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American Airlines disputes family's account of metro Detroit woman left in O'Hare

Posted: 12:48 PM, Dec 04, 2018
Updated: 2018-12-04 19:30:49Z
American Airlines disputes family's account of metro Detroit woman left in O'Hare

CHICAGO (AP) — American Airlines says closed-circuit television footage at Chicago's O'Hare International Airport shows a 67-year-old woman in a wheelchair wasn't apparently upset or left alone as long as her family claims.

American released a timeline that shows Olimpia Warsaw was alone 1 ¼ hours after her flight was canceled late Friday — during which time Warsaw twice used a walker to go outside to smoke.

Relatives have said they didn't know Warsaw was stranded until she failed to arrive in Detroit. American says the porter assigned to stay with her made a six-minute telephone call to Warsaw's son less than an hour after the flight was canceled.

Warsaw's son, Claude Coltea, says American can "condense the timeline all they want," but the call wasn't made until nearly three hours after Warsaw first boarded the plane and that the porter left Warsaw alone.

Here is the log from American Airlines

Friday, Nov. 30:

  • 8:30 p.m. CT: Mr. Coltea checks-in for his flight to BDL, Flight 2472 from ORD to BDL
  • 8:31 p.m. CT: Ms. Warsaw checks-in and checks two bags for Flight 3155
  • 9:42 p.m. CT: Ms. Warsaw boards Flight 3155 from ORD to DTW in seat 2C
  • 9:55 p.m. CT: Mr. Coltea boards his flight – Flight 2472 from ORD to BDL – in seat 4E
  • 10:15 p.m. CT: Scheduled departure time of Flight 3155 from ORD to DTW
  • 10:31 p.m. CT: Mr. Coltea’s flight for BDL takes off
  • 10:32 p.m. CT: Flight 3155 departs the gate
  • 11:14 p.m. CT: Flight 3155 ground interrupts and returns to the gate due to a maintenance issue
  • 11:20 p.m. CT: Flight canceled
  • 11:21 p.m. CT: Rebooked for the 8:55 a.m. CT flight on Dec. 1 from ORD to DTW
  • 11:36 p.m. CT: Hotel voucher printed for the Chicago O’Hare Hyatt Place + meal voucher
  • 11:58 p.m. CT: Mr. Coltea’s flight lands at BDL

Saturday, Dec. 1:

  • 12:02 a.m. CT: Mr. Coltea’s flight arrives at the gate at BDL
  • 12:06 a.m. CT: Wheelchair attendant is seen on CCTV assisting Ms. Warsaw in the public area of the terminal near the wheelchair waiting area
  • 12:10 a.m. CT: Wheelchair attendant calls relative – Claudiu Coltea’s cell phone – and is on the phone for six minutes via the call log
  • 12:21 a.m. CT: Wheelchair attendant calls relative – Claudiu Coltea’s cell phone – and is on the phone for two minutes via the call log
  • 12:30 a.m. CT: Wheelchair attendant drops Ms. Warsaw off at the Upper Level (UL) wheelchair waiting area
  • 12:32 a.m. CT: Ms. Warsaw uses her walker to go outside via UL Door 3D to smoke a cigarette for seven minutes
  • 12:39 a.m. CT: Ms. Warsaw returns inside after smoking
  • 1:00 a.m. CT: Claudiu Coltea contacts American reservations via telephone and rebooks her for the 1:40 p.m. CT flight on Dec. 1 for ORD-DTW. He then said someone was en route to the airport to pick her up
  • 1:12 a.m. CT: Ms. Warsaw uses her walker to go outside via UL Door 3D a second time to smoke a cigarette for six minutes
  • 1:13 a.m. CT: A male and female relative arrive in an SUV and park between UL Door 3A and 3B. The female relative exits the vehicle and enters the terminal thru UL Door 3A, and the male remains with the vehicle
  • 1:18 a.m. CT: Ms. Warsaw returns inside after smoking
  • 1:46 a.m. CT: The female relative meets with Ms. Warsaw at the wheelchair waiting area and begins pushing her towards UL Door 3B
  • 1:48 a.m. CT: The female relative stops and takes a picture of Ms. Warsaw sitting in the wheelchair, then leaves Ms. Warsaw sitting there and walks towards TSA Checkpoint 6
  • 1:49 a.m. CT: The female relative comes back to Ms. Warsaw and is met by a CPD officer at UL Door 3B, has a very short conversation with the CPD officer. She then pushes Ms. Warsaw outside to the waiting vehicle and they both get inside. The male relative exits the vehicle when they arrive and puts the walker in the rear of the SUV
  • 1:53 a.m. CT: All parties involved leave the area in the SUV