Airline told Eastbourne cancer sufferer to ‘prove she was dying’ for refund

Emily Wellfare, 25, who suffers from an acute form of Leukaemia. SUS-161102-132311001
Emily Wellfare, 25, who suffers from an acute form of Leukaemia. SUS-161102-132311001

A cancer sufferer from Eastbourne who had to cancel a holiday for emergency treatment was told she could not have a refund unless she could prove she is terminally ill.

For much of her life 25-year-old Emily Wellfare has suffered from AML an acute form of leukaemia which attacks the blood and bone marrow.

Emily Wellfare and her boyfriend Sam Edwards SUS-161102-132322001

Emily Wellfare and her boyfriend Sam Edwards SUS-161102-132322001

She believed she had beaten the illness and in November booked an Easyjet holiday to Prague as a birthday present to her boyfriend Sam Edwards.

But just before last Christmas Emily’s cancer returned, forcing the couple to cancel the flights as she underwent treatment.

Emily said, “When I contacted Easyjet to inform them of the situation I was treated disgustingly.

“I had given them almost a month’s notice I could not fly yet the staff were nothing but rude and unhelpful and showed absolutely no sympathy towards my situation.

“[They said] If I could not prove I was terminal then I would not be entitled to my money back. As a 25-year-old woman trying to fight off cancer for a third time this is a very upsetting statement along with being completely unfair.

“I’m trying with every cell in my body not to die, yet Easyjet just threw this ridiculous line at me.”

While Emily’s condition is severe and requires long periods of hospital treatment, she is still able to recover and is not considered to be terminally ill.

Emily said, “I am undergoing severe and gruelling treatment. This involves high dose chemotherapy and a bone marrow transplant for which I have to be an inpatient.

“I am in hospital for very long periods of time and I am not even allowed to go outside.

“Doctors are unable to tell wether my condition is terminal, but the fact remains the same. I could not travel to Prague because I am having intense cancer treatment and I am very sick.

“I don’t know how the outcome of whether I live or die has any impact on why or why not I should get my money.

“Overall I found Easy Jet unhelpful, rude but most of all very insensitive while speaking to me. It seems ridiculous that people fundraise and give money and time to help young people like myself yet a big company like Easyjet could not even refund the money I had paid. This money means nothing to them yet a young girl with cancer who can no longer work should go without.”

After repeated requests to get a refund for the £215 holiday, Emily posted her experience on Easyjet’s Facebook page in hopes of finding a solution to her problem.

A spokesman for Easyjet said, “Easyjet is sorry to hear of Ms Wellfare’s situation and we sympathise with her. We apologise for the customer service she initially received on this occasion and will be investigating this with the agent concerned.

“Although our tickets are usually non-refundable, we have provided her with a full refund of her booking. We always recommend customers have comprehensive travel insurance to cover for unexpected circumstances and will always provide a letter to insurance companies when customers need to make a claim.”

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