Shirley Yamauchi, who was forced to hold her 2-year-old son on her lap in late June after United Airlines gave the seat she paid for to a standby passenger, is suing the carrier.
The 47-year-old mother, who teaches at Kapolei Middle School in Hawaii, hopes that the lawsuit will help prevent the sort of treatment she received from happening to other passengers.
“United said they would change and I want to see that happen. I don’t want anymore passengers possibly in danger,” Yamauchi told HawaiiNewsNow.
Her attorney, Michael Green, says they are ready to go to trial on this matter.
“United deserves everything we can do to them. We’ll let the people decide what to do to people that are this greedy and put lives potentially in danger,” said Green.
Yamauchi had to hold her son during an over 3-hour flight traveling to Boston from Houston, even though she paid nearly $1,000 for the United Airlines ticket. The airline forced her to give up the seat to a standby passenger who shared the same seat number and purchased his seat for $75, according to HuffPost.
She complained to flight attendants, but Yamauchi said she was ignored and United did not apologize until five days later, claiming agents inaccurately scanned her toddler Taizo’s boarding pass.
“It could’ve been resolved at that point, yet not a single flight attendant asked why he was on my lap the whole duration of the flight,” the mom said.
Yamauchi added that United gave her free upgrades and perks on her trip going back to Hawaii from Boston, but she felt the offers weren’t real.
“There was a representative waiting for us. We were escorted to their United lounge, but we explained we don’t have a membership with them, yet they asked us to utilize their lounge. The three of us were moved to business class after getting our tickets. He offered to carry my bag for me down to baggage claim. We both received a lei. A flower lei,” Yamauchi said.
This isn’t the first time the airline has landed in hot water in recent months.