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United apologizes for giving away toddler’s paid-for seat

HONOLULU — 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.

She boarded the plane in Houston with her son, Taizo, and they took their seats for the flight to Boston.

The Kapolei Middle School teacher says a flight attendant came to check if Taizo was present before a standby passenger showed up with a ticket with the toddler’s seat number.

Yamauchi says she told a flight attendant about the problem, but the woman just shrugged, said the flight was full, and walked away.

The company issued an apology five days after the incident.

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