A family say they were refused a refund on flights after their three-year-old boy was diagnosed with cancer after the airline decided it was not an ‘exceptional circumstance’.
Oscar Long, from Bury, was diagnosed with leukaemia at the start of July, two weeks after the party of ten booked a dream holiday to Florida.
His grandmother Susan Long asked American Airlines to postpone the holiday and showed them letters from Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital which stated Oscar wouldn’t be well enough to fly for three years.
But she says they refused to postpone it for three years and told her it was against their policy to refund the tickets.
The rest of the group reluctantly went ahead with the trip without Oscar and his parents Ben and Leanne, and Susan says she has been battling to get their tickets refunded for the last two months.
She spoke to American Airlines on August 27 when she says they told her a cancer diagnosis was ‘not an exceptional circumstance’.
This week the family received a partial refund – ?748.60 towards the ?1,270 cost of Oscar, Ben and Leanne’s tickets.
A spokeswoman for the airline insisted to the Manchester Evening News they processed the refund in July but kept ?100 per ticket as a cancellation fee, it is unclear where the remaining ?200 went.
A spokesman for The Flights Guru, who booked the holiday for the family, said they are working with the airline to get the full ticket price refunded.
Susan, who spoke to both companies several times during July, said: ‘First I asked for them to hold the flight but they said they could only hold for a year.
‘When I asked for a refund they told me they only offered them to the next of kin if someone died and that leukaemia wasn’t an exceptional circumstance.
‘I went absolutely ballistic, we then got passed from The Flights Guru, who we had booked with, to American Airlines and they just kept blaming each other.’
The family’s holiday of a lifetime was understandably tainted, Oscar has began chemotherapy and has to stay in hospital for four days every fortnight but is bravely enduring the harrowing treatment.
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