No refund for a sick passenger?

Markus Mainka / Shutterstock.com
Markus Mainka / Shutterstock.com
After Merrill Hakim is diagnosed with lung cancer, she asks her airline for a refund on a non-refundable ticket. But is that allowed?

Question: I have tickets on Aer Lingus to fly from Dublin to Paris. I was diagnosed with lung cancer a few weeks before we were due to leave.

I had no problem getting a refund for our transatlantic flight with United Airlines, but Aer Lingus was only willing to refund the taxes unless I could reschedule within 30 days. Given the situation, that was not possible. They said the ticket would still have been good until the end of April, which is when we bought them, but who can make a commitment at a time like this?
Continue reading…

167 Comments


US Airways tells customer her cancer isn’t terminal enough for a refund

Not the friendly skies. / Photo by wbav - Flickr
Not the friendly skies. / Photo by wbav – Flickr
Ben Coleman and his wife were supposed to fly from New York to Oakland last November on US Airways. The couple had purchased nonrefundable roundtrip tickets on US Airways for just under $1,000.

But in October, Coleman’s wife was diagnosed with cancer.

“Her diagnosis is positive and the doctors tell us — nothing is certain, of course — that it will be a hard year, but expect that she will lead a long healthy life.”

That’s when things got a little complicated.
Continue reading…

10 Comments


TSA watch: Are screeners preying on sick passengers?

The latest TSA horror story comes by way of Lori Dorn, a human resources consultant in New York.

Dorn, a breast cancer patient, was flying to San Francisco, when she was pulled aside by a TSA agent and told she would have to undergo a pat-down.

“I told her that I was not comfortable with having my breasts touched and that I had a card in my wallet that explains the type of expanders, serial numbers and my doctor’s information and asked to retrieve it,” she explains on her blog. “This request was denied.”
Continue reading…

245 Comments


Thank you! United fixes “last vacation” for terminal cancer patient

baliHere’s a heart-warming story for the Thanksgiving holiday: James Thomson and a longtime friend, who is suffering from terminal cancer, ran into trouble with their flights from San Francisco to Bali. One leg of Thompson’s flight was canceled, which threatened to end his friend’s final vacation.

Despite repeated efforts to contact United Airlines, he was getting nowhere.

Would Thompson’s friend miss his last trip?
Continue reading…

15 Comments