American Airlines says security footage proves woman in wheelchair not abandoned at O’Hare

CHICAGO — American Airlines says security video footage proves a woman in a wheelchair was not left alone overnight at Chicago’s O’Hare.

Olimpia Warsaw, 67, is described as having Parkinson’s disease, diabetes, and has difficulty communicating. She was flying from Chicago to Detroit on Friday, Nov. 30, after attending her ex-husband’s funeral.

When Warsaw’s flight was canceled, family members said she sat alone in her wheelchair and was unattended for five hours until a relative came to pick her up.

Her son Claude Colteau told the Chicago Sun-Times his “mother was found in a dark hallway near a restroom, where another passenger had taken her upon request.”

An American Airlines spokesman previously said the airline met with the family, refunded Warsaw’s ticket and was taking steps to “ensure this does not happen again.”

But after launching an investigation, the airline is proving the family’s story does not add up.

American Airlines released a timeline of the incident to WGN News after reviewing camera footage, call records from the wheelchair attendant’s phone and reservations call records.

The timeline shows approximately 45 minutes elapsed between the time the wheelchair attendant left Warsaw and her relative came to pick her up.

The timeline also shows that Warsaw used a walker to go outside to smoke a cigarette on two different occasions.

There’s no word yet from the family after the airlines released its timeline.

Here’s the timeline provided by American Airlines:

Friday, Nov. 30:

· 8:30 p.m. CT: Mr. Colteau 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. Colteau 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. Colteau’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. Colteau’s flight lands at BDL

Saturday, Dec. 1:

· 12:02 a.m. CT: Mr. Colteau’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 – Claude Colteau’s cell phone – and is on the phone for six minutes via the call log

· 12:21 a.m. CT: Wheelchair attendant calls relative – Claude Colteau’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: Claude Colteau 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