425 lb Woman dies after being denied flight home

Avatar for cmkarla
Registered: 01-03-2001
425 lb Woman dies after being denied flight home
Tue, 11-27-2012 - 2:50pm

A 425 lb woman died in Europe and her family is suing several airlines. She flew from the United States to Europe like she does every year but when she tried to get back to the U.S. she was unable to get a flight due to her size. According to NBCNews.com, "An ailing, 425-pound woman who was turned away by three airlines as she tried to return to the U.S. from Europe has died overseas, prompting legal action from her family.Vilma Soltesz and her husband traveled to Hungary in September to spend a month in their former homeland – a trek the Bronx residents made every year to visit family.They flew from New York to Budapest on KLM without any problems, with Soltesz purchasing two seats for herself because of her size, said Holly Ostrov Ronai, the family’s attorney." MORE

Did the airlines do enough to help this woman?

Community ModeratoriVillage.com

iVillage Member
Registered: 09-16-2002
Tue, 11-27-2012 - 2:59pm

The article did not detail every effort made by the airline to accommodate this woman.  I think this is an extreme case, and that the woman probably would have died regardless of whether she could get home or not, to make the accusation that the airline caused her death is just ridiculous.  This was a morbidly obese and very ill woman, who probably should not have been traveling to begin with, arlines are not doctors, not hospitals, not medical facilities designed to deal with the limitations of a morbidly obese person.  I'm afraid this issue is going to become more common than uncommon, and passengers are just going to get more demanding, which will cause prices to rise, tempers to flare, and more aggravation than there already is when flying.  This was one person out of thousands who fly, why should the airlines bend over backwards for someone who (I will say it again) should NOT be flying in the first place? 

Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results.

.  -Albert Einstein

Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Tue, 11-27-2012 - 4:11pm

I wonder which airline she flew on to get overseas in the first place. I don't think they're responsible for her death and as unhealthy as she sounds, it might not have been safe for her to fly to begin with.  The part about her not being able to see her doctor didn't make sense--if she HAD to see a doctor,she could have seen one where she was. I do think that they shouldn't have let her go in the first place, if what they were saying about the return trip is true. 

I wonder how the airlines handle pregnant women who are close to delivery. Not to get political but apparently, Sarah Palin flew back to Alaska while in labor.  My doctor told me the biggest problem on a plane is that there is no good place to deliver. Really?  Tongue OutThere isn't even a good place to change a baby on a plane, or didn't use to be!

Community Leader
Registered: 09-25-2003
Tue, 11-27-2012 - 5:02pm
We have too many lawyers in this world. This is a horrible tragedy, but the travelers have some accountability with Making sure the airlines are prepared for such a significant, out of the ordinary situation before they even arrive at the airport (asking for the extended seatbelt from the airlines when booking the ticket, etc). I believe that the individual airline workers did not make the right decisions to solve the problem, but they did not cause her death.
Community Leader
Registered: 04-05-2002
Tue, 11-27-2012 - 5:40pm

It really sounds like she tried.  She was willing to travel different airlines, change cities.  I think the airlines shoiuld have figured it out before sending her on a wild goose chase. The question is, how did she get there? They were able to accommodate her out.  It would be one thing if she hadn't gotten to Europe, or gained the weight whle she was there.  I think that's my problem w/ the situation.  If she had been denied going there, it might have been different.