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Australian airline initially refuses to let shark attack victim's mother change her flight

JetStar apologizes after initially refusing flight change request from the mother of New Zealand shark attack victim.

JetStar Great WhiteEnlarge
The mother of Great White shark victim Adam Strange was initially charged the full price to change her JetStar flight to be closer to her family, igniting a media firestorm. (Dan Kitwood/AFP/Getty Images)

When her son was killed by a Great White shark near Auckland this week, mother Jeanette Strange wanted to change her pre-booked flight from Wellington to next week to Feb 27, citing "compassionate grounds."

But budget Australian airline JetStar didn't see eye to eye with the grieving woman: they denied her request, and told Strange she'd have to pay the $265 change fee if she wanted to fly earlier, wrote The Australian.

Read more from GlobalPost: New Zealand swimmer Adam Strange killed in rare shark attack

Strange's sister Kay Cresswell phoned up the airline to ask about a change when she learned of the fee, and was understandably displeased, wrote the New Zealand Herald.

"They put me on hold for 10 minutes to talk to a supervisor, then said they were very sorry but could not transfer the booking. She would have to pay $321 for a new ticket," said Craswell to Stuff.co.nz, who added that she was "disgusted with their lack of compassion."

Strange ended up flying Air New Zealand back to Auckland, and was given a discounted fare for the trip, added Stuff.co.nz.

 JetStar swiftly issued a mea culpa, says the Australian.

"Jetstar appreciates this would have been a stressful situation and regrets if the service received by her relative from our call center caused further distress," said a JetStar spokesman. 

"We have contacted the relative and apologized for the way the call was handled."

Filmmaker Adam Strange was killed by a Great White shark near west Auckland, in the first such New Zealand attack in decades.

http://www.globalpost.com/dispatch/globalpost-blogs/weird-wide-web/130301/australian-airline-initially-refuses-let-shark-attac