A 33-year-old has accused Ryanair of refusing to refund him for a trip to see his son at Christmas after cancer surgery forced him to cancel his flight.
John Bigland from Urmston in Greater Manchester booked three return flights to Dublin to see three-year-old Sonny over the holidays.
The father, who was diagnosed with rectal cancer in December 2015, had forked out to spend three days with ex-girlfriend Amy and their child.
Mr Bigland, pictured with Sonny, was denied a full refund despite sending the airline a surgeon’s letter
He booked tickets on November 17 to fly out on Christmas Eve and return on December 27, according to The Sun Online.
That same day he also booked to fly out on January 2 and bring the toddler home to see his grandparents the following day.
His final trip was booked for January 6, when he had hoped to take Sonny home after three days with his family in the north-west. Mr Bigland planned to travel back to England on January 7.
Sonny was unable to see his father over the Christmas period because the 33-year-old was offered emergency treatment
He claims to have paid for his final trip home separately to the one on which he planned to be with his son.
But weeks after he bought his tickets, Mr Bigland was told by Christie cancer hospital he could have emergency treatment on December 18.
He needed the operation to remove tissue in his pelvis that built up after radiation burns to his bowels.
The 33-year-old applied for a refund on all three trips, sending the airline a surgeon’s letter explaining that he was discharged on Christmas Eve.
He also sent a photo of the scar his operation left to prove he was not fit to fly and explained the final flight was just two weeks after he was discharged.
But he was reimbursed for only the first two bookings – including his solo flight on January 7 – and was rejected his £65 refund for the middle flights with his son.
Mr Bigland, pictured with his three-year-old son, says it breaks his heart that he can’t see his child
‘I miss my son and I hate that I can’t see him,’ Mr Bigland said.
‘My surgery was planned for 2018 but I had no idea I would be operated on that soon.
‘I can’t fathom why they rejected one of the refunds… The evidence I gave them for all three was the same and it’s frustrating because you can’t even talk to a human.’
He said matters were made worse by the stress he was under recovering from his seven-hour surgery.
‘This matter is causing me a great deal of stress, not to mention loss of money which I haven’t got due to being on disability living allowance,’ he said.
Mr Bigland says he got a final response from Ryanair on Friday which said the airline sympathised with his view but refused to alter the decision.
Ryanair later said that claims must be accompanied by ‘appropriate medical documentation’ and said Mr Bigland ‘provided for two different claims… but not the third’.
The airline said if the required documentation is provided it will be reviewed and a refund will be offered if the claim is found to be valid.