Elizabeth Sedway, a cancer patient who was attempting to fly from Hawaii to San Jose, said she was kicked off of an Alaska Airlines flight because she told a flight attendant she felt "weak."
Sedway said that she was removed from the flight after she put a surgical mask on in the boarding area in a Hawaii airport. A flight attendant asked the 51-year-old mother if she felt ill and Sedway answered that, “I feel weak.”
The flight attendant then called a doctor, who apparently said that Sedway should not fly.
Bobbie Egan, Alaska Airlines spokesperson, told NBC Bay Area that the “communication breakdown was on our part.” She said that Alaska Airlines would reimburse the family for the tickets.
Sedway posted a video to her Facebook page where she can be heard saying, “I'm being removed like I'm a criminal or contagious because I have cancer. No note to fly. My family is being forcibly removed from the airplane because I have cancer.”
According to USA Today, airlines can refuse service for reasons including if passengers have contagious diseases. They can also refuse service for having pre-existing conditions like cancer, heart disease, lung conditions and diabetes.
Sedway did admit that she did not have a doctor’s note to travel. However, she said that she got to Hawaii without a note and has flown multiple times in the past five years. She claims that her doctor gave the flight attendants clearance to let Sedway fly during the incident.
The family stayed in Maui for an extra night and is expected to arrive in San Jose, California, a day late. She will miss her chemo appointment because of the delay.
Sedway said that the past 24 hours were tumultuous because of the airline’s decision.
"They need to polish their policies, apply some common sense," Sedway explained. "A simple mask, a word, shouldn't be enough to pull a whole family off an airplane."