You can’t fly without doctor’s letter, Leeds cancer patient told

Robert Harder with wife Jacqui.
Robert Harder with wife Jacqui.
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A brain cancer sufferer on holiday in Spain was stopped from getting on a plane home for a chemotherapy appointment after airline officials insisted she needed a doctor’s letter to fly.

Jacqui Harder, 51, from Rawdon, faced the prospect of being stranded abroad after cancelled her flight when she revealed she had cancer.

Her husband Robert said he was “stunned” to be told she needed a doctor’s letter to prove she was safe to fly, as other airlines had previously taken his wife without a problem.

The airline offered the couple a full refund but they were yesterday forced to find a last-minute flight from Alicante to Leeds Bradford Airport so Mrs Harder could be back in the UK for a chemotherapy session at St James’s University Hospital this morning.

The mother-of-two, a finance director for the couple’s IT company, was diagnosed with glioblastoma multiforme, an aggressive form of cancer, a year ago.

After flying out with to Alicante for a week’s holiday with Ryanair, Mr Harder booked a return flight with as the times were more convenient.

Mr Harder, 53, called the airline a few hours before the flight at 2.30pm yesterday to arrange for a wheelchair for his wife and was told he needed a ‘fitness to fly’ letter. He said: “No-one else has ever said to us ‘if you have cancer you can’t travel’. I think they are victimising cancer patients, it is a disgrace.”

A spokeswoman said: “We are sorry to hear about Mrs Harder’s condition. Following the last minute booking for today’s flight, she was unable to provide a fitness to fly certificate so a full refund was issued.”

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