On Valentine’s Day, Linda Schulman was searching desperately for flights from New York to Florida.
She had just learned that her son, Scott Beigel, had been shot at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, where he worked as a geography teacher.
Linda, her husband and her brother wanted urgently to get to Scott’s side.
However, the mum found that all regular flights had been sold out. So frantically she went to the next step, chartering a flight to the area, paying little attention to the cost as she booked it.
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Within two hours, the company, Talon Air, had a plane ready for her and her family. It was only after they touched down in Florida they learned that her son was one of the 17 victims who had died from their injuries. He was shot after he unlocked his classroom to let more students in to hide.
It was in the midst of her grief that Linda received the bill for the charter plane. She hadn’t expected it to be cheap but was floored to see the charge was US$36.000 (AUD$48,000).
“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 — I had to get to my son!” she said on Facebook.
Even more shocking to Linda, was that Talon Air had charged her for the plane’s return trip to Farmingdale, doubling the cost of US$18,000.
The mum said she was willing to pay the “super expensive” one-way cost, but didn’t understand why she was footing the bill for the return trip.
Linda said she tried to get the company to halve the charge, but after several weeks without success, she decided to share her complaint on Facebook.
“Today marks day 74 since my son Scott J. Beigel was shot and killed senselessly at the Parkland massacre,” she wrote on April 30.
“I have waited all this time in hopes that the owner of Talon Air, Inc. would show some compassion, but as you read on you will see that unfortunately, he has not.
“Talon Air, Inc. not only charged us $US18,229.57 one way, they charged us another $US18,229.56 to bring the plane back to Farmingdale because they did not have anyone wanting to charter the plane back from Fort Lauderdale. Really?”
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