Cancer patient Elizabeth Sedway was kicked off an Alaska Airlines plane, which caused her to miss her scheduled chemotherapy session to treat the disease.
The woman and her family were traveling from San Jose, California to Hawaii on Monday when an Alaska Airlines employee insisted she needed a doctor’s note to fly, the Huffington Post reports. Consequently, the woman, who is a cancer patient in the middle of treatment, missed her chemotherapy session scheduled for Tuesday.
A distraught Sedway — who suffers from multiple myeloma — took to her Facebook page to talk about the ordeal with her friends. In the video that she shared, the family is seen being escorted out of the plane.
“Today, we were at gate 8 ready to depart on Alaska Airlines for San Jose. An airline employee saw me seated in the handicap section of the boarding area. She asked me if I needed anything. The first time. I said no. The second time, O said, well I might need a bit of extra time to board, sometimes I feel weak. Because I said the word weak, the Alaska Airlines employee called a doctor, she claimed was associated with the airlines. After we board the plane. An Alaska representative boarded the plane, and told us I could not fly without a note from a doctor stating that I was cleared to fly. The video is of us being removed from the plane.”
Alaska Airlines has apologized for removing the family from the plane, according to NBC Bay Area.
“We regret the inconvenience Ms. Sedway experienced yesterday and are very sorry for how the situation was handled. Her family’s tickets have been refunded and we will cover the cost of her family’s overnight accommodations in Lihue. While our employee had the customer’s well-being in mind, the situation could have been handled differently.”
Some cancer patients are not able to fly because of the changes of pressurization and oxygen levels in the cabin, which could be dangerous, according to Cancer Net. Additionally, the site indicates some cancer patients could develop blood clots from sitting for a long flight. USA Today also reports that airlines can refuse service to people undergoing treatment for cancer.
Sedway, who acknowledged she did not have a doctor note, says she contacted her oncologist during the ordeal with Alaska Airlines and got clearance to fly. The woman explained that she has been traveling for the past five years.
Do you think Alaska Airlines apology and refund are sufficient?
[Image via Facebook]