ORLANDO, Fla. - An 85-year-old woman who uses a wheelchair was stranded at Orlando International Airport for over 14 hours, she said, after airport or airline employees failed to bring her to her gate.
Patty Bough’s family said she was supposed to be wheeled to her gate by Frontier employees but no one ever came to help her.
"It was a bad, bad, bad, bad day today," she told FOX 35 outside of Gate 10 at OIA.
Patty said she was supposed to board her Frontier flight at 8:30 a.m. She said her granddaughter wasn't able to go through security because she did not have a boarding pass.
"I just turned into a total nightmare," said Patty’s daughter Susie Mages. "Now she’s sitting at the airport from 8:30 this morning to 10:30 tonight. Then she’s flying into an airport that’s two hours away from me. We won’t get in until 1 a.m."
Family members said they were instructed by Frontier Airlines to talk with Transportation Security Administration, who could help. However, days after this story aired, a TSA spokesperson said it is the airlines themselves, namely Frontier in this case, who could have issued what's known as a "gate pass," which would have allowed Patty's family to go through security with her and stay with her at the gate.
TSA does not issue gate passes.
"Airlines are responsible for seeing that passengers with special needs are shown the proper respect and assistance in getting to the aircraft," the spokesperson said in an email.
The stress of missing her flight caused Patty to have a panic attack and 911 was called. "They took my blood pressure and they want to take me to the hospital. I said I think I’m just really, really upset," she said.
Patty would not leave the airport until she was given another flight. Her family ran into numerous troubles. The airline wanted to put her on a flight Sunday but they pushed to find one tonight.
"I don’t know how I’ve done it. They told me they couldn’t give me another flight until Sunday and I said I’m not staying here all that time," she said.
FOX 35 reached out to Frontier Airlines. In a response, Frontier said: "Unfortunately, our service provider did not receive a wheelchair assistance request for Ms. Bough. Requests should be made in advance. We regret this resulted in a travel disruption."
Patty's family disputes Frontier's statement and had a receipt that showed wheelchair assistance on her boarding pass.
"She’s so weak and so fragile right now but I just thought that I had all my ducks in a row. I just can’t imagine how this is all gone like this. Even for someone to say here let’s get your mom on another flight," her daughter said.
Editor's note: This story has been updated to include a statement from TSA.