Woman in wheelchair left alone for hours at O’Hare after cancelled flight

CHICAGO — American Airlines is investigating how a 67-year-old woman in a wheelchair was left alone overnight at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport after her flight was canceled.

Olimpia Warsaw was flying from Chicago to Detroit on Friday, Nov. 30, the Chicago Sun-Times reports.

According to the Sun-Times,Warsaw has Parkinson’s disease and diabetes which makes communication difficult.  Her son Claude Coltea, got her a wheelchair and a porter was assigned to take care of her.

Coltea told the Sun-Times he noted her flight was on time and went to catch his own flight to Connecticut.

But Warsaw’s flight was canceled and Coltea said she was unable to communicate with airline staff.  Her porter’s shift eventually ended and he left. Warsaw sat alone in her wheelchair and was unattended to for five hours.

When Warsaw did not arrive in Detroit as planned, her family grew concerned and called security.

Colteau told the Sun Times his “mother was found in a dark hallway near a restroom, where another passenger had taken her upon request.”

Warsaw’s family in Illinois brought her back to their home. She was booked on a flight the following day.

In a statement, American Airlines spokesman Ross Feinstein said the airline met with the family, refunded Warsaw’s ticket and was taking steps to “ensure this does not happen again.”

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