U.S. Airways Just Lost My Business [UPDATED]
I think U.S. Airways just landed themselves in a huge PR disaster. The airline is refusing to issue a refund to a family who says they can no longer take the trip they planned because the mother, Lynn McKain, has been diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer and has been told by her doctor not to travel and to being immediate chemotherapy. From WUSA:
A woman claims a dream family is being cancelled because of her terminal cancer, and the airline is refusing to refund the money for her ticket. The McKain family would have been taking off from BWI Airport leaving to Belize in January. But now they aren’t going anywhere and they’re out of $4200.These days the closest Lynn McKain will get to her dream destination of Belize is through pictures. Her doctor has ordered she doesn’t travel and undergo immediate cancer treatment after being diagnosed with stage 4 breast cancer.
The article goes on to say:
McKain has sent letters and medical documents to the airline as proof of her disease, and inability to travel. She says it has done little to help her cause.
When U.S. Airways was contacted they gave WUSA this response:
Unfortunately, we do not offer refunds on non-refundable tickets, but we’ll work with her to waive her change fees and make sure she can use her ticket at another time.
Really? Unless U.S. Airways has secretly discovered a cure for cancer, there is no way they can “make sure she use her ticket at another time.” I get that they bought “non-refundable” tickets, but this is a case where an exception can, and should be made. I would have no issue with them asking for documentation to prove the validity of the circumstance before making an exception, but to outright refuse a refund in a case like this? Cold, heartless, and just plain mean.
U.S Airways can make an exception to this policy anytime they choose to do so. If this is the kind of company U.S. Airways chooses to be, I assure you I will never fly with them again. I humbly ask that you consider doing the same.
UPDATE: It appears U.S. Airways has relented and done the right thing. From WUSA:
UPDATE: The day after our story aired, we have confirmed that U.S. Airways changed its decision and will grant Lynn McKain and her family a full refund for her tickets totaling $4,200 dollars.
Her story has received national attention, and sparked debate over airline policy and consumer responsibility.
McKain called 9News to inform of the update and said she is very thankful that the company will grant the refund.
She said, “It feels like a lot of stress has been taken of my shoulders.”
Good for her. And you know what else? Good for U.S. Airways for doing the right thing here.