Ryanair customer claims she was told to “be patient” by the airline after being diagnosed with lung cancer and asking for refund

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A RYANAIR customer has claimed she was told to “be patient” by the airline after asking for a refund when she was diagnosed with cancer.

Alison Tatum said she has been trying to get £800 worth of Stansted to Paphos flights refunded for her and her family after finding out she had lung cancer in July.

The 52-year-old, from Islingston, was due to fly to Cyprus last month for a family holiday but was diagnosed with stage three lung cancer weeks before.

The family pictured - UK Health News
Pictured: Daughter-in-law Kristine Mercado,son Jack Biggs, Alison Tatum and her daughter Lucy Biggs.

Alison’s doctor recommended that she start treatment straight away so she contacted Ryanair by sending in proof of her illness and asking for a refund.

After contacting the airline numerous times by email and not hearing back, Alison claims she phoned Ryanair and was told by an operator to “be patient” 

The school administrator said she has only had automated responses back by the airline in the six weeks since she first contacted them.

Speaking today the mum-of-two said: “My family and I had booked a villa for three weeks to Cyprus in august. In July I was diagnosed with stage three lung cancer plus a brain tumour. 

“The hospital advised that this needed treatment as soon as possible and asked me to cancel the trip. 

“We were all flying out together on EasyJet who were great and had sorted the refund already but had two Ryanair flights coming back as my son and daughter-in-law had to return a week earlier due to work.

“The total cost of both flights were £846.73.

“I tried calling Ryanair for three weeks via phone and through the online chat but got cut off every time. 

Alison and her husband - Health News UK
Alison and hubby Mark Tatum pictured.

“Finally I managed to get hold of someone who said I had to fill out a form for a serious illness which I did.

“I tried completing the same form for my son but it didn’t recognise the name or flight number. I called them again and they said to email them. 

“Done that and still had no response. I called again but they said email again.

“I completed a complaint form as well but no response. I eventually managed to call again and the lady said there’s nothing she could do and I had to be patient.

“She couldn’t give me another email or number to chase this up on.

“I am not sure when I can fly again, if at all, as my condition is serious and I am undergoing chemotherapy treatment at the moment.

“I have been contacting them since I was diagnosed on 23 July.”

Alison was diagnosed with small cell lung cancer and two tumours in her left lung.

She added: “Now they have found something on the brain so they can’t operate now.

“If it has gone to the brain then they said I would only live one -two years but have to have chemotherapy to see if it shrinks the tumour.

“I have to wait till the second round of chemo before another scan.

“Obviously I’m hoping it isn’t as it could be treatable if not spread. Just another waiting game.”

The doctor letter - Health News UK
The letter said she could not fly.

Alison took to social media to share her distressing experience with other Ryanair customers.

One user said: “Tell them you are a bloody patient. Good grief-hope all goes well for you.” 

Another user exclaimed: “Never ever book with that company.” 

While one added: “Sorry to hear your sad news. Ryanair should be very ashamed.”

A spokesperson today said: “A member of our Customer Service team will contact this customer directly today.”