Obese woman dies awaiting plane big enough

2012-11-28 08:53
Gallery  |  click on thumbnail to view larger image

Pics: Fellow flyer pet peeves

A recent survey reveals ten things that really irritate passengers about their fellow flyers.

New York -A hugely obese New York woman visiting her native Hungary died while trying to find a plane to fly her home, and her family is reportedly suing airlines that had balked, citing her size.

Janos Soltesz and his wife Vilma, an ill woman from the Bronx, visited their native Hungary but could not get back in October when Delta and KLM said that, at more than 400 pounds (180 kilos), she was too large to fit in a seat.

The Soltesz couple first tried to fly with KLM from Budapest, but were told to try a larger plane provided by KLM partner Delta in Prague, again with no success. She tried once more, this time with Lufthansa. But they, too, said it was impossible.

By the time a suitable plane had been found, nine days after her original flight, Vilma Soltesz, 56, had died, CBS reported.

Janos Soltesz is suing the airlines for $6 million, CBS reported.

"I think there's something wrong," New York attorney Peter Ronai told CBS. "They took on the responsibility to get her to Hungary. It's their responsibility to get her back. I don't understand how she makes it there but she can't come back. It's completely illogical to me."

But Russel Cason, a spokesman for Delta, told AFP that KLM "was physically unable" to board Mrs. Soltesz on its flight in Budapest. The same problem occurred with Delta in Prague.

"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," Cason said.

"Our records indicate our 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."

"The question was the mobility of the passenger," a spokesman for Lufthansa told Radaronline.

Ronai did not answer repeated requests for comment.

Come join the News24 Travel community on Facebook and Pinterest or follow us on Twitter, otherwise subscribe to our weekly newsletter for more useful travel updates.

Read more on:    flights  |  travel international


24.com publishes all comments posted on articles provided that they adhere to our Comments Policy. Should you wish to report a comment for editorial review, please do so by clicking the 'Report Comment' button to the right of each comment.

Comment on this story
Comments have been closed for this article.

Inside Travel


#FindYourEscape with Traveller24

Your insider guide to exploring South Africa and the world...
There are new stories on the homepage. Click here to see them.


Create Profile

Creating your profile will enable you to submit photos and stories to get published on News24.

Please provide a username for your profile page:

This username must be unique, cannot be edited and will be used in the URL to your profile page across the entire 24.com network.