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The Gotbaum-US Airways Case, Cont'd

K.C. Summers

If you've been following the case of Carol Anne Gotbaum, the US Airways passenger who died while in police custody at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport on Sept. 28, here's an update. First, the undisputed facts: Gotbaum became distraught after not getting on her connecting flight. The police were called. She was taken into custody and was later found dead, shackled to a bench at the airport.

That much we know. But US Airways maintains that Gotbaum was not involuntarily bumped from her flight, as was reported in a Post Outlook piece. The airline says that, in fact, Gotbaum simply missed her flight. Here's its statement:

"Mrs. Gotbaum arrived at Sky Harbor from New York at 12:18 p.m. and held a confirmed seat on a 1:13 p.m. connecting flight to Tucson. Her arrival gate was three gates away from the Tucson departure gate; however, she did not get to the Tucson gate until 1:05 p.m. for the 1:13 flight - after the door had closed and the jetbridge pulled from the airplane. (The police report, widely publicized on the Internet, mistakenly says the flight was due to depart at 1:30 -- we've contacted Phoenix police to correct the report).

"Airport employees at that point told Mrs. Gotbaum she could stand by for the 2:58 p.m. flight to Tucson. She arrived for that flight with someone else's boarding pass, which was not accepted. As employees continued to try to find her a seat, she became extremely agitated. Police were called, and she died later in police custody at the airport."

The Post is continuing to follow this story and we'll report back as it develops.

By K.C. Summers |  October 18, 2007; 2:45 PM ET  | Category:  Air Travel , Airline Industry , K.C. Summers
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Huh. Well, if that's true, it does make the airline slightly less evil for not putting her on a plane.

Posted by: h3 | October 18, 2007 4:53 PM

The point is, she behaved like a psychopath. Screaming and yelling will never get you help. If she was in such bad shape, why wasn't her husband escorting her to rehab? It is too bad she died, and I feel for her kids. Maybe people should think about their tempers and behavior in airports.

Posted by: whatever | October 19, 2007 9:04 PM

Why don't you check your facts before publishing an article in the first place? Do you have any integrity? I would also ask the family of Mrs. Gotbaum "If she was in such a delicate state of mind why was she traveling across the country alone"? This is a tragic death but,please don't point fingers when you (her family) are partially responsible.

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