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IN People ON 14 Feb, 2016
Jahmila Kelly, 32, from Bethnal Green, east London, planned to go for two-week holiday with her best friend to St Lucia. Ms Kelly, a reservations agent with Imperial Hotels, was supposed to fly from Gatwick on 17th March. Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with brain tumor just before a week she was supposed to travel.
She was literally devastated to know that she is suffering from brain tumor all of a sudden just like the body builder who was diagnosed with tumor due to wrong diet. When Ms Kelly asked for refund of £770 from British Airways, she was informed that full refund can be given only in case of her death.
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She just wanted to postpone her dream holiday to the Caribbean until operation but was shocked to know that her dream holiday can't be delayed or refunded.
Unfortunately, she was diagnosed with cerebral meningioma in January.
The 32-year-old was diagnosed with a brain tumor last month. She was supposed to undergo a life-saving operation on 4th March just before a week of her holiday.
Ms Kelly contacted her travel agent to get some help. She was informed that her BA flights can't be delayed or refunded as per the company's policy. However, she is entitled to get the full refund only in case of her death.
Ms Kelly made the payment of £770 for her BA flights and £1,500 for a hotel on the Caribbean island. She explained: 'As soon as I was diagnosed in January I rang Netflights, and they said it was up to BA to issue a refund, so advised me to contact them. I contacted BA, but they sent me back to Netflights. It's been a wild goose chase. Eventually, Netflights agreed to help, and they are trying to be the middle person and get more out of BA but right now BA doesn't seem to be budging.'
The mother-of-one lost her sight in an eye due to a tumor. The benign tumor on the optic nerve behind her eye needs to be removed immediately. She received a shocking email from Netflights. The email read: 'All of our web bookings are non-refundable. In the circumstance of illness, we are happy to give all that we can back. Unfortunately, the airlines rules state that all we can give is a partial tax refund. This is only to be waivered for the death of a passenger. I understand this may be an extreme ruling but still a rule we have to abide by. My colleague has been in contact with the airline concerning this and has been advised that the ruling has to stand. British Airways are not willing to waive this in the case of illness. We have also been in contact with the airline requesting to extend the ticket validity so that Ms. Kelly can amend her flights to any further desired dates under the terms and conditions that a reissue fee and any difference in fare and tax will be charged. This request has been denied.'
Ms Kelly feels that tumor should be a valid reason for a refund. She exclaimed: 'I deal with customers all the time in my job and I always put consideration into every customer I deal with. Some people have personal problems and you should always make sure people enjoy their experience. I am disgusted, I feel the travel industry should be aimed at delivering and helping the customers and I don't think I am getting that experience. They should be here to help me. I'm visually impaired in my right eye which is going to lead to blindness, I have nerve seizures where I can be paralysed on the left side, tiredness, headaches, eye pain and nausea. It's a problem right now. I can't believe you literally have to be dead for them to consider even a refund. It's disgusting, it's inhumane, and I am afraid they will treat people who are worse off than me like this. They will never be getting a penny of my money ever again. I didn't want the money, I just wanted the flights pushed back, I thought maybe after the treatment I could still go on the holiday for the recovery period. But they won't even do that. It's just not right.'A a spokesperson said: 'We are investigating this case as a matter of urgency and will be in contact with both the customer and netflights.com.'