A LISMORE father claims Jet Star denied him a refund for two plane tickets, despite his 11-year-old son's sudden diagnosis of end-stage cancer.
Richard Guy said he expected the budget carrier to show more compassion for Miles, who had evidence from his oncologist he was too ill to fly to his grandmother's 70th birthday in Melbourne.
Their plans to leave from Ballina Airport to Tullamarine on May 4 to return on May 7 were thrown into turmoil when Miles was hospitalised for intense chemotherapy at Lady Cilento Hospital in Brisbane.
Mr Guy - an emergency ward nurse at Lismore Base Hospital - phoned Jet Star on April 24, pleading for a $220-refund for two tickets because his son had become immune-compromised.
It's claimed after over an hour on the phone, Mr Guy was told to submit evidence of his son's illness using the 'Ask Jess' chat feature, which was manned by a robot and then human operator, 'Roda'.
"I needed have a medical certificate with Miles' diagnosis on it from the oncologist with the travel dates and all that info on a letter head, and I uploaded that," Mr Guy said.
Mr Richard was refused a refund and offered a credit note instead, but it had to be used within six months.
"I don't know if Miles will be able to fly, his prognosis is stage four metastatic cancer," Mr Guy said.
"He has spinal metastasis, metastasis in his bones, how would I know I would travel in (six) months' time?
"It's just not something I want to think about right now."
Mr Guy said he hoped the airline would show more compassion.
"Roda said I should just be grateful that I am getting a credit for my ticket, because it's not their policy," Mr Guy said.
"I think Jet Star is a soulless and heartless corporation, showing that they don't care about human beings.
"They don't care about anyone else but their bottom line and then to be told to be grateful is just horrible."
Mr Guy said the $220 refund would have made a significant impact on the family's tight budget.
"We're living in Brisbane at the moment and I'm not working; the meds and outpatient scans are costing a fortune," Mr Guy said.
"$220 to us at the moment is a lot - it's basically enough for us to keep going another week - and to them it's nothing, and that why I'm so angry about it.
"I'm never flying Jet Star again."
Mr Guy was provided no receipt of the conversation with Roda.
After enquires made by The Northern Star on Saturday, a Jet Star spokesperson said a full refund would be given to Mr Guy "as per (Jet Star's) compassionate policy".
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