A Frontier Airlines flight attendant rudely dismissed a passenger who complained about his seatmate’s coughing and sneezing, telling the man to drive and that he should be on the No-Fly List. While that was my first reaction as well, perhaps the disgruntled passenger was not totally out of line in his complaint…
Frontier Airlines Flight Attendant Rudely Mocks Passenger Concern Over Sneezing, Coughing
The issue occurred last Thursday on a Frontier Airlines flight from Miami (MIA) to Philadelphia (PHL). A passenger in row 26 was coughing and sneezing, making the passenger in row 25 uncomfortable. The uncomfortable passenger requested to be re-seated and his request was accommodated. That still did not stop him from complaining to flight attendants that the sneezing passenger was not removed. According to the man, the flight attendant dismissed him and said he should drive if he is concerned.
Upon landing in Philadelphia, he complained to another flight attendant on his way out. But rather than receive sympathy, he was met with the same derision. TMZ posted a video of the incident:
The flight attendant states:
“This is a form of transportation, sir, you have an option, you can drive your car if it’s a problem, you can’t tell people to get off the plane if they’re coughing or sneezing.”
As the conversation continues, the clearly annoyed flight attendant scorns the passenger, reminding him he is not a doctor, and even intimates he should be on the N0-Fly list:
“You should be on the no-fly list, you really should be.”
Why? “Because you’re getting someone kicked off for sneezing and coughing”
Was The Passenger Really Wrong?
While checking in for a Spirit Airlines flight, you self-attest that:
In the last 14 days, neither you, nor anyone in your household or that you have come in close contact with, has tested positive for, exhibited symptoms of, or been advised to quarantine for COVID-19.
Per the CDC, symptoms of COVID-19 include:
- Fever or chills
- Shortness of breath or difficulty breathing
- Muscle or body aches
- New loss of taste or smell
- Sore throat
- Congestion or runny nose
- Nausea or vomiting
So in reality, if you have a cough or runny nose, you are not supposed to fly.
Now that’s not a long-term solution, since people can cough and sneeze for many reasons wholly unrelated to COVID-19. Indeed, if I glare out my window into the direct sunlight, I will often sneeze (photic sneeze reflex).
While avoiding air travel while experiencing a cold is a common courtesy, it is not always possible. The tricky thing is that so many COVID-19 symptoms are cold symptoms.
And if Frontier Airlines pre-flight safety checklist means anything, then even sniffles and a cough should keep you (and me) home.
My first instinct was to call the concerned passenger a “Nervous Nellie” and point out exactly what the flight attendant did: we’re not going to start kicking people off for sneezing and coughing. And while that may be the case, it is incumbent upon each of us to travel responsibility during this time. I’ve taken more trips than most during COVID-19, but I’ve always felt well. Since many COVID-19 cases are asymptotic but can still be contagious, don’t just dismiss a little runny nose and cough as a cold. It could be something else…
Are you more or less comfortable flying Frontier Airlines after seeing the video above in which a flight attendant mocks a passenger concerned over coughing and sneezing?
(H/T: One Mile at a Time)