Overweight Passenger Denied Seat on Southwest Flight

When airline officials told him the bags would not be pulled off the plane, Orto said he became further enraged.

Orto said he and his wife sat down to discuss how they could get home, coming up with the idea to take either a bus or rent a car. He said he stopped a maintenance worker on the way out for help locating ground transportation and it was that airport employee who told them to try another airline.

"He said, 'They can't do that,'" Orto said.

In the end, it was United Airlines who got the Ortos home, though they had to spend $800 in extra airfare and $17 each for transportation from O'Hare International Airport, where their flight landed, to Midway, where their bags were taken.

Orto said he now wants an apology from Southwest and "to be made good on the tickets I had to buy."

"We do not want this to happen to a senior citizen or any other passenger," he said.

King said Orto would be entitled to a refund on the portion of the tickets he did not use, meaning the fare from Las Vegas back to Chicago.

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