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United Airlines is in the news again, and—surprise!—not for anything good. The airline was recently forced to apologize to a passenger after they gave the seat that she'd bought for her 2-year-old son to someone on standby, according to The Washington Post. That meant she had to hold her son for the entire three-and-a-half-hour flight, until her leg and arm went numb. As if flying with a child wasn't tough enough already.

The passenger, Shirley Yamauchi, a middle school teacher, told Hawaii News Now that she was on her way to Boston for a teacher's conference, and that her son's ticket cost as much as hers did (nearly $1,000). As she was waiting for the plane to take off, a man with the same seat number as her son, Taizo, showed up.

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Yamauchi told ABC affiliate KITV that she told the man, "I bought both of these seats." But the flight attendant who came over to them simply shrugged and said, "flight's full." Wow, super helpful!

A spokesperson for United told The Washington Post that they'd improperly scanned Taizo's boarding pass, and since the toddler wasn't in their system, his seat was given to a standby passenger. The airline is reportedly trying to figure out a way to compensate Yamauchi.

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But during the incident, United didn't give Yamauchi any good options. She told KITV that United said if they refunded her at that time, they'd have to cancel her return flight to Hawaii. Whaaaaat??

United Airlines also has a bad reputation now, ever since their series of PR nightmares in the last few months (including injuring a man who'd paid for his seat by dragging him forcefully off the plane, not allowing two girls in leggings to board, and accidentally killing a prized giant rabbit).

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Speaking to Hawaii News Now, Yamauchi said she didn't protest because she was afraid of making a scene. She said, “I started remembering all those incidents with United on the news. The violence. Teeth being knocked out. [Referring to the man dragged off the plane.] I didn’t want those things to happen to me." Great job inspiring confidence in your customers, United.

Flying with a toddler on your lap isn't just uncomfortable, it's also not recommended by the Federal Aviation Administration. Small children should have their own separate seats. But Yamauchi told Hawaii News Now that since she had no other options, she shared her seat with her 25 pound toddler the whole way.

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Yamauchi's toddler on her lap.
Yamauchi's toddler on her lap.

In a written statement, the United spokesman told The Washington Post that the airline planned to compensate Yamauchi "as a goodwill gesture" (hopefully compensate her for both seats, not just the one). United also promised to work with employees to avoid something like this from happening again. Oh, you think?

Once again, get your shit together, United. SMDH.