A North Carolina woman has vowed to never fly with Frontier Airlines again after her complaints about vomit in her assigned seat aboard a flight out of Las Vegas landed her in jail.
Rosetta Swinney told ABC 11 she and her 14-year-old daughter were in Nevada for a wedding on Easter weekend when the drama unfolded.
She said their return flight to Durham was delayed so that staff could clean the plane, which is why she was all the more surprised when her daughter made a stomach-turning discovery once they boarded their flight.“She jumped up to say mom! My hands are wet. She smelled it,” Swinney recalled. “She says ‘this is vomit, mom.’ So we went to look. It was on the bag, all over her shirt, her hands.”
That’s when Swinney flagged down a flight attendant, who she said refused to offer any help.
“I don’t know if she got offensive about it, but she turned around to me and said, ‘That’s not my job,’ ” the 53-year-old mother recalled. “If it wasn’t her job, why wasn’t it attended to?”
In a statement, Frontier Airlines said, “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 company went on to claim the mother-daughter duo was told that once the flight was done boarding, they would be given new seats, if available .
Swinney had a different account of how things went down, however. She said she and her daughter were never offered new seats, nor did the flight attendant ever attempt to clean up the mess.
As reported by ABC 11, a witness to the incident posted a similar account on Facebook, writing that the attendant totally dismissed Swinney’s complaint.
When Swinney confronted the attendant once more, airline staff called the police to boot her and her daughter off the plane.
“I felt humiliated,” she told the station. “What really hurt me is for my child to see me getting handcuffed and taken away from her.”
Swinney was handcuffed and carted off to a Las Vegas jail, where she remained for 12 long hours. Meanwhile, her daughter was placed in child protective custody.
After being released from jail, Swinney bought $1,000 flight back home, this time with Delta.
Frontier refunded the cost of her trip, but defended the actions of its attendant to remove the mother and her daughter from the flight. The airline claimed Swinney became “disruptive,” after which the flight crew recommended she and her 14-year-old be deplaned and put on another flight.
“The mother refused, and following procedure, law enforcement was called,” the company said in a statement, adding that the plane was de-boarded and re-boarded so that Swinney and her daughter could be removed. “
“We apologized to our passengers for the inconvenience caused by the departure delay,” it continued. The safety of passengers and crew is our top priority at Frontier.”
Swinney is still outraged over the ordeal and has since hired a civil rights lawyer to fight her misdemeanor trespassing charge, ABC 11 reported. She’s due in a Las Vegas court in June.