98-Year-Old Traveler Says Airline Rolled Her Into Baggage Claim, Forgot About Her

DFW_travelerEvery year, a 98-year-old woman who lives in Spain flies to Texas to visit her daughter. She took American Airlines this year, and everything went well until she arrived at Dallas-Fort Worth airport, where she was supposed to be met by an attendant. A miscommunication meant that instead, she was left in the baggage claim, strapped to a wheelchair and unable to find anyone to help her.

How does this happen? While the woman is pretty mobile for her age, the family requested to have someone wheel her around the airport. That attendant apparently thought that she would be taking a connecting flight, and left her in the area where international travelers pick up their baggage to go through customs for the next attendant to pick up. She wasn’t catching another flight… and her family wasn’t allowed in the customs terminal.

She was left there for ninety minutes in a wheelchair that she couldn’t operate herself, needing to use the restroom and quite upset. Her family reports that she pleaded for help in Spanish, and either no one passing by or working in that terminal speaks any Spanish, they thought she was a confused person with dementia, or they’re all meanies.

Eventually, another attendant noticed a passenger who didn’t belong, and reunited the woman with her family. He also asked for a tip, pointing out that the mixup wasn’t his fault.

In a statement, American Airlines representative said, “We are immediately contacting the contractor we work with, AirServ, and are taking this matter very seriously.” The contractor didn’t get back to CBS Dallas-Fort Worth before the broadcast.

98-Year-Old Says She Was Strapped, Left In Wheelchair At DFW Airport [CBS DFW]

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