San Mateo nurse cancels 'Healthcare Heroes' trip due to COVID surge, can't get refund from airline

Friday, September 17, 2021
Bay Area nurse cancels trip due to COVID surge, no airline refund
JetBlue offered free tickets to healthcare workers, but refused a refund for an additional, purchased ticket when a San Mateo nurse had to cancel.

SAN MATEO, Calif. (KGO) -- No good deed goes unpunished, as the saying goes. That old truism can be applied to both sides of this story. There is a generous and giving airline on one hand, and a dedicated COVID nurse and her family on the other.

Both were just trying to do the right thing. You've seen news video of nurses working under the most challenging of circumstances. We ache for them during the pandemic.

Well, Jet Blue decided to do more. It offered free tickets to nurses in its Jet Blue Heroes program. San Mateo nurse, Kimi Hashizume, was selected to receive a pair of tickets. She was thrilled.

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"So it's going to be a girls trip, my mom, my sister and I," she told me, "So I booked her (Kimi's sister) ticket with mine through the Healthcare Heroes line, and they said, 'No worries like if you can't go just let us know and we'll cancel (and see it is) refunded.'"

Kimi then helped her mom book her ticket separately. It cost nearly $700. Their trip to New York City seemed good to go, but then the pandemic got in the way.

"My mom was looking at the Delta variant rates and I was looking at work," Kimi says, "and I was feeling really guilty, and so we decided to cancel. First, I canceled my sister and mine, no problem, it was super easy."

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Then, Kimi found her mom could cancel the trip and fly later, but she wanted a refund. Jet Blue said no... a couple of times.

"Being a little bit frustrated, I just reached out to 7 On Your Side and figured we'll see what happens," Kimi said.

RELATED: COVID-19 Impact: As nationwide nursing shortage hits California, UCSF nurses demand change

A lot happened. 7 On Your Side spoke with Jet Blue and were told in part: "To say JetBlue appreciates those on the frontlines is an understatement. We have issued a full refund..."

Kimi confirmed: "My mom's tickets, I believe, combined for a total of about I think like $686."

Take a look at more stories and videos by Michael Finney and 7 On Your Side.

Have a question for Michael and the 7 On Your Side team? Fill out the form HERE!

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