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Too Fat to Fly, Woman Left to Die Overseas

A widower is suing Delta and Lufthansa, after both airlines denied his sick wife passage on their flights, leaving her stranded in Hungary where she died. CBS New York reports that Janos Soltesz, and his wife, Vilma Soltesz had flown from the U.S.A to Budapest via Delta and KLM on September 17th. The couple planned to fly home in October to New York so that Vilma could be treated for her diabetes and renal disease.

However, despite Vilma purchasing two seats for herself, Delta and KLM airlines said that they were unable to let her on board because of her weight. (Even though Vilma had flown over on the same airlines just a few weeks before, without incident.)

Soltesz’s lawyer says that Vilma, who weighed 425 lbs., was kept waiting in the airport for five hours, before being told that she needed to drive to Prague to catch a different flight. Once sitting on the flight in Prague, Vilma was allegedly told that she had to get off the plane, because it would be unsafe for her to fly.

The couple tried for nine days to get a flight home, but Vilma passed away before she could return to the United States for medical treatment.

Janos is suing the two airlines for $6 million. Delta and KLM (who are partner airlines) released a statement, saying, “Delta and KLM did everything possible to assist the family. When KLM was unable to safely board Mrs. Soltesz in Budapest, it was determined she might be able to fly on the larger Delta aircraft out of Prague, but unfortunately that was not the case. Our records indicate Delta staff in Prague made repeated attempts for nearly an hour to board the customer, but they were unable to get her onboard the aircraft.”

Do you think that the airlines are at fault in this case? Tell us why or why not in the comments.

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