United Apologizes For Taking Toddler’s Seat But, Is That Enough?

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Earlier this week, there was a report that United gave away a toddler’s tickets seat to a standby passenger.

United Apologizes For Taking Toddler’s Seat But, Is That Enough?

According to the AP and MSN, United has now apologized for this incident and refunded the boys ticket but, is that enough? The mother of the 27 month old child had bought a nearly $1,000 ticket for her son to sit in his own seat on the trip from Hawaii to Boston with a layover in Houston. After United employees gave the little boys seat to a standby passenger, the mother was forced to hold her toddler son on her lap for the 3.5 hour flight. You can watch the video and see the pictures that the mother posted here, AP and MSN.

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.

United claims that there was a mix-up in their system which caused the error.

United Apologizes For Taking Toddler's Seat But, Is That Enough?

Bottom Line

I understand that mistakes happen. But, doesn’t it seem like there was more that everyone could have done in this instance? I understand the mother being scared of retaliation if she refused to give up the boy’s seat, due to other recent United horror stories. But, what about the flight attendant; couldn’t she have fixed the mistake and apologized to the standby passenger that they made a mistake? How about the standby passenger speaking up and saying that he didn’t want to take the little boy’s seat? What do you think? What would you have done in this instance? And what do you think of United lately?

Read more United in the news stories here:

Complaints Against Airlines Up 70% On Heels Of United Fiasco

United Flight Attendant Forces Passenger To Pee In Cup!

United Airlines Send Paris Bound Passenger To San Francisco

Giant 3 Foot Rabbit Dies On United Airlines Flight

HT: AP and MSN

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About The Weekly Flyer

The Weekly Flyer writes about travel from a business traveler perspective. He travels the world every week accumulating points and miles along the way.

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  1. Another story made these 2 points:

    1) Mixup with child ticket scan, meant they were never checked into the flight
    2) Mom didn’t speak up due to fear.

    It seems plausible that the gate sent the standby on, because the seat was “empty”.

    I have not read about the Mom presenting the child BP to the FA and arguing it was their seat.

    Probably the FA thought the child was camped out in an “empty” seat, and asked them to move into the lap they assumedly belonged to. I find it really hard to blame an FA here, if they were operating without all the facts.

  2. They need to start firing these morons – the person who sold the babies seat didnt bother to check the issue. The person taking boarding passes didn’t bother to take one – or ask- from/about the baby. Fire these morons.

  3. I JUST WATCHED AN NBC INTERVIEW: The mom says the attendant asked, “Is this seat empty?” and she told the attendant, “No my son is sitting in the seat….. as you can see. He’s right here.”

    When the standby passenger arrived she said once again, “I paid for two tickets and two seats.”

    The attendant should have examined the tickets & apologized but “instead the attendant just shrugged her shoulders and said Oh well.”

  4. UNITED HAS LEARNED ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. They continue to boot passengers even when the passenger says, “I paid for two tickets and two seats.”

    A customer saying “I paid” means absolutely nothing to this this moralfree & cold as stone megacorp.

  5. Getting $1,000 back to allow your 27 month-old kid to be a lap child for a 3.5 hour flight? Killer deal. I wish the airlines would abuse me in this way!!

  6. Isn’t it an FAA violation? Children over two without a seat and no seatbelt?

  7. This also happened to my wife and me. Our 26 month old son had his own ticket, and the airline (TWA) keep asking us to hold him in our lap. After multiple refusals, they offered to pay for the seat. We agreed, but after we arrived from the 1 hour flight, they still questioned us about his age. We finally did get paid.

  8. The mom never checked the child in… Airlines are NOT responsible for other peoples lack of responsibility.

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