South Scotland

Disabled woman wins BA flight refund battle

Rachel Monk
Image caption Ms Monk appeared on the Victoria Derbyshire show on Thursday

A disabled woman who was told she would have to buy a new airline ticket after one of her carers resigned has been given a refund by British Airways.

The airline was contacted by the BBC's Victoria Derbyshire show before Rachel Monk, from Annan, Dumfries and Galloway, shared her story.

Ms Monk, who has cerebral palsy, was unable to change the name on the ticket despite having cancellation insurance.

Shortly before her TV appearance BA confirmed it would issue a £780 refund.

She booked the tickets for a trip to Canada to see her best friend in advance, in order to save money.

However, Ms Monk's plans were thrown into disarray when one of her two carers resigned at short notice.

She was then told the cancellation insurance she had purchased did not cover her specific situation.

'Dark cloud'

Ms Monk told the programme: "It would appear that BA are set out to get as much money from their passengers as they can despite the circumstances.

"I require help with all aspects of my life, including feeding, communication and personal care - absolutely everything, even scratching my nose."

As the prices started to increase Ms Monk bought another ticket for her new carer.

That has now been refunded by the airline but Ms Monk said it was "more than a coincidence" BA announced the "goodwill gesture" shortly before she was due to appear on TV to discuss the situation.

She said: "BA have cast a very dark cloud over a holiday that I have saved hard for.

"This fight is no longer about the money - it's about the principle of the matter and the problems that are faced by people who are disabled."

BA said in a statement: "We have offered Ms Monk a full refund so she is not out of pocket.

"Over a million customers with disabilities chose to fly with us every year and we take our responsibilities to them seriously.

"We seek feedback from customers and disability advisory groups...and offer a range of refundable options."