Courtesy Elizabeth Sedway(NEW YORK) — The California woman who recorded a video of her family being escorted off a flight because, she said, she has cancer, will donate the airline-refunded airfare to a cancer charity.
“As with most unpleasant times, there are silver linings, if we’re determined to find them,” Elizabeth Sedway wrote to ABC News in an email. “Here, we plan to donate the airfare, to be refunded by Alaska Airlines, to the Multiple Myeloma Research Foundation.”
“Additionally, this airline will likely look at future events of this kind with increased wisdom and sensitivity,” she wrote.
Sedway, a mother of two from Granite Bay, California, said she was in the handicapped section preparing to board an Alaska Airlines flight Monday from Hawaii to San Jose when she was asked by an airline employee if she needed help.
Sedway, who was wearing a surgical mask at the time, wrote in a later Facebook post that she responded she might need “a bit of extra time” to board the plane because, “sometimes I feel weak.” Sedway told ABC News she has been battling multiple myeloma for 5 years.
After her family boarded the plane, Sedway said an airline representative also boarded the plane and told Sedway she could not fly without a doctor’s note.
Sedway posted video of her being removed from the flight on her Facebook page Monday.
“I’m being removed as if I’m a criminal or contagious because I have cancer,” she says in the video. “My family is being forcibly removed from the airplane because I have cancer.”
Sedway and her family spent another night in Hawaii before being allowed to board a plane the next day back home to San Jose.
Alaska Airlines said in a statement that the situation “could have been handled differently.”
“We regret the inconvenience Ms. Sedway experienced yesterday and are very sorry for how the situation was handled,” the airline wrote to ABC News on Tuesday. “Her family’s tickets have been refunded and we’ll 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.”
Sedway told ABC News that her family discussed how to handle the situation during their flight home Tuesday and came to the decision to donate the ticket reimbursement money.
“[We] decided how we wanted this situation to conclude,” Sedway wrote.
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