AA has apologized to the family of a passenger who say that their loved one was left to sit in her wheelchair after her flight from ORD was canceled. However, upon investigating the incident using the airport’s security camera video footage, it says that the woman was picked up by relatives at ORD.
American Airlines has apologized to the family of a passenger who say that their loved one was left to sit overnight in her wheelchair after her flight from Chicago to Detroit was canceled, CBS News reports.
Olimpia Warsaw – who has Parkinson’s disease, diabetes and mobility issues – had flown from Detroit to Chicago for a family funeral earlier this week and was attempting to make her way home when the incident occurred. According to CBS Chicago, when Warsaw’s flight was canceled from Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport (ORD), she was attended to by a porter and offered a hotel room.
Though accommodation had been offered to Warsaw, the outlet states that staff, “weren’t willing to take her [Olimpia] to the hotel, and she couldn’t find her own transportation because she has trouble communicating.”
This is where the accounts of AA and Warsaw’s family diverge. Warsaw’s relatives allege that the porter assigned to her informed her that his shift had finished and that he was unable to offer further assistance. Warsaw’s family allege that she was then left alone all night in her wheelchair.
When Warsaw failed to arrive home in Detroit, they then made contact with AA.
Speaking of his disappointment at the situation with the outlet, Claude Coltea, Warsaw’s son, said, “All we wanted was someone to pause and say ‘you know what, can we just make sure this human being is safe and then we can all go home’.”
On the back of the incident and its initial apology to the family, AA conducted an investigation into what happened to Warsaw in Chicago. According to its review of ORD’s security camera footage, Warsaw was picked up by relatives from a waiting area about 45 minutes after she was placed there by a porter.
The carrier said that it will not presently be releasing the video footage of the incident. AA has also stated that, though the porter involved in the incident is not an employee, they will be making further investigations.