After British Airways is slammed as ”Scrooge’ for denying refund to cancer-stricken Florida woman, airline makes good

british airways

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.

Peter Schorsch

Peter Schorsch is the President of Extensive Enterprises and is the publisher of some of Florida’s most influential new media websites, including Florida Politics and Orlando Rising and Sunburn, the morning read of what’s hot in Florida politics. Schorsch is also publisher of INFLUENCE Magazine. For several years, Peter's blog was ranked by the Washington Post as the best state-based blog in Florida. In addition to his publishing efforts, Peter is a political consultant to several of the state’s largest governmental affairs and public relations firms. Peter lives in St. Petersburg with his wife, Michelle, and their daughter, Ella.


7 comments

  • Maureen

    December 24, 2018 at 2:12 pm

    I am an ovarian cancer survivor. I agree with British Airways. She could have purchased insurance that would have covered these expenses. I have lost several airline reservations over the last year. I totally feel for her but this is why insurance is offered – and should be done when spending that amount of money on a ticket.

    • Logic and Reason

      December 24, 2018 at 9:42 pm

      Thank you for speaking up.
      I also agree with BA.

  • Ron Sachs

    December 25, 2018 at 8:26 am

    Folks — the truth is British Airways’ policy is wrong — and they acknowledged that late yesterday….Christmas Eve…with a phone call to Marilyn Siets to apologize and to offer a FULL REFUND on her tickets. So this story has a happy ending because BA took a hard look at how bad their inflexible policy looks in the light of day and in the court of public opinion. Kudos to British Airways for finally doing the right thing in this case. Merry Christmas to All.
    🙂

    • Logic and Reason

      December 25, 2018 at 9:07 pm

      British Airways’ policy is not wrong. If it was wrong, they would be changing it going forward. They won’t do that, because then their fares would no longer be competitive. They are already struggling to compete.

      Mr. Sachs, you got some publicity for your PR agency.
      That is what this was about. I will remember.

  • Ron Sachs

    December 25, 2018 at 10:06 pm

    Logic & Reason? You are neither……but you surely know how to defend the indefensible….

    and you hide behind a phony name…..and drop darkness on light….

    We will all remember that

  • cằm v line

    December 28, 2018 at 4:25 pm

    Sinh năm 1968, cô kết hôn lúc còn khá trẻ.

Comments are closed.


#FlaPol

Florida Politics is a statewide, new media platform covering campaigns, elections, government, policy, and lobbying in Florida. This platform and all of its content are owned by Extensive Enterprises Media.

Publisher: Peter Schorsch

Contributors & reporters: Phil Ammann, Jason Delgado, Drew Dixon, Renzo Downey, Rick Flagg, A.G. Gancarski, Joe Henderson, Janelle Irwin, Ryan Nicol, Jacob Ogles, Scott Powers, Andrew Wilson, and Kelly Hayes.

Email: [email protected]
Twitter: @PeterSchorschFL
Phone: (727) 642-3162
Address: 204 37th Avenue North #182
St. Petersburg, Florida 33704