SAN JOSE (CBS SF) — A woman with cancer and her family were kicked off from an Alaska Airlines flight from Hawaii to California after airline employees said she needed a note from her doctor before she could fly.
Elizabeth Sedway of Granite Bay, Calif. suffers from multiple myeloma and said she would forgo several chemotherapy treatments as a result of her missed flight from Lihue, Hawaii to San Jose, Calif. Monday.
“I am scheduled for chemo, at home, on Tuesday and Wednesday,” she wrote on her Facebook page. “Because of this, I will miss my chemotherapy, my children will miss school, and my husband will miss important meetings,” she wrote on her Facebook page.
The 51-year-old was removed from the plane, along with her two sons and husband, shortly after airline employees noticed she had put on a surgical mask to avoid airport germs.
“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, [I] 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.”
Video Sedway posted on Facebook shows the family leaving the plane.
Sedway and her family stayed at a hotel room for night and were on another flight back to California the next day.
“It was shocking. I mean I’ve flown, we’ve flown for five years with this diagnosis, and I felt humiliated,” Sedway said.
On Tuesday, Alaska Airlines spokeswoman Halley Knigge told CBS SF that the airline apologized to Sedway: “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.”