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.
But when the couple tried to return to New York in October, the problems began.
“They were sent from airline to airline, they were sent driving around, they were just treated completely inhumanely,” Ronai told NBC News. “(The airlines) had a duty to get her home to her doctors.”
Soltesz, 56, and her husband came on board their scheduled KLM flight to New York on Oct. 15 with the help of a Skylift elevator, but the captain told them to disembark because of an issue with the seatback and because the airline didn’t have a seatbelt extender, Ronai said.
KLM countered that it was not physically possible for Soltesz to board the aircraft, despite every effort made by the airline.
“They were sent from airline to airline, they were sent driving around, they were just treated completely inhumanely,”