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Continental Flight Change Fees Cause Son To Miss Father's Burial

First Posted: 12/20/11 10:11 AM ET   Updated: 12/22/11 11:17 AM ET

Fred Zajonczloski missed his father's funeral because of flight change fees he couldn't afford, reports WHEC in Rochester, NY.

Zajonczloski flew from his home in San Antonio to attend his father's funeral in New York. He was scheduled to return to Texas last Saturday, but found out the funeral would not be held until this Wednesday. When Zajonczloski tried to change his and his fiance's Continental flights for the following day, he was hit with a $675 change fee.

The couple couldn't afford the change and returned to Texas on the original tickets, missing the funeral.

"I understand that people have jobs and people have things to do, but have a heart. Have a heart," his sister Julie Knapp told WHEC.

According to Continental, the company offers its condolences and will contact Zajonczloski directly. However, the company also believes this was a misunderstanding.

Airlines have a long legacy of guilty verdicts in the court of public interest. Below, take a look at some of their bigger blunders. Who was right in these cases?

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  • Man Forced To Carry Wheelchair-Bound Wife Onto Plane, Crew Refuses To Help

    A British man recently was forced to carry his disabled wife on board a Ryanair flight departing Luton, England for France in July 2008 after the airline's flight crew refused to help, citing company safety and health regulations. The flight crew said <a href="http://www.gadling.com/2008/07/09/ryanair-man-forced-to-carry-disabled-wife-onto-plane-after-flig/" target="_hplink">it was Ryanair policy to leave behind passengers who could not board themselves</a>. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/integer_club/6467233605/" target="_hplink">The Integer Club</a>/Flickr

  • Overweight Man Barred From Flight, Misses Uncle's Funeral

    In November 2009 a man bought a last-minute ticket from Southwest Airlines to attend his uncle's funeral, but when he arrived at the ticket counter the agent looked at him and <a href="http://www.gadling.com/2009/11/23/overweight-man-barred-from-flight-and-misses-uncles-funeral/" target="_hplink">told him he needed to buy a second seat</a>. The problem was, the flight was fully booked, and apparently there were no alternative flights. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/kcjc/511296697/" target="_hplink">Kevin Coles</a>/Flickr

  • Boy In Wheelchair Stranded By Air Canada After Tweet-A-Thon

    A young boy who uses a wheelchair flew to New York in August 2010 to fulfill a dream of racing through Central Park. Except, upon arrival, he discovered his <a href="http://www.gadling.com/2010/08/05/wheelchair-kid-stranded-by-air-canada-after-tweet-a-thon/" target="_hplink">wheelchair had been ruined during the Air Canada flight</a>. He was stranded at the airport, and the Twitter-verse was ticked. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/daquellamanera/447613531/" target="_hplink">Daquella manera</a>/Flickr

  • Cancer Patient Denied Flight On Korean Air For Looking "Too Frail"

    Korean Airlines <a href="http://news.travel.aol.com/2011/05/10/crystal-kim-cancer-patient-denied-flight-on-korean-air-for-loo/" target="_hplink">denied a woman with Stage 4 breast cancer a seat</a> on a South Korea-bound flight in May 2011 because she "looked too frail," despite having notes from two doctors saying she was clear to fly. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/72213316@N00/6479962917/" target="_hplink">Alaskan Dude</a>/Flickr

  • Jetstar Bans Disabled Child From Boarding With Stroller

    The family of a two-year-old with Down Syndrome, who also has a rare disorder, was told in June 2011 that the tot's collapsible <a href="http://news.travel.aol.com/2011/07/06/jetstar-bans-disabled-child-from-boarding-with-stroller/" target="_hplink">stroller could not be brought on board</a>. To add insult to injury, the stroller was damaged in cargo. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/grahamandsheila/1354542404/" target="_hplink">Graham and Sheila</a>/Flickr

  • Quadriplegic Passenger Forced Off Of Frontier Airlines Flight By Pilot

    A quadriplegic Colorado man says he was humiliated after he was forced off a Frontier Airlines plane <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/06/20/john-morris-quadriplegic-_n_880650.html" target="_hplink">because a pilot said it wasn't safe for him to fly </a>in June 2011. <a href="http://www.flickr.com/photos/nostri-imago/3524432238/" target="_hplink">cliff1066™</a>/Flickr

  • Disabled Veteran: 'Airline Made Me Sit In Urine-Soaked Clothes'

    Dawn Wilcox, an Army veteran who uses a wheelchair, said that American Airlines forced her to <a href="https://editorial.huffingtonpost.com/tmp/1069197_94.html?preview=yes" target="_hplink">sit in urine-soaked clothes</a> when she was unable to make it to the bathroom in November 2011. Screenshot/KWTX

  • US Airways Wouldn't Refund Tickets Despite Cancer Diagnosis

    Lynn McKain was given the all-clear to fly from her doctor as she planned for a dream vacation in Belize. McKain and her family purchased five non-refundable tickets for $4,200 before she learned that her cancer had returned. <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/11/30/lynn-mckain-us-airways-wo_n_1120881.html" target="_hplink">US Airways originally declined a full refund</a>, but changed it's mind in November 2011 due to public outcry. Screenshot: WUSA

  • Alaska Airlines Is "Worst Of Humanity"

    A man called out Alaska Airlines in an August 2012 Facebook post as <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/08/05/cameron-clark-alaska-airl_n_1743848.html" target="_hplink">"the worst of humanity," after allegedly witnessing a man with Parkinson's disease miss a flight </a>because numerous airline personnel refused to give him extra assistance.

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Filed by Rebecca Dolan  |