American Airlines investigates how a 67 year old woman in a wheelchair was left alone in the morning on Saturday at Chicago's Hare International Airport when the plane was canceled.
The incident began Friday night when Olimpia Warsaw's flight from Chicago to Detroit was canceled and a gates were assigned to take care of her. Her son Claude Coltea said that Warsaw was offered a hotel room, but she did not know how to get there alone and was worried about staying overnight because she had no medication with her. The porter left her unattended at the airport when his shift was over, Coltea said.
Coltea and Warsaw were in Chicago for his ex-husband's funeral and were booked on flights scheduled to leave at 1
Warsaw's cell phone was dead so the family could not reach her, Coltea said. He contacted the airline, who was not aware that she had not made it to the hotel, he said. Meanwhile, stepmother and half-brother in Chicago went to O & H, and with help from aviation security, Warsaw found around. 19:30
"Everyone left her and she sat at the airport," Coltea said.
The airline refunded Warsaw's ticket and she made it to Detroit on Saturday afternoon, said Coltea.
He said he believes that airlines should treat travelers who rely on extra help more like unaccompanied minors.
"If anyone travels, who has an addiction, someone along that chain must say," I'm not going to let go of this person before they're in safe hands, "said Coltea.
American spokeswoman Leslie Scott said in a statement that the airline investigates the event with the seller who offers the wheelchair service on O & Hare.
"While this survey is still under way, we are already developing a process with our supplier to ensure that this does not happen again," Scott said.
The incident was first reported by WBBM-Ch. 2 in Chicago.
Associated Press contributed.
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