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American Airlines Allegedly Leaves Passenger In Wheelchair Stranded In Airport Overnight

By Sharelle Burt

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First they lose planes, now they lose passengers.

Passenger Olimpia Warsaw, who uses a wheelchair, was supposedly left at O’Hare National Airport in Chicago overnight after the porter assigned to her went home for the day. Warsaw flew American Airlines to attend her ex-husband’s funeral in Detroit and found that her luggage didn’t make it. “She had to miss the first part of his funeral because she had to get clothes,” Julian Coltea, Warsaw’s son said.

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Her other son, Claude Coltea, brought her back to the airport and straight to the gate to confirm that her flight was on time. Coltea reminded the airline staff that his mother suffers from both Parkinson’s and diabetes and has a hard time communicating due to medication. They assured him she would be fine. “She said, ‘Yup, all’s fine,” Coltea said. “We’ll take good care of your mom.” That wasn’t the case. After Coltea left, Warsaw’s flight was canceled, and the porter’s shift was over. The airline got her a hotel to stay in, but she had no way of getting there, leaving her destitute in the airport. The family said Warsaw was crying and scared, rightfully so.

When she didn’t arrive in Detroit, the worried family called American Airlines to find out what happened and it took them hours to find her. Airline representative Lakesha Brown said they are looking into the matter thoroughly. “Our team did meet with her family there in Chicago as well as Detroit, and we have offered a full refund to the family,” Brown said. “The team is talking with the vendor to see what happened. The vendor is not an American airlines employee.” Regardless of who it was, it should have never happened.

Warsaw is said to still be in shock, but she is back home in Detroit, as well as her luggage. Brown said all of the fees have been reimbursed.

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