It is no news that people are at the mercy of airlines daily. A middle school teacher was a recent victim such treatment and has taken legal action against the perpetrators.
47-year-old Shirley Yamauchi was subjected to carrying her two-year-old son, Taizo, on her lap during the United Airlines flight from Houston to Boston despite having paid almost $1,000 for his seat.
It all began when Shirley flew from Hawaii to Houston for her layover and waited for about 5 hours for her flight to Boston.
Once board on the flight to Boston, the unimaginable happened: A a man told Shirley that her son was sitting in his seat.
Convinced that she purchased a ticket for her bog, Shirley called the attention of a flight attendant to the problem at hand. However, the staff member shrugged and told her that the airplane was full.
The exhausted mum was forced to carry her son on her lap for the entire journey, which lasted three-and-a-half hours. Despite her complaints to the staff, no apology was tendered until five days after. The company cited improper scanning of Taizo’s boarding pass as the reason.
Shirley revealed to HuffPost that she didn’t complain the second time as she remembered a violent incident that had occurred sometime in the past with United Airlines, and was afraid the same would happen to her.
The incident was appalling to Shirley since the airline violated safety rules for traveling with children in order to sell her son’s seat to someone else.
While speaking to Hawaii News Now, Shirley revealed that she is suing the airline to help prevent other people from experiencing the same ordeal. She said:
"United said they would change and I want to see that happen. I don't want any more passengers possibly in danger."
Her attorney, Michael Green, emphasized Shirley’s reason for the lawsuit, stating that the airline put his client’s life at risk and deserve to pay for their transgressions.
On Shirley’s return flight back home, the airline upgraded her seats to business class and gave her access into their lounge. Those gestures are not enough to make her drop the lawsuit, though.
Hopefully, Shirley’s fight against the maltreatment of passengers will send a message to other airlines, and things will improve.