Sharlene Bockross, from Leicester, died suddenly just after Christmas, aged 38, leaving behind her 15-year-old son Tyler – now her family are trying to get the money for the Jet2 summer holiday in Greece, Kos
A bereaved family say they have been left in misery after Jet2 refused a holiday refund after their mum, 38, suddenly died of a heart attack.
Sharlene Bockross, from Leicester, died suddenly just after Christmas, aged 38, leaving behind her 15-year-old son Tyler.
The mum didn’t have much money or assets, but what little she did was passed down to the family.
However, Sharlene has spent more than £800 on a Jet2 summer holiday to the Greek island of Kos.
Jet2 are reportedly demanding the family go through probate – appointing an executor of Sharlene’s estate at a huge cost – if they want the money back, Leicestershire Live reports.
The family’s solicitor has advised them that to get the £815 back they will have to pay out about £500 to go through probate.
There’s no set level for when a bereaved family needs to go through probate, but it’s usually for larger estates involving multiple assets.
For Sharlene’s estate, this would be unnecessary.
Sharlene’s mum, Karen Gaze, said: “She died suddenly and unexpectedly on December 28 from a cardiac arrest. Her brother, Paul, found her and tried to resuscitate her. We are all devastated.
“We later learned she had a heart condition she wasn’t aware of. She was supposed to be taking Tyler on holiday on June 25 to celebrate Tyler’s 16th birthday.
“Sharlene was always a forward-thinker and she would pay a bit towards the holiday every month so that she could pay for it all in advance. She had paid about £815 of the £1,200 for the two of them.”
The trip to Kos was for Sharlene, Tyler, Sharlene’s sister Sammi and Sammi’s two daughters.
Karen said there was nothing in the small print of the payment plan to suggest it would be so hard to get a refund upon Sharlene’s death.
She said: “Jet2 are very sympathetic on the phone and very nice about it, but they are telling me I must have an executor for Sharelene’s estate, which my solicitor says is just completely unnecessary and will cost about £500.
“The money is for Tyler and we want him to have it but all he’s going to get is £300 once we’ve paid to appoint the executor. It’s so annoying because we’ve set up an account for the money Sharlene did have to go into and the banks have let us get the money.
“But this money is for Sharlene’s poor son and Jet2 are digging their heels in. I’ve sent the death certificate and even her birth certificate to prove that I’m her mum.
“But they’ll only send the money to the executor of her estate. It’s been hard for Tyler – he’s only 15 and he’s got his GCSEs coming up.
“He’s being very strong but it’s been hard, emotionally anymore, for us all. I just don’t want to be arguing.”
Explaining that lying would have been easier, she said: “Ironically, I could have just phoned pretending to be Sharlene and asked to cancel and they would have given me a full refund. But I decided to be honest instead.”
Jet2 confirmed they were not going to make exceptions to the rules for Karen.
They said in a statement: “We would like to extend our sincere condolences to Ms Gaze and her family at this difficult time.
“As the account used to make the original booking has been closed, we cannot refund that account. As such, we have requested for Ms Gaze to provide documentation showing her to be the named executor of her daughter’s estate so that we can refund her directly .
“As we have not received this proof of authority, we are unfortunately unable to do this. We sincerely hope to be able to complete the refund once this proof of authority is confirmed, and we have been in touch with Ms Gaze to explain this. ”
The Mirror contacted Jet2 for a statement.