Mother of Parkland shooting victim reimbursed by charter airline that flew her to Florida in emergency
The aggrieved mother Linda Schulman said she finally got "the compassion" she was looking for from a charter company she hired to fly her back to South Florida.
A Parkland shooting victim's mother was desperate to get to South Florida as she panicked upon hearing the news of her son's shooting.
Scott Beigel was shot in the Valentine's Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where he taught geography and also worked as a cross-country trainer.
When the victims mother, Linda Schulman desperately tried to book a flight to aid her son, one airline after another told her that no last-minute seats were available, reported Fox News.
"We took to our computers searching every airline that could get us to Florida from Islip, LaGuardia, JFK or Newark. Long story short, due to school having winter break and a major PGA golf tournament taking place in Florida, there were no available flights to be had," she wrote on Facebook.
But a mother's love for her child knows no bounds, and thus Linda Schulman booked a charter flight from New York.
"Even though I had never chartered a plane before, I knew it was going to be super expensive. It didn't matter what the cost was I had to get to my son!" she wrote.
While she handed her credit card information to Talon Air Inc., she found later that the airfare amounted to a staggering $18,229.56 for a one-way trip. The same charge was applied twice as the jet was scheduled to return back to its origin empty.
“I have no problem accepting that I have to pay for one way, even the fuel charge for the return flight,” Beigel’s mother wrote on Facebook. “Where is the compassion from Talon Air Inc.?”
Nearly 11 weeks after her son died, Talon Air sympathized with the aggrieved mother on Tuesday and apologized.
The airline told Schulman that they would reimburse her $18,229 of the $36,458 bill she already paid. Talon Air would then donate the $18,000 remainder to the Scott J. Beigel Memorial Fund which aims to provide scholarships to send children in financial need to summer camp.
“You have endured the greatest tragedy that no parent should have to confront,” company founder Adam Katz wrote in a letter to Schulman on Tuesday.
“No parent should have to go through what you and so many other parents have endured. My heart goes out to each and every one who has suffered so much pain, anguish, and loss by virtue of this senseless act of violence. ... I apologize for how poorly Talon initially handled this tragic matter."
Schulman had noted that jetBlue offered free flights to get families to Florida before the Farmingdale, New York based company offered to reimburse her expenses.
JetBlue had announced just days after the massacre that it would provide free flights to family members of the deceased to Fort Lauderdale. They also said that they would provide free ground transportation with 'Lyft'.
Paul McCluskey, the chairman of the Air Charter Association of North America, said that it was standard practice to charge fliers “for all hours the aircraft flies in your service." Experts also opined that it is common for a company to charge the customer for the return flight of the plane even if they did not fly on it.
Schulman said she has accepted the offer from Talon Air.