Cancer patient claims she was initially turned away by car rental service for not looking like her ID

A California woman who lost her hair as a result of radiation therapy says  she was humiliated by a staff member at a rental car service at the Sacramento airport when she was told she didn’t look like the photo on her driver’s licence.

Leah Cook said she was wearing a wig at the airport on Thursday when she presented her driver’s licence, a credit card and her Alamo rental car reservation at the counter.

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“He held up my ID and he said ‘Who is this? Who is this?’ and I said, ‘That’s me,’” Cook told NBC.

“He said, ‘No, that’s not you’ and I was like, ‘Yes it’s me, I have cancer’ and he was like, ‘No that’s not you’. I took off my wig and said, ‘See, I have cancer.’”

She wrote about her experience on Facebook.

Alamo’s parent company, Enterprise, responded saying they are looking into the matter. Alamo told Global News they offered Cook a free upgrade at the airport and she eventually got her rental car. They later called Cook to apologize, making the rental free.

Alamo Rent a Car released this statement to Global  News:

“We have carefully and thoroughly looked into this, and express our sincere apologies.  Our employee at the counter was not sensitive to the customer and mishandled the situation entirely after checking her driver’s license.  However, the employee immediately asked for another Manager’s assistance – and once that Manager was able to resolve the issue, she authorized a free upgrade for the customer.  An Area Manager then personally called to follow up with the customer and apologized profusely again.  The Area Manager even talked to the customer’s daughter and offered to make the weekly rental free.  We understand that great sensitivity is required in situations like these, and we certainly appreciate that the customer was willing to share her story and teach all of us how to better handle such interactions.”

As for Cook, she said on Facebook the whole situation really made her feel minuscule.

“I’ve never been more humiliated in my life! In the moment, I felt like he stripped me of everything I’ve gone thru to beat cancer and made me feel so small.”

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