Woman dies after airline turned her away

NEW YORK, Nov. 26 (UPI) -- A New York City woman died of kidney failure in Hungary after airline officials booted her from three flights home because she was too fat, her husband says.

Vilma and Janos Soltesz traveled to their native Hungary Sept. 17 to spend time at a vacation home they own in the Hungarian countryside, the New York Post reported.


They planned on returning to New York Oct. 15 so Vilma, 56, could resume treatment for kidney disease and diabetes with the doctors she had been seeing for years. However, they were told Vilma couldn't be accommodated by KLM Royal Dutch Airlines after they boarded the jet home, Janos said.

"They tried to fit her into the back of the plane, but they didn't have an extension to secure her," Janos said.

Janos was also told the seat back couldn't handle his wife's weight -- 425 pounds.

"It appeared on the passenger's return that it was not physically possible for her to board the aircraft, despite every effort made by KLM to this end. A seat or belt extender did not offer a solution, either," KLM spokeswoman Ellen van Ginkel said.


Similar situations happened on two other flights: a Delta flight out of Prague, Czech Republic, and Lufthansa flight to New York via Frankfurt, Germany.

After the Lufthansa flight did not work out Oct. 22, the couple returned to their vacation home and made other arrangements as Vilma became sicker and sicker.

Janos said neither he nor his wife trusted doctors in Hungary and Vilma wanted to be treated by doctors who knew her medical history.

Janos found Vilma 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," Janos said. "There were only two women in my life -- my mother, who I lived with for 23 years, and Vilma, who I lived with for 33 years."

Latest Headlines


Follow Us