A woman from Durham, Carolina, was on a Frontier Airlines Flight when she got into a confrontation with the staff.
Rosetta Swinney found herself jailed for twelve hours because of the incident. She stated, "What really hurt me is for my child to see me getting handcuffed and taken away from her. Twelve hours I was in jail. Twelve hours."
Swinney had traveled to Nevada with her 14-year-old daughter to attend a wedding on Easter weekend. The flight back was delayed, and the reason provided was that the staff needed to clean the plane before boarding.
However, she was surprised to find that her seat was still dirty. She narrated, referring to her daughter, "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."
She immediately called a flight attendant, but she did not get the help she was looking for. "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 attended to?" Swinney stated.
The airline issued a statement stating that the attendant apologized and offered to reassign the mother and daughter to any available seats.
The statement read; “…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.”
However, another passenger on the flight wrote about the incident on social media, confirming that the attendant had indeed stated that it was not her job.
When Swinney confronted the attendant again, she was taken off the plane and arrested. Her daughter was then placed in child protective custody.
"I felt humiliated," Swinney stated. "I felt more bad that my child had to see me be handcuffed and taken away from her." Swinney claims that no reassignment was offered to her, and that she spent $1,000 on another flight.
Frontier Airlines reimbursed Swinney the full amount of the original cost of the flight. However, Swinney maintained that it was not enough, and hired a civil rights attorney to handle her misdemeanor trespassing charge.
She is scheduled to appear in court in June.