Oops They Did It Again! United Takes Away Seat Of Revenue Passenger (2 Year Old Child) For A Standby Passenger

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United just can’t seem to come to their senses judging by yet another seating incident involving a standby passenger who occupied a paid revenue seat that was purchased for a 2 year old toddler.

The mother traveling with her child had to carry the toddler on her lap during the entire flight from Houston to Boston.

In this incident the passenger appears to be a regular customer standing by for an earlier flight and not an employee, yet the incident was mismanaged by nearly everyone involved.

You can read more about it on NBC News (access here).

A Hawaii teacher says she was forced to hold her toddler son in her lap for a three-and-a-half hour flight because of a mix-up in United Airlines’ system.

“It was unsafe, uncomfortable and unfair,” Shirley Yamauchi told NBC News. “I couldn’t believe it was happening to me.”

Yamauchi said the seat she purchased for her 27-month old son was given to a standby passenger. Yamauchi said she purchased two tickets — almost $1,000 each — for a trip from Hawaii to Boston with a layover in Houston. …

The Kapolei Middle School teacher said a man who was a standby passenger approached her and said her son was in his seat. She said she notified a flight attendant about the confusion but, “She shrugged and said the flight is full.”

Yamauchi, 42, said she hastily had to place her son, who is 25 pounds and half her 5’2” frame, on her lap. She said the standby passenger was one of the last people to board the plane. The flight quickly departed after he sat down and no other flight attendants questioned her about her son, she said. …

Yamauchi said she did not try to alert another flight attendant due to recent problems on United aircrafts, such as the April incident where a doctor was forcibly removed from his seat.

Complete rubbish from United Airlines side but also mismanaged by the passenger herself as she didn’t escalate the situation. She should have simply told the flight attendant that she had purchased tickets for both passengers, show the boarding passes and let the standby passenger stand in the aisle.

What does United say about this?

When the flight landed, Yamauchi informed multiple United staff members about what happened. “I was told four different things from four agents,” she said. One told her that she should have said something when she was on board.

United contacted Yamauchi Tuesday and told her that her son’s ticket will be refunded and she will be sent a travel voucher.

United Airlines spokesman Jonathan Guerin said in a statement, “On a recent flight from Houston to Boston, we inaccurately scanned the boarding pass of Ms. Yamauchi’s son. As a result, her son’s seat appeared to be not checked in, and staff released his seat to another customer and Ms. Yamauchi held her son for the flight. We deeply apologize to Ms. Yamauchi and her son for this experience.”

The 2 year old as a passenger in his own right was refused his purchased seat and this is clearly a matter of involuntary denied boarding for which there is a cash compensation due, not a travel voucher.

Conclusion

Yes United refunded the ticket of the child (hopefully the entire ticket, not just a portion of it) but the fact that United Airlines shoves this off to some ground staff error is yet another situation where the airline fails to address the cause of the issue properly.

The issue here wasn’t just that the ground staff maybe (because there is no proof that this is what actually happened) didn’t scan one of the boarding passes and reassigned the seat to someone else. It’s obvious that a crew member simply didn’t care about resolving the matter and brushed it off without getting someone competent to deal with the situation.

Yet I still believe that the passenger should have caused a stink and not relented. Is this the situation now that passengers are intimidated by airlines to speak up?

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