A California woman with cancer, her husband and two sons were booted from an Alaska Airlines flight shortly before take-off from Lihue, Hawaii, Monday because airline employees decided she needed a note from her doctor before she could fly.
Elizabeth Sedway, 51, of Granite Hill, Calif., said she has multiple myeloma and would miss two scheduled chemo sessions as a result of the airline’s decision.
“I am scheduled for chemo, at home, on Tuesday and Wednesday. Because of this, I will miss my chemotherapy, my children will miss school, and my husband will miss important meetings,” Sedway said on her Facebook page.
“I am so heart-broken and disappointed. They won't allow me to fly, until I can get MY doctor, who is not here, to state, in writing, that I am ‘cleared to fly,’” she said.
Sedway said she first came to the airline’s attention when she put on a a surgical mask to avoid airport germs. She was allowed to board but was then removed from the plane.
“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."
Sedway said she and her family scrambled to find a hotel room for the night and did, but the airline “refused to pay for anything.”
Sedway and her family were re-booked on a flight the next day.
Alaska Airlines issued a statement Tuesday afternoon, saying it had addressed some of Sedway's concerns:
“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.”
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