Ticket mix-up causes woman to miss flight to visit dying mom - Spokane, North Idaho News & Weather KHQ.com

Ticket mix-up causes woman to miss flight to visit dying mom

Posted: Updated:
DALLAS -

A woman who wanted to visit her dying mother one last time was removed from a plane and left in tears after an online travel agency canceled her ticket just before the flight.

The travel agency blames it on a mix-up that started when the woman changed flights without telling them. The agency says it was trying to protect her from fraud.

Carrol Amrich of Pueblo, Colorado, said Friday that United Airlines offered no empathy or help for a clearly distraught traveler.

After Amrich learned that her mother, Dixie Hanson, was hospitalized in Minnesota on Jan. 16, her landlord went on Traveler HelpDesk and bought a $585 United ticket.

Hanson's condition worsened, however — she was not expected to live through the night. The landlord, Ines Prelas, called United and paid $75 more so that Amrich could fly standby on an earlier flight, and the two rushed to the airport in Colorado Springs. She would fly through Denver to Minneapolis.

Amrich said everything seemed fine as she gave her boarding pass to a United agent, stowed her bag and took a seat on the plane. But a minute or two later, the agent came on board to tell Amrich that her ticket was no good; it had been canceled.

"I said 'I'm trying to get home to see my mother. She's dying,'" Amrich said. "She goes, 'I can't help it. You have to have a ticket, no one flies for free. Please disembark.' I knew at that time I'd never see my mother again."

Traveler HelpDesk had canceled the ticket. Carolyn Gallant, a customer-service supervisor, said the online travel agency voided the ticket because it didn't know that Amrich's landlord had changed the flight by calling United directly.

Gallant said the agency only knew that Amrich was no longer booked on the original flight, and it was trying to protect her from possible fraud. She said the mix-up would have been avoided if the customer had called the agency instead of United.

Back at the airport, Amrich and Prelas were pleading with United to let them buy a new ticket to get back on the plane — it was the last flight of the night. Amrich said the United agent told them there wasn't time for that, and that they would re-open the next morning.

Amrich wound up driving to Minnesota. A couple hours into the trip, she got word that her mother had died.

In a statement, United Airlines referred questions about the ticketing mix-up to Traveler HelpDesk. It said Amrich couldn't buy a new ticket at the airport gate in Colorado Springs because the plane had already left — Amrich disputes that.

United said it refunded all money spent on the ticket and fees, and it offered condolences to Amrich and her family.

Amrich's landlord posted an account of the events online, and it was first reported by The New York Times

(Copyright 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Most Popular StoriesMost Popular StoriesMore>>

  • Toddler shoots pregnant mom outside Indiana thrift store

    Toddler shoots pregnant mom outside Indiana thrift store

    Wednesday, April 18 2018 4:40 PM EDT2018-04-18 20:40:25 GMT

    MERRILVILLE, Indiana - An Indiana woman is in critical but stable condition after her 3-year-old daughter accidentally shot her with a gun her father left in the car. Police in Merrillville say two small children were waiting in the car with their mother while their father shopped inside a thrift store when the shooting happened Tuesday afternoon.

    >>

    MERRILVILLE, Indiana - An Indiana woman is in critical but stable condition after her 3-year-old daughter accidentally shot her with a gun her father left in the car. Police in Merrillville say two small children were waiting in the car with their mother while their father shopped inside a thrift store when the shooting happened Tuesday afternoon.

    >>
  • Family tries euthanizing cat after he walked 12 miles to return home

    Family tries euthanizing cat after he walked 12 miles to return home

    Thursday, April 19 2018 1:23 AM EDT2018-04-19 05:23:12 GMT
    @a.cat.named.toby@a.cat.named.toby
    @a.cat.named.toby@a.cat.named.toby

    RALEIGH, North Carolina - A North Carolina family gave their cat away and then tried to euthanize him after he walked 12 miles back to his home. According to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Wake County, North Carolina, Toby the cat made the long trek back to his family after they tried to give him away. When he returned, they took him to a shelter to put him down. The shelter called the SPCA to ask if they would help 

    >>

    RALEIGH, North Carolina - A North Carolina family gave their cat away and then tried to euthanize him after he walked 12 miles back to his home. According to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Wake County, North Carolina, Toby the cat made the long trek back to his family after they tried to give him away. When he returned, they took him to a shelter to put him down. The shelter called the SPCA to ask if they would help 

    >>
  • Dog daycare owner finds pile of dog poo piled on her car

    Dog daycare owner finds pile of dog poo piled on her car

    Wednesday, April 18 2018 8:11 PM EDT2018-04-19 00:11:41 GMT
    Tails-A-Wagging Facebook pageTails-A-Wagging Facebook page
    Tails-A-Wagging Facebook pageTails-A-Wagging Facebook page

    BELLINGHAM, Wash. - The owner of a Bellingham dog training and daycare center had a foul start to her work week. According to a post on the Tails-A-Wagging Facebook page, a vandal reportedly dumped "over 100 lbs. of dog feces" on owner Angela Lenz's car sometime Sunday night. "The feces was a mixture of old and new, and had been collected for a while," the Facebook post said. "The size of the various fecal dropping varied, 

    >>

    BELLINGHAM, Wash. - The owner of a Bellingham dog training and daycare center had a foul start to her work week. According to a post on the Tails-A-Wagging Facebook page, a vandal reportedly dumped "over 100 lbs. of dog feces" on owner Angela Lenz's car sometime Sunday night. "The feces was a mixture of old and new, and had been collected for a while," the Facebook post said. "The size of the various fecal dropping varied, 

    >>
HD DOPPLER 6i
/
  • Top Stories from KHQHomeMore>>

  • Community comes together at candlelight vigil for Medical Lake students

    Community comes together at candlelight vigil for Medical Lake students

    Thursday, April 19 2018 2:14 AM EDT2018-04-19 06:14:13 GMT

    MEDICAL LAKE, Wash. - It was an incredibly emotional night in Medical Lake as a candlelight vigil was held in this community that continues to heal. The Medical Lake family gathered tonight to be with each other and be there for each other.  On Saturday, 17-year-old Journey Tueller was killed, and three other students, Laci Sica, Savannah Sutton and Hailey Gross were injured in a crash as they were on their way to catch a team bus. 

    >>

    MEDICAL LAKE, Wash. - It was an incredibly emotional night in Medical Lake as a candlelight vigil was held in this community that continues to heal. The Medical Lake family gathered tonight to be with each other and be there for each other.  On Saturday, 17-year-old Journey Tueller was killed, and three other students, Laci Sica, Savannah Sutton and Hailey Gross were injured in a crash as they were on their way to catch a team bus. 

    >>
  • Family tries euthanizing cat after he walked 12 miles to return home

    Family tries euthanizing cat after he walked 12 miles to return home

    Thursday, April 19 2018 1:23 AM EDT2018-04-19 05:23:12 GMT
    @a.cat.named.toby@a.cat.named.toby
    @a.cat.named.toby@a.cat.named.toby

    RALEIGH, North Carolina - A North Carolina family gave their cat away and then tried to euthanize him after he walked 12 miles back to his home. According to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Wake County, North Carolina, Toby the cat made the long trek back to his family after they tried to give him away. When he returned, they took him to a shelter to put him down. The shelter called the SPCA to ask if they would help 

    >>

    RALEIGH, North Carolina - A North Carolina family gave their cat away and then tried to euthanize him after he walked 12 miles back to his home. According to the Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals of Wake County, North Carolina, Toby the cat made the long trek back to his family after they tried to give him away. When he returned, they took him to a shelter to put him down. The shelter called the SPCA to ask if they would help 

    >>
  • Big hurdle cleared for a sportsplex in Spokane

    Big hurdle cleared for a sportsplex in Spokane

    Wednesday, April 18 2018 10:10 PM EDT2018-04-19 02:10:35 GMT

    Spokane, Wash. Spokane County Commissioners have approved a $25 million bond to help build the Spokane Sportsplex. The Sportsplex would be a multi-purpose sports facility. It would be able to host national and local sporting events "We are almost at the end of the big phase which is we've identified the funding. The county, as you know, quoted to sell bonds for us, and the cities provided the land and will be providing us a 5 million dollar contribution as well....

    >>

    Spokane, Wash. Spokane County Commissioners have approved a $25 million bond to help build the Spokane Sportsplex. The Sportsplex would be a multi-purpose sports facility. It would be able to host national and local sporting events "We are almost at the end of the big phase which is we've identified the funding. The county, as you know, quoted to sell bonds for us, and the cities provided the land and will be providing us a 5 million dollar contribution as well....

    >>