Carrol Amrich lived over a thousand miles away from her mother. When she found out that her mother was dying, she knew she had to do everything she could to get to her mother’s side to say goodbye.
She didn’t have the money to buy a plane ticket for herself, but her landlord wanted to help her get to her mother, so she bought Carrol a ticket for the next day. However, Carrol found out that her mother suddenly took a turn for the worse. She was in heart failure and would likely die before Carrol would arrive.
Carrol and her landlord, Ines Prelas, decided that the best option would be to change her ticket. Ines called United to see if they could change the flight to a different one the same day. They were able to. Confirmation emails were sent to Ines to confirm the change.
Carrol had to rush to the airport to get there in time, but she did. She checked in without a problem and her boarding pass was scanned at the gate.
However, when Carrol sat down in her seat and got buckled, a gate agent approached her on the plane and asked her to leave. Carrol pleaded with the agent, but the agent said that her ticket had been refunded. The agent said, “Nobody flies for free.”
Carrol got off the plane crying. She called Ines, not knowing what had happened.
Ines spoke to the gate agent and offered to give them her credit card so that Carrol could board the plane. According to Ines, “I said: ‘Take my credit card. We’ll straighten this out later, but get her on that plane.’” They did not let her back on the plane.
With no other options to see her dying mother, Carrol decided to drive. “I drove 1,000 miles, and she was gone before I got here,” she shared. “I never stopped to rest. I went straight through. And she was gone.”
According to the airline, the travel agent saw in their system that Carrol’s plane ticket had been modified. They had no way of knowing if the change was authorized, so they voided the ticket to protect her.
The next day, after Carrol arrived in Minnesota to mourn her mother’s death, a representative from United contacted her. They wanted her address so they could send flowers.
“What are flowers going to do?” Ines said in defense of her. “You took away from her that she might have been able to see her mother alive.”
What a devastating story for Carrol. Hopefully, she is able to mourn her mother’s passing without having to deal with this issue.
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