A GRIEVING widow has blasted TUI for a “lack of compassion” after she had to “battle” with them to change her holiday plans – while her husband lay dying.
Katie Badger, from Wolverhampton, West Midlands, told how her husband Glen Badger was rushed to hospital after a tragic road accident.
Katie, 36, and Glen, 39, were planning to go on holiday with their two children to Costa Dorada, Tarragona, in Spain on August 28 when tragedy struck a month before.
Glen had to be airlifted to Coventry University Hospital on July 26 after a horrific accident while he was working on a motorway project, passing away two weeks later after suffering severe brain trauma.
However, while Glen lay in his hospital bed, wife Katie struggled to rebook the family holiday and claims she was “ignored” by TUI who demanded she rebook within a tight timeframe.
The mum-of-two is now demanding the company review their procedures for grieving family’s to save them from the “distress” she suffered.
TUI have apologised and extended the family’s deadline for changing their holiday plans.
Katie vented her frustration on TUI’s Facebook page, writing: “My husband sadly passed away on August 10.
“I had been in touch several times whilst he was critically ill in hospital and you wouldn’t speak to me.
“I got a letter from the hospital and sent it to exceptions but you were still difficult. So there I am in hospital tending to my dying husband battling with your ‘customer care’ team.
“I explained he has died, and you say we need the death certificate by the 25 August. Sorry it was inconvenient timing so close to when we are going away.”
Katie explained that she then received an email from the company saying she can re-book for free – or they can cancel the trip and refund the money minus £100 per person.
She added: “This is an insult. I can’t go because my husband has just died not because he broke a leg.
“Anyway I decide, I can’t be bothered with the stress and argument with you. I’ll maybe rebook for next year. I spent three days trying to get through- there is a system fault.”
Katie was then told by TUI that she could rebook her holiday – but it had to be done by 6pm on that day, which she said made her “more and more stressed”.
After calling the company and being put on hold, Katie was told there was no manager available but suggested she put everything on hold for six months.
She fumed: “Why they couldn’t have done this in the first place I don’t know.
“Your company’s total lack of compassion is disgusting. The fact that you won’t help in looking for an alternative destination is a disgrace.
“That you want to charge me for a holiday I would’ve loved to have gone on and can’t due to horrific circumstances.
“I’m so angry and upset by the way I have been treated. I have used Thomson for years because of the good reputation but I really don’t think I would again.”
Katie’s post has been shared over 450 times with over scores of social media users leaving comments in support of the family.
Gail Hunt wrote: “Oh my god. I think that is terrible. No compassion and care. I can’t believe they would be like that. So sorry for loss. My thoughts are with you and all of your family.”
Pat Foxall added: “So sorry for the loss of your husband. I had the same happen to me, my son was diagnosed with leukemia in March. We should of been flying off to Mexico with TUI. I had to pay £100 pound per person, no compassion whatsoever.”
Pauline Nagaur commented: “Disgusting behaviour and service. It must have robots on end of phone. Has the person no compassion or understanding of an uncontrollable and very painful situation?”
While Rebecca Jayne Elwell said simply: “Absolutely appalling have they no compassion. They should be ashamed of themselves.”
Speaking today, Katie said: “No one ever bothers to call and no-one seems remotely concerned.
“For me, I just feel their exceptions team should be more hands on. They should call and actually speak to people.
“I don’t expect a refund. I don’t want money thrown at me.
“I simply want their processes reviewed and re-looked at. Many people must go through similar distressing processes but they just fob you off.”
A spokesman for TUI: “We are very sorry to hear about Mrs Badger’s experience with us following the loss of her husband.
“We have extended the deadline for her to change her holiday and apologise for not doing this originally.
“We would like to thank her for bringing this to our attention and will be making direct contact with her to resolve the matter.”
Katie and Glen married in Cyprus in September 2009, but had been together for 16 years when they tied the knot.
Glen worked in Traffic Management and was tragically hit by a lorry during a project on the M42/M6.
He was airlifted to Coventry University Hospital in a critical condition and later died from his injuries.
A crowdfunder was set up a month ago for Katie and her children to help rebuild their lives after the tragic accident has beaten the target and raised over £15,000.