Hey US Airways, do you really want my eyeball to explode on a plane?

Voronin/Shutterstock
Voronin/Shutterstock
Jennene Colky can’t fly because she has a detached retina. Why won’t US Airways refund her ticket?

Question: I was recently forced to cancel a round-trip ticket between Chicago and Bangor, Maine, on US Airways, for which I paid $494, including a $50 seat upgrade charge.

About a month before I was to fly, I had emergency surgery for a detached retina in which a gas bubble was inserted in my eye to hold the retina in place during the healing process. This meant that I could not fly or even travel to elevations over 1,000 feet. Two of the airlines on which I had flights — United and US Airways — asked for medical documentation of my surgery, which I sent them.

United, bless their little hearts, fully refunded the cost of my ticket to my credit card within days. But US Airways took a different view, refusing to refund the fare.

The facts are that my eye would have exploded at a high altitude, even in a pressurized cabin, and I had a letter from a retinal specialist attesting to this. If exploding eyeballs aren’t a good enough reason to credit or refund the entire amount of an airline ticket, just what is?

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