Ryanair apologises to grieving father for charging him £160 to change flights


Ryanair refunds surgeon £160 charge for flight change after death of whole family

Ryanair has apologised for forcing a grieving Dublin surgeon to pay £160 to switch flights after he had learned that his entire family had died in a fire.

The airline has now confirmed it will be refunding the money.

Dr Muhammad Taufiq Sattar lives and works in Dublin, and flew to back to the UK to see his family in Leicester every week.

He had his return ticket booked as usual for last Friday evening, but was woken at 3am by a phone call delivering the news that his family's house was on fire.

He rushed to Dublin Airport and arrived at around 5.30am, by which time he had received the horrific news that none of his family members escaped the blaze, reports the Daily Mail.

He approached the Ryanair check-in desk and explained why he had to change his 9.40pm flight to East Midlands Airport for the 6.30am flight to Birmingham.

But, even with tears streaming down his face, he was told he would have to pay €187.46 (£158) for a new ticket.

Speaking from his west Dublin home in Castleknock on Wednesday night, the neurosurgeon, who works in Beaumont, Temple Street Children's Hospital and the Hermitage, told the Daily Mail: "I don't want to make a big deal about it but it did shock me. I really did not expect them to charge me.

"I thought, given the circumstances, they might just let me transfer flights, as I had already paid for a return fare."

But in a statement given to the Irish Independent, a spokesman for the airline apologised and said Mr Sattar had been given a refund. "Ryanair offers its sincere condolences to Dr Sattar and confirmed that in the circumstances it will provide a full refund of any monies paid last Friday," it read.

The doctor's wife Shehnila (47), daughter Zainab (19) and sons Bilal (17) and Jamal (15) all died in the fire.

It is believed the innocent family were targeted in a case of mistaken identity.

According to the BBC, Kemo Porter, 18, appeared before Leicester Magistrates' Court charged with the murder of all four victims early on Friday 20 September.

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