Man claims airline said he was too large to fly

September 6, 2009 3:26:02 PM PDT
A suburban man says Southwest Airlines left him and his wife stranded in Las Vegas.Emery Orto and his wife Clara were back home in Park Forest, Ill. Sunday. However, last Tuesday, the couple were about to board a flight from Las Vegas to Chicago. They say they were headed down the ramp toward the plane when a Southwest employee stopped them.

Emery says the employee asked if he could fit into the seat with the arm down. Although he said he could, Emery was not allowed to board the flight home. He says his weight wasn't an issue on the flight to Las Vegas, and he was upset over the handling of the incident.

"Embarrassed, humiliated. When we were stranded, we were shocked. What were we going to do? Just kind of stressed out. Lost," Emery Orto said.

"Pretty heartless, the way they treated us. No information how to even get out of the terminal. No information where we could get transportation home," said Clara Orto.

Emery Orto says he wasn't offered a chance to buy a second seat. Southwest Airlines says he was. The airline also says that fellow passengers became upset over Orto's tone and actions, and that's why he wasn't allowed on the plane.

Eventually, the Ortos were able to take a United Airlines flight back to Chicago.


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