Vilma Soltesz, 425 Pounds, Dies After Being Kicked Off 3 Airplanes for her Weight
Vilma Soltesz, of New York City, recently died while on a holiday trip in Hungary after being refused a seat on three airline flights because she weighed 425 pounds.
On September 17, Soltesz traveled with her husband Jano from New York to Hungary to stay in their holiday home, reports the New York Post.
Soltesz planned to return on October 15 so that she could continue her medical treatment for her kidney disease and diabetes.
Jano Soltesz said his wife was already seated on the plane when they were asked to leave by KLM: "They tried to fit her into the back of the plane, but they didn’t have an extension to secure her."
The KLM airline staff said they did not have a seat-belt extender for her and that the seat back could not support her weight.
After leaving the airplane, the couple waited in the airport for several hours and then were told to drive five hours to Prague for a Delta plane.
In Prague, Delta told the couple that the airline’s plastic wheelchair could not hold her weight and the staff couldn’t put her on the sky-lift elevator.
The couple's New York travel agent finally managed to book them on an October 22 to New York via Frankfurt on a Lufthansa flight, which would be able to accommodate her size.
A local fire department was brought in to help move Soltesz into three seats assigned to her, but could not lift her out of her wheelchair.
Lufthansa spokesman Nils Haupt said: "We had 140 passengers on board, and they had connections and needed to travel. The question was never the seat belt. The question was the mobility of the passenger."
When the couple returned to Hungary to make another flight plan, Soltesz's condition worsened.
The couple chose not to seek medical help in Hungary as they felt the doctors would not be familiar with her medical condition. Two days later, Soltesz died and was buried in Hungary.
Jano Soltesz is now considering a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against the airlines, accusing them of violating laws protecting the disabled.