DURHAM, N.C. - A North Carolina woman was arrested following a confrontation with Frontier Airlines staff in which she complained about vomit in her daughter's seat, according to a report from WTVD.
Rosetta Swinney, 53, told reporters she and her 14-year-old daughter were returning home to Durham after spending Easter weekend in Las Vegas for a wedding.
Swinney said that boarding was already delayed so that staff could clean the plane, but when she eventually boarded with her daughter, one of their seats was still dirty.
"She jumped up. She said, 'Mom! My hands are wet.' She smelled it. She said, '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 attendent, who responded by saying it wasn't her job to clean the seat.
Frontier Airlines said in a statement that "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."
However, other passengers who witnessed the confrontation said Swinney was not offered another seat and was told to clean the vomit herself, according to KLAS. Parts of the confrontation were captured by witnesses on cellphone video.
Swinney said she confronted the flight attendent again, and that's when authorities were called to remove her and her daughter. Police said they tried to get Swinney to leave the plane voluntarily, and placed her under arrest when she refused.
"What really mostly hurt me is my child had to see me being handcuffed and taken away from her," Swinney said.
Swinney spent twelve hours in jail on a misdemeanor trespassing charge while her daughter was placed in child protective custody.
After getting out of jail, Swinney said she flew home through Delta, and Frontier refunded the cost of her original flight home.
Swinney is due in a Las Vegas courtroom in June, but said she has hired a civil rights attorney to fight the trespassing charge.
Frontier Airlines is standing by their flight attendent's actions. Read their full statement, obtained by WTVD:
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.
Watch WTVD's report below:
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