Reporting Kurtis Ming
DIXON (CBS13) — A Dixon grandmother bought Six Flags season passes for her family. When her son-in-law died, she wanted to transfer his pass to another family member.
When she didn’t hear back, she called Kurtis.
The season passes clearly state they are non-refundable and non-transferable but given the tragic circumstances, this grandmother asked Six Flags to make an exception.
“Once we met, I knew, he was my soul mate, he was meant to be,” said Bethany Simon, Dixon resident.
Two weeks after tying the knot on 12/12/12, Bethany and her husband, Dale, took their blended family to Six Flags Discovery Kingdom.
It was a Christmas gift from Bethany’s mom, Mary Ann.
“Everybody got their own season pass and they were thrilled to get them,” said Mary Ann Courville.
Home video taken on that fun-filled day show Dale with their 18-month old son, August.
And their other three kids, ages 6 to 10, thrilled to be there.
“Her last memory of her dad is going on Superman with him,” said Bethany.
Shortly after, Dale had a heart attack.
The 37-year old fell into a coma and never woke up.
“He would be pretty much a vegetative state the rest of his life or I could turn off everything and let him go. He’s the type of person that would never want that so,” said Bethany.
After Dale’s death, Mary Ann called, emailed and wrote Six Flags, asking if they could transfer Dale’s season pass to her or her husband so they could help Bethany on future visits.
“She would have someone to help with the kids,” said Mary Ann.
But Mary Ann says she didn’t get a response.
We asked Six Flags what happened.
“In this particular case, I’ll be honest with you, I can’t explain why there were no phone calls back. I don’t know what number she was trying to call, who she sent the emails to,” said Kirk Smith, Six Flags spokesperson.
Smith says the park was closed with fewer staff members when she called and wrote.
But after hearing about this family’s loss, Six Flags gave the family not one, but two season passes. One for each grandparent.
“We share in your loss and hope that this can be therapeutic part for you as well, enjoy,” said Smith to the family.
Now, Bethany’s parents can help her with the kids.
“I am very overwhelmed at this point and truly, truly grateful that they’re doing this for us,” said Mary Ann.
“It’s nice to know that I can use these passes without the fear of coming by myself,” said Bethany.
After we got involved, Mary Ann did get an email response from a Six Flags staff member, who was unaware we had already contacted the theme park on her behalf.
We want to point out that Six Flags won’t necessarily make an exception in all cases of tragedy, for these non-refundable and non-transferable season passes. Because fraud is a big problem, the theme park will evaluate each situation on a case by case basis.