Good tidings to share: British Airways customer service recently contacted Marilyn and apologized for its earlier stance — and offered a full refund on the airfares.
British Airways’ cold-hearted refusal to refund a cancer-stricken Florida woman nearly $2,000 after her illness took a turn for the worse – and made it impossible for her to fly – has earned the global flying giant a lump of Christmas Eve coal from an outraged consumer group.
A trip to England was a lifelong dream and wish of Marilyn Siets, of Tallahassee, Florida. But her reservations for the trip had to be canceled, perhaps permanently, when complications from ovarian cancer flared up, degrading her health to the point of her doctor issuing a no-travel directive while she continues to receive ongoing, debilitating treatments.
In a baffling decision, British Airways refused to budge on a policy of no full refunds – issuing only a partial refund – and leaving the Siets family nearly $2,000 poorer. Rather than consider these total facts and provide an appropriate full refund for the airfare that the Siets family paid, British Airways bureaucracy cited unreasonable rules and has failed to do the right thing in this unique case. In a blood-chilling way, the airline quoted its policy in a letter, claiming “…we do not make any exceptions for the refund requests due to medical reasons or Terminal Illness except death…”
“British Airways has tainted the spirit of the season with a chilling corporate culture that reflects a Grinch-like intent to steal Christmas from a deserving customer and her family,” said Ron Sachs, CEO of Sachs Media Group, serving as spokesman for FACT – the Florida Alliance for Consumers and Taxpayers. “Instead of reflecting the airline’s inner Scrooge, they should be repairing the damage this horrible decision has caused a fine family already suffering great difficulty.”
The FACT organization slammed the airline on Christmas Eve for its callous disregard for Siets and her family, publicizing the company’s anti-consumer posture in an effort to build pressure for a reversal. Sachs said repeated appeals to the airline to issue the full refund have been repeatedly rebuffed. The last such outreach to British Airways was last week.
Siets has been courageously battling ovarian cancer and its related negative impacts for nearly five years. She is on permanent disability from her work as a financial manager because of this monster illness – but none of these facts moved British Airways to a decision for a fair and full refund to the Siets family.