A woman was forcibly removed from a Frontier Airlines flight after voicing her disgust over vomit found on her daughter’s seat.
Imagine you step onto your flight, sit down, and find your daughter’s seat is wet. You hold your hand up to your nose and immediately recognize the stench of vomit. But when you alert a flight attendant, you are met with indifference. Wouldn’t you get angry?
Rosetta Swinney did on a Frontier flight from Las Vegas to Raleigh-Durham. That’s not the issue. The issue is why. She claims that after discovering the vomit, a FA responded with rudeness. She told a local ABC affiliate:
I don’t know if she got offen[ed] about it. But she turned around to me and said, ‘that’s not my job.’ If it wasn’t her job, why wasn’t it attend[ed] to?
Swinney voiced her anger, was deemed belligerent, and police were summoned. The aircraft was emptied, Swinney was led off in handcuffs, arrested, and charged with trespassing. She was jailed for 12 hours. Meanwhile, her child was placed in child protective custody.
But in a lengthy statement, Frontier defended its FA, insisting that help was offered and yet the passenger still became belligerent.
During boarding of flight 2066 from McCarran International Airport (LAS) to Raleigh-Durham International Airport (RDU) last week, two passengers told the flight attendants that vomit was present in their seat area. The flight attendants apologized and immediately invited the mother and her teenage daughter to move to either end of the plane so that the seat area could be cleaned. The mother and daughter were also told that once boarding was complete they would be provided other seats if available. The daughter was also offered cleaning products and invited to use the lavatory to wash up. The mother was unsatisfied with the response and became disruptive.
As a result, the flight attendants determined that the mother and daughter should be deplaned and accommodated on another flight. The mother refused, and following procedure, law enforcement was called. Law enforcement then requested that everyone deplane so that the mother and daughter could be removed allowing the aircraft to be re-boarded and depart. We apologized to our passengers for the inconvenience caused by the departure delay. The safety of passengers and crew is our top priority at Frontier.
What does “disruptive” mean in this context? Was she cursing out flight attendants or simply voicing her anger over something incredibly disgusting?
Swinney denies that she was offered another seat. Other passengers have confirmed that the FA just walked away and never offered alternate seats (see video above).
Few things are most disgusting than sitting down in someone else’s vomit. I perfectly understand Swinney’s anger, especially if a FA seemed to shrug off the issue. More broadly, was it really necessary to arrest a woman and separate her from her daughter? My bet is that a little empathy would have instantly solved this problem.
image: Tomás Del Coro / CC 2.0