Wife of dying Portsmouth man told: Why not take someone else on holiday?

Winners and highly-commended staff at Queen Alexandra Hospital's Best People Awards 2017     Picture: Portsmouth Hospitals NHS Trust

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A FAMILY have been left fuming after a travel operator advised the wife of a man with terminal cancer to find a replacement passenger for a planned holiday.

Chris Quick, 58, and her husband Keith, 61, of Curtis Mead, Hilsea, had booked and paid for a trip to Benidorm next month to celebrate their 38th wedding anniversary.

Keith Quick from Hilsea with his wife Chris

Keith Quick from Hilsea with his wife Chris

But when Mr Quick went to the GP about a persistent cough, the couple were given the devastating news he had lung cancer.

Last week the pair were told it was terminal, and so Mr Quick would not be able to go on holiday.

But they have been left further distraught by travel operator Thomson after they went to cancel the trip, only to be asked if Mrs Quick could take another passenger instead.

The retired support worker for a women’s refuge said: ‘This has been a very emotional time for us.

‘We go out to Benidorm about four times a year every year to see our friends out there.

‘When we got given this terrible news I told my daughter to ring Thomson to cancel the holiday for us.’

When Kerry Holt, 36, called the provider, she was told not all the money for the holiday would be refunded.

She said: ‘The attitude of the person on the phone was appalling – I was told to “shut up” at one point.

‘There was no empathy to my dad’s situation – he didn’t want this to happen.

‘They have used Thomson for the past four years and thought they would show more compassion.

‘Instead they suggested my mum should go on holiday with someone else.’

The pair had booked a trip to Benidorm in October with a Thomson branch in London Road, Hilsea.

And when the family went in to explain, they were given the same advice again.

Mrs Quick said: ‘I am so angry about this, it’s not about the money as we are sorting it with our insurance.

‘I want an apology for the way we have been spoken to.’

Mr Quick said: ‘I’m so disgusted we have been treated this way.

‘I never expected to get cancer, yet this isn’t an exceptional circumstance for them.

‘All of this has been so emotional and hasn’t helped at all.

‘I wanted to say goodbye to my friends one last time, and I won’t be able to.’

Thomson have paid back £538 for the holiday in June, which cost £1,900.

The October holiday is still being settled.

A spokesman for the company said: ‘Thomson is very sorry to hear that Mr and Mrs Quick were unhappy with the service they received when cancelling their holiday.

‘We sympathise with their situation and understand this must be a very difficult time.

‘Our customer service and retail teams always aim to offer the best possible service to all customers and this includes providing them with details of all the options available to them.

‘We would like to reassure the couple that we never intended to cause offence or undue upset by providing this information.

‘As their holiday has now been cancelled we have advised the Mr and Mrs Quick to contact their insurance provider to settle their claim.’