CBSShirley Yamauchi and her son Taizo.
A mother who paid $1,000 for her child to be seated aboard a United flight is suing after she was forced to seat her child on her lap for the cross-country trip, reported Hawaii News Now.
Shirley Yamauchi says she had to hold her son on her lap for three and one-half hours from Boston to Houston so that a standby passenger could take her seat.
It’s “unsafe, uncomfortable and unfair,” she told HuffPost. “He was barely buckled in for nearly four hours.”
Yamauchi considered protesting further but said she was afraid of retaliation after Dr. David Dao was forcibly removed from an overbooked United flight when he refused to give up his seat.
"I thought about Dr. Dao and his incident with United, having his teeth knocked out and being dragged down the aisle," Yamauchi said. "And I didn't want that to happen to me."
Her attorney Michael Green was more blunt.
“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,” he said to Hawaii News Now.
United says it has reached out to Yamauchi to make amends.
“We reached out to Ms. Yamauchi to apologize to her and her son, and we also refunded their tickets.”
Yamauchi who is a middle-school teacher does not dispute that saying she was brought into the United lounge and gave her free upgrades, but she called the gestures “not genuine.”
The incident happened just months after another ticketed United passenger , Dr. David Dao, was literally dragged off the flight to make room for United personnel who needed the seat.