Airline Refuses To Refund Ticket For Deceased Child, Pretends To Apologize

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When the Cantrell family tragically lost their 9-year-old daughter Madison ‘Scout’ Cantrell from complications of an asthma attack, they decided they couldn’t bear to take their yearly beach trip without her. They changed their plans, then tried to refund Scout’s ticket. Instead of sympathy, they were met with a cold, corporate response stating that their deceased child’s ticket did “not meet [American Airline’s] exception requirements.” To make it even worse, once the story hit the news, American Airlines claimed it reached out to the family to apologize, which according to Scout’s mother, never happened.

Felicity Cantrell posted to her Facebook page about the incident:

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Cantrell received hundreds of comments about the incident from supporters on Facebook. The general consensus was that it was a poor, callous choice on the part of the airline. Agreed. Who receives a nine-year-old’s death certificate and fires off what sounds like some sort of auto response? There are still humans working to process this stuff, right? Or are there some insensitive robots to blame?

As if the situation weren’t bad enough, Fox News published a story yesterday in which the company insists that they reached out to the grieving mother to apologize:

Tuesday evening, American Airlines got in touch with the family, apologized for how the situation was handled and refunded the ticket.

“We extend our deepest sympathies to the Cantrell family on the loss of their daughter, Madison,” an American Airlines spokesperson told NBC 5. “We fully refunded Madison’s ticket last night and apologized to Mrs. Cantrell for not doing so immediately when she first contacted us.”

According to Cantrell, that never happened.


Cantrell told NBC News, “This is not about the money. Clearly, this has struck a chord with people… We can’t be the only family this has happened to.”

Good for her and her family for speaking up about this, and possibly sparing another family this kind of gross insensitivity in the future.

(feature photo: Getty Images)