Mum faced ‘7 days of hell’ in Saint Lucia after BA cancelled flight

A mum claims her young family has had "seven days of hell" stranded on the paradise island of Saint Lucia after British Airways canceled their flight home.

Erica Alexander visited family on the island with children, Tyra, 12, and Giovanni, eight months, on May 27 but decided to extend her stay.

The 33-year-old said British Airways (BA) arranged new tickets for around $455 (£350) but, when she checked the app days later she found the flight had been scrapped.

As she hadn't turned up for the original flight, the mum says the airline told her she now needed to cough up £2,000 to get home.

The teaching assistant, who booked the trip after struggling with postnatal depression, said: "BA have treated me and my children like garbage off the ground.

"I wanted to be with my family, I haven't seen them for six years and I don't have much support in London so me and my partner decided I should go for my mental health and to get myself back together, as I wasn't bonding with my baby."

Erica, of Battersea, southwest London, messaged BA on Twitter and Instagram but claims the firm sent a text saying they were "unable to help but hoped Erica would be able to return [home] soon".

She added: "I feel like I've taken 10 steps back in the progress I've made in terms of my depression. I was a mess, I couldn't sleep, I couldn't eat.

"BA came up with excuses saying I should have called to confirm the extension date and that I should have called to discuss my baby's new ticket but I had no idea he even needed one."

After one week on the island and spending two hours in an airport with her baby, the mum claims BA eventually admitted responsibility for the mix up and arranged flights back to London on July 26 for Erica and her kids at no extra cost.

Erica described the ordeal as "seven days of hell" and said she was forced to take extra medication to treat her mental health condition.

She said: "The text was a real kick in the teeth, I can't believe the way they have treated me, they didn't care about the fact I have a baby with me.

"Since I have been here, I have been out twice, I'm trying to recover, I'm trying to relax and get my mental health back together.

"I'm a teaching assistant, where am I supposed to get £2000 from? I booked through a travel agency so I had more time to pay.

"I was running out of medication and my daughter needed to have her braces removed."

A spokesperson from British Airways said: "We understand that plans can change, so we always recommend that customers check the terms of their tickets so that they know whether or not they can make changes without any additional fees.

"We're glad the issue has been resolved so that the Alexander family can enjoy a longer trip to St Lucia."

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