A Christchurch woman suffering from cancer felt Air New Zealand belittled her condition after the airline refused her request to postpone her flight. Jackie McKenzie was apparently told by an airline rep that her request was denied because her reason was "only breast cancer."
Ms McKenzie, 42, was diagnosed with cancer less than a week after she had booked flights to Brisbane for her and husband and 3-year-old daughter on August 20. She has since had her left breast removed, but the cancer has already spread to her lymph nodes so she was told that she needed to undergo nine months of radiation treatment.
Upon realising that her treatment would coincide with her trip, she called Air New Zealand to have her flights postponed. The tickets cost her $1800.
A rep told her to apply for compassionate consideration, which she did. And on Wednesday, she called the airline again for an update on her request.
"The lady on the phone literally said: 'Your application has been declined because it's only breast cancer,'" she was quoted by Fairfax NZ as saying.
"I said to her, 'Are you joking? Did you just say that, because I am in disbelief,'" she added before asking to speak to the rep's manager.
The manager then confirmed that her application was denied because she has an ongoing condition and "not a bereavement or a critical illness."
Her flights could still be postponed if she paid charges, which would amount to a total of $510.
Even though Ms McKenzie asked the manager to look at her situation compassionately since she would be undergoing radiation on the same day of her flight, she was just told that it was "company policy."
"I have had a really scary time dealing with cancer with a 3-year-old girl and I just wanted some compassion. Their response just took my breath away," she told the news source.
After Fairfax NZ asked Air New Zealand about the cancer sufferer's situation, the company has admitted that their Contract Centre's response to Ms McKenzie was "unsatisfactory."
"We have apologised and will put it right," the airline said, adding that the value of her fares would be held in credit until her health permits her to travel. Or if Ms McKenzie wishes not to continue with her flight anymore, Air NZ is also offering the option of getting full refund.
To contact the editor, e-mail:
Most Popular Slideshows
- Top Ten Richest Americans [PHOTOS]
- Is Orlando Bloom’s Wife, Miranda Kerr Singing Love Songs for James Packer? [WATCH VIDEOS]
- 'Jelena' Romance: Selena Gomez Shares her Most Shocking Date with Justin Bieber Involving $3M- Diamond [PHOTOS/VIDEO]
- Watch Out, Robert Pattinson! Kellan Lutz Reveals He Turned Down The Role Of ‘Twilight’ Lead Edward Cullen [PHOTOS/ VIDEOS]