Airline takes issue with oxygen tank, woman has trouble returning to Milwaukee after Thanksgiving

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DALLAS/MILWAUKEE (WITI) -- The Thanksgiving holiday didn't end well for a Milwaukee woman -- who ended up getting stuck at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport on Tuesday, December 2nd.

33-year-old Dawn Rodefer was visiting her sister in Texas. She has cancer, and requires a small green tank filled with compressed oxygen.

Rodefer was supposed to fly back to Milwaukee on Tuesday, December 2nd, on the 12:05 p.m. flight out of Dallas/Fort Worth. Instead, she found herself stranded outside terminal security in Texas.

"I was just telling my sister this morning, 'thank you for the best Thanksgiving I've had in years.' Then all this happened. All I want to do now is go home," Rodefer said.

Rodefer told Dallas television station WFAA she has Stage Four ovarian cancer. She carries an oxygen tank which helps her to breathe.

American Airlines refused to allow Rodefer to return home to Milwaukee because the FAA considers the oxygen tank a hazardous material. However, American Airlines mistakenly let Rodefer travel to Texas with the canister last week.

"I went through security, went up to the gate, got on the plane, got off the plane," Rodefer said of her trip from Milwaukee to Texas.

This story does have a happy ending.

American Airlines rented Rodefer an air tank on Wednesday, December 3rd and re-booked her flight. American Airlines released this statement to FOX6 News:

"We wish that we could have allowed Ms. Rodefer the opportunity to fly on her original flight (Tuesday). We understand that she traveled to DFW with her own portable oxygen device, however, it was not a FAA approved device and we are looking into how the issue occurred. Our DFW team located a rental unit for her to use at our expense. We sincerely apologize to Ms. Rodefer for the inconvenience it has caused her."

Rodefer made it back to Milwaukee  Wednesday afternoon.

"I'm glad I'm home! I think the whole trip is going to be a long-lasting memory," Rodefer said.

Rodefer says in the end, American Airlines did a good job. She says employees were kind to her on Wednesday, and she says she was grateful for the portable oxygen concentrator they provided.