Airline Passenger Arrested After Complaining About Vomit-Soaked Seat

a large passenger jet flying through a blue sky: Frontier Airlines Airbus A320 landing at Cleveland Hopkins International Airport

A Durham, North Carolina woman says she’ll never fly Frontier Airlines again after a recent confrontation with a flight attendant over a vomit-soaked seat landed her in jail and facing a misdemeanor trespassing charge.

According to WTVD, 53-year-old Rosetta Swinney and her 14-year-old daughter had just boarded their flight home from Las Vegas to Raleigh-Durham International Airport—which had already been delayed for cleaning—when they noticed the dirty seat.

“She jumped up to say, mom! My hands are wet. She smelled it. She says ‘this is vomit, mom.’ So we went to look. It was on the bag, all over her shirt, her hands,” Swinney told WTVD.

Swinney said she alerted a flight attendant but received no assistance. “I don’t know if she got offensive 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 to?” she added.

After confronting the flight attendant a second time, authorities were called and Swinney and her daughter were escorted off of the flight.

“I felt humiliated,” Swinney told WTVD. “I felt worse that my child had to see me be handcuffed and taken away from her. Twelve hours I was in jail. Twelve hours.”

While a woman who said she witnessed the exchange between Swinney and the flight attendant supported Swinney’s claim that the crew member said it wasn’t her job to clean up the mess in a Facebook post, the airline told a different story in a lengthy statement claiming that Swinney “became disruptive.”

Related Facebook post

“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,” the carrier said.

“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,” Frontier added. “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.”

Swinney, who eventually purchased a $1,000 flight home through Delta Air Lines, is due in court in Las Vegas in June.

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