A mother and her daughter were refused to board a Virgin Australia flight after they were one-minute late – an understandable decision, except for the fact the young girl was on her way to receive life-saving treatment.
The girl’s mother — Billie-Jean Simon — says passengers were still boarding the flight bound for Newcastle last Wednesday when she and her daughter Payton Hartigan, three, were denied entry.
Billie-Jean claimed the pair arrived at Brisbane’s domestic terminal on time but Payton, who has acute myeloid leukemia, had to be rushed to the bathroom during the boarding call because she felt sick.
“[Billie-Jean] had heard the boarding call, but you just can’t tell a kid to hurry up when they’re being sick,” Billie-Jean’s mother Tina Mancini told Daily Mail Australia.
Tina explained, “It’s not like she was ten minutes … it was one minute.”
Tina and Payton.
Payton was on her way to receive stem-cell treatment in Newcastle – an appointment she desperately needed to attend after already enduring 16 rounds of chemotherapy at Lady Cilento Children’s Hospital. Despite her mom telling attendants their situation, they were told neither she nor her daughter would be able to fly.
“They closed the door in her face, she could see people still walking down,” Tina told Sunshine Coast Daily. “She doesn’t like publicizing Payton’s cancer but the appointment was so important she couldn’t miss it.”
Instead of flying, they decided to drive until 1:00 a.m., and fly home on Thursday with a different airline.
“When she asked about the next flight she was told it would be another $600, despite having insurance,” she continued. “With money so tight at the moment, it just wasn’t something she could afford.”
The family has set up a GoFundMe page to help the family with the financial burden of Payton’s cancer.
This article originally appeared on NowToLove.com.