seat.
Not only did this mom not get what she paid for, however the employees also disregarded safety regulations for their guests – all in the sake of making a few more dollars. Profits seem to be the only language some airlines seem to know, therefore Shirley Yamauchi may be correct in her belief that change will not occur until the airline’s blunders have a significant impact on their bottom line.