Woman Kicked Off Airplane for Having Cancer

People get kicked off flights for a variety of reasons, and some are totally legit. Like this woman who terrorized an entire plane full of people. Then there are stories like this one, about a cancer patient who was asked to leave the aircraft -- because she has cancer.


Elizabeth Sedway was heading home to California after a vacation in Hawaii on Monday when she and her family were asked to leave their Alaskan Airlines flight. She reportedly didn't have a doctor's note, and after an airline doctor questioned her, she was asked to de-plane, along with her husband and two sons.

Sedway has a type of blood cancer, and said that she informed a flight attendant that she may need extra time to board because she sometimes feels weak. You know, because she freaking has cancer. She also wore a surgical mask in the boarding area. Again, something about cancer and having a compromised immune system. It was to protect her, not because she has some infectious disease.

The family was forced to stay in a hotel Monday night, and Sedway said that it caused her to miss a chemo appointment.

Thankfully, Alaska Airlines has been as gracious as possible in the aftermath of the incident, with spokeswoman Bobbie Egan saying Tuesday that the "communication breakdown was on our part." They will refund the family's airfare, and reimburse any expenses as well.

More from The Stir: Breast Cancer Survivor Loses Chick-fil-A Job Over Double Mastectomy

Sedway reportedly took a video on the plane, in which she could be heard saying, "I'm being removed as if I'm a criminal or contagious because I have cancer. No note to fly. Does anybody wonder how I got to Hawaii?"

That's a good point. There are of course times when cancer patients shouldn't fly, but should the airline trust the individuals to have asked their doctors before taking a big trip? Cancer isn't exactly something you mess around with! We're all adults here -- we shouldn't need to bring doctor's notes with us, for Pete's sake!

This poor woman has likely been through enough. She's battling cancer, and got to take a break from a reality for a bit with her family in Hawaii. The last thing she needed was to be made to feel like a common criminal because she was wearing a surgical mask, and asked for a little bit of extra time to board.

Do you think cancer patients should have doctor's notes if they want to fly?


Image via Frank Kovalchek/Flickr

Read More >