An obese US woman has died in Hungary after being refused a seat on three flights back home to New York because she was too heavy, her husband claims.
Vilma Soltesz had weighed about 192kg, had only one leg and used a wheelchair.
The 56-year-old died from medical complications nine days after she was kicked off the first of three jets last month.
Her husband is now considering a lawsuit against the airlines for violating laws meant to protect the disabled.
The couple had travelled to Hungary on Delta and KLM airlines on September17 and spent several weeks at their holiday home in the countryside.
It was a trip they took almost every year, the New York Post reports.
They planned to return on October 15 so Mrs Soltesz could continue medical treatment for her illness – a combination of kidney disease and diabetes – with the doctors she had been seeing for several years.
But she had gained weight due to her illness.
After they boarded the KLM plane they were asked to leave.
"They tried to fit her into the back of the plane but they didn't have an extension to secure her," Mr Soltesz was quoted as saying.
The airline reportedly said it did not have a seat-belt extender for her and the seat back could not take her weight.
The couple were told to drive to an airport in Prague where a Delta plane could accommodate her as a disabled person, but after they arrived the airline told them their plastic wheelchair could not hold Mrs Soltesz's weight and nor could they put her on the sky-lift elevator.
Their travel agent then found them a October 22 Lufthansa flight to New York via Frankfurt that accommodate her.
But the flight crew was unable to move her from her wheelchair to the three seats assigned to her – even with help from the local fire department.
After 30 minutes without success the captain ordered them off.
The couple returned to their holiday home to make other arrangements as Mrs Soltesz's health deteriorated.
Neither trusted the doctors in Hungary, especially because they would not be familiar with her lengthy medical history, the husband said.
He found his wife dead two days later and buried her in Hungary.
"I'm lonely now. Wherever I am going, I am just going alone. I am missing her a lot," he was quoted as saying.
Source: New York Post
Author: Erin Tennant, Approving editor: Henri Paget