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Woman forced to carry child on lap to sue airlines

IANS | Los Angeles |

A Hawaii woman who was forced to hold her child on lap during her flight has decided to sue United Airlines, the media reported on Wednesday.

Shirley Yamauchi, who is working in Kapolei Middle School of Hawaii, on Tuesday hoped her lawsuit would help protect other passengers from this type of treatment, Xinhua news agency reported.

"United said they would change and I want to see that happen. I don't want anymore passengers possibly in danger," Yamauchi said.

Yamauchi had to hold her two-year-old son on her lap in an over three-hour flight, the final leg of an 18-hour flight from Hawaii to Boston, despite paying nearly $1,000 for the baby's seat.

When they boarded the flight after five hours layover in Houston on June 29, another passenger showed up, claiming the seat of the toddler as his. 

Yamauchi complained to a flight attendant that she bought the seat three months ago, but the latter only shrugged and said the flight was full, then walked away.

United Airlines issued an apology five days later. Yamauchi said the airline gave her free upgrades and perks on her return trip back to Hawaii from Boston, but she felt the gestures were not genuine.

United Airlines has been in hot water several times in recent months.

In April, the airline came under fire after a doctor was violently dragged off a flight to make room for airline employees.