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67-year-old woman in a wheelchair was left alone overnight at Chicago Airport

Junie Sihlangu
Dec 04, 2018
11:23 A.M.
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Olimpia Warsaw is a woman who has Parkinson's disease and diabetes and uses a wheelchair because she has trouble walking. She arrived late for her ex-husband’s funeral after traveling from Detroit to Chicago because the airline lost her luggage.

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However, things got worse on her way back home to Detroit. She was left stranded overnight at a Chicago airport according to her family.

Olimpia Warsaw, 67, made it to O’Hare to attend her ex-husband’s funeral. However, her son Julian Coltea revealed that her luggage was lost by the airline and that delayed her attendance.

He added:

“She had to miss the first part of his funeral because she had to get clothes.”

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For more on this story go to our Twitter account @amomama_usa. On Friday, after Claude Coltea had buried his father, he set about getting his mother back to Detroit.

He was going to catch his own flight a short while later. Claude explained:

“I walked with her all the way to her gate,” he said. “I confirmed with the gate agent that the flight was on time. Everything was ok. She said, ‘Yup, all’s fine. We’ll take good care of your mom.’”

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However, things didn’t go as planned as Warsaw’s flight was canceled. Her family members claimed that an airport porter left her alone in her wheelchair overnight.

American Airlines, who are currently conducting an investigation into the incident, said security video appeared to be in conflict with the family's claims. They said the video showed Warsaw walking outside at O'Hare twice to smoke on Friday night.

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American Airlines stated that she was picked up by family members after being left alone for only 75 minutes. Her flight had been scheduled to depart at about 10 p.m, and she was picked up at 1:30 a.m.

On Monday, the airline apologized to the family and revealed they were investigating the porter involved, who is not an airline employee. They also refunded Warsaw’s ticket.

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According to Claude, American Airlines had assigned a porter to take his mother back to the front of the airport after the flight cancelation. They offered her a hotel room but the airline wasn't willing to take her there.

Her son shared that Warsaw has trouble communicating and couldn't arrange her own transportation to the hotel. However, instead of helping her, the porter told her his shift was over and he left her at the airport.

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Julian, said:

"She actually had to find a random passenger to help her out just to go to the bathroom because the porters had already left for the night."

Her family contacted American Airlines when Warsaw didn't arrive in Detroit on time. After some hours, the security was able to help the family connect with her.

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The family took pictures of her shortly after she was discovered. They showed how she was alone in her wheelchair, still dressed for her ex-husband's funeral.

Claude stated:

"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.’ Not one person did that."

Julian added:

"I really think they need to revisit their policies for dealing with the elderly, for dealing with the disabled.”

According to a report, flight delays occur the most during winter. The unpredictable weather is known to bring storms which cause flights to stay grounded.

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