DURHAM, NC (WTVD/CNN) – A North Carolina woman is facing charges after she and her 14-year-old daughter were removed from a Frontier Airlines flight following a confrontation with a flight attendant about vomit on the teenager’s seat.
Rosetta Swinney, 53, says she will never ride Frontier Airlines again after the Easter weekend incident on a flight out of Las Vegas. The mother and her 14-year-old daughter had been in Nevada for a wedding.
On their way back Saturday, their flight was delayed, so staff could clean the plane. But when the two boarded, Swinney says her daughter found vomit in her seat.
“She jumped up and 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 said.
Swinney says she was surprised the seat was dirty and alerted a flight attendant.
“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 said.
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.”
The statement also said that Swinney and her daughter were told “they would be provided other seats if available.”
Swinney disputes the airline’s account, saying the flight attendant never attempted to clean up the mess nor offered to reassign her seat. Witnesses onboard the flight later posted on Facebook with a story similar to Swinney’s.
The airline says Swinney was unsatisfied and became “disruptive,” so authorities were called to remove the mother and daughter from the plane.
“I felt humiliated,” Swinney said. “I felt more bad that my child had to see me be handcuffed and taken away from her.”
Swinney was put in jail for 12 hours, and her daughter was placed in child protective custody.
After getting out of jail, the mother bought a $1,000 ticket home through Delta Air Lines.
Frontier refunded the cost of her original flight, but Swinney has hired a civil rights attorney to fight her misdemeanor trespassing charge. She is due in court in June.