News & Opinion | April 26, 2019 10:48 am

Airline Passenger Complained About Vomit On Seat, Was Promptly Arrested

Quite the sticky situation

Frontier Airlines
A woman was arrested on a Frontier Airlines flight. (Derek Davis/ Getty)
Press Herald via Getty Images

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A woman was arrested after she complained about vomit on her daughter’s Frontier Airlines seat last Saturday, prompting flight passengers everywhere to ask, “What are my rights?”

Passenger Rosetta Swinney said that she asked a flight attendant for help when she realized her child’s seat was soaked in vomit but was told, “That’s not my job,” Forbes reported.

“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,” Frontier responded in a statement before characterizing the mother as “disruptive.”

Witnesses and Swinney remember the incident differently, however, and said that the flight attendant wasn’t as helpful as the statement claimed and that no cleaning or seat shuffling was offered. A video of the interaction even shows Swinney “calmly waiting for the situation to be resolved,” according to Forbes. When she was then told would have to deplane, she refused and was arrested.

This isn’t the first time passengers have been seemingly subjected to poor conditions or threatened with legal action for not cooperating. A Michigan man last year said Delta Airlines forced him to sit in a seat covered in dog feces and a Boston woman claimed her daughter was made to sit in a urine-soaked seat for an 11-hour British Airways flight.

Unfortunately, “Passengers essentially have no rights,” founder of JoeSentMe, the website for business travelers, Joe Brancatelli, told Forbes. “According to the contract of carriage the passenger passively agrees to, the airlines guarantee NOTHING. Not even to take you to the destination on your ticket. So they are under no obligation to honor your seat assignment, move you to something better (or less awful) or do anything they don’t want to do.”