WASHINGTON (WUSA) -- A woman claims a dream family trip 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.
It's the second time she has been diagnosed with breast cancer. After she was treated the first time and was given the all clear earlier this year, her family planned a trip to Belize. They booked 5 round trip tickets on U.S. Airways totaling $4200. The problem is they bought the non-refundable tickets, and now that the trip has had to be canceled, the airline isn't bending their policy on refunds.
"It's a human thing to do, the compassionate thing to do," says McKain.
An airline spokeswoman told 9News: "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."
McKain's response to that statement: "Big deal -- I may not be alive. What good is a voucher gonna do me?"
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.
Now, as she undergoes chemo therapy for her rapidly spreading breast cancer, she's hoping the airline will make an exception for her, and refund her money.
In the meantime, she is left with memories of previous trips. hoping one day she may be given the chance to do it again.
"I would like nothing more before I die than to sit on a beautiful beach," said McKain.
WUSA 9 corresponded with a US Airways spokeswoman throughout Monday evening. After several e-mails her last response said: "We have offered to make the vouchers transferable so a family member may use them."
There is still no refund.
About 7 years ago our family had a non-refundable Delta ticket to Aruba which we had purchased for our prospective adoptive daughter. The child backed out of the adoption about a month prior to the trip.
Dh contacted a customer service supervisor at Delta and explained the situation. They did not offer a credit voucher, but a full cash refund. Their good will spoke volumes.
We have flown Delta to Aruba 6 times since then as well as additional domestic flights on Delta.
Shame on US Air, maybe they can take some lessons from others?
I'm sure someone will call me names for this but, non-refundable has a pretty specific and unambiguous meaning. I understand that it isn't the most customer friendly position to take, but these are the types of things people need to consider when selecting the type of ticket they purchase.
I am not going to call you names Chadd. I totally understand the "rules".
Would we not agree though that you can buy a lot of "good will", no matter Christmas or not, by doing the right thing? Even vouchers good towards future travel would have been a compromise.
I hate to bring Delta up again, but we also had non-refundable tickets when dd and I both came down with chicken pox. Rather than fly with chicken pox, we called Delta, explained the situation and they issued vouchers for all 3 of us, including dh who obviously was not going to travel without dd and I. Granted they did not want us on the plane, but did they have to issue the vouchers?
As the owner of a Customer Experience Agency, these are precisely the stories that make me cringe. Somehow, whoever is "citing the company policy book", forgot to read the bigger promise USAirways proudly declares to customers on their website:
"Customer service has always been a priority at US Airways, and we are committed to making every flight count for our valued customers. Our promise to you - the safety and satisfaction of our customers is a top priority for our airline"
. . . somehow, this person forgot the word SATISFACTION . . . (AND COMMON SENSE AND COMPASSION) it never ceases to amaze me how organizations are complacent and accept losing valuable emotional brand points with their customers for acts of sheer stupidity by their employees . . . from the C-suite down!