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Woman arrested in front of teen daughter and forced to spend 12 hours in jail after complaining about vomit in a plane seat

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Photo by Robert Alexander/Getty Images

A North Carolina woman faces charges after an incident that took place on a Frontier Airlines flight.

What is she alleging happened?

The woman, 53-year-old Rosetta Swinney, and her 14-year-old daughter were traveling home from Las Vegas after an Easter weekend wedding.

According to WTVD-TV, Swinney and her daughter had just boarded the flight and found their seats when they discovered that there was vomit on their seat cushions.

"[My daughter] jumped up to say, 'Mom! My hands are wet!' She smelled it. She says, 'This is vomit, Mom,'" Swinney recalled. "So we went to look. It was on the bag, all over her shirt, her hands."

Swinney said she alerted a nearby flight attendant to make her aware of the situation.

"I don't know if she got offensive about it," Swinney admitted. "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 the attendant never attempted to clean up the vomit and did not reassign their seats. She attempted to get the flight attendant's attention once more, and said that the attendant contacted authorities, who arrived on the scene to remove her and her daughter from the plane.

"What really hurt me is for my child to see me getting handcuffed and taken away from her," Swinney said. "Twelve hours I was in jail. Twelve hours.

"I felt humiliated," she added.

Swinney's daughter was taken into child protective custody while her mother sat in jail for 12 hours.

Upon release, Swinney had to purchase a $1,000 flight home — through Delta Air Lines.

Frontier did refund her flight money, according to Swinney, but she isn't happy about the incident and has hired a civil rights attorney to fight her charges.

Swinney is scheduled in a Las Vegas courtroom in June on misdemeanor trespassing charges.

What is the airline saying?

The airline told the WTVD that the flight attendants immediately responded to Swinney's request, and "invited the mother and her teenage daughter to move to either end of the plane so that the seat area could be cleaned."

The airline also said the "mother was unsatisfied with the response and became disruptive." Because of this, the airline said, "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."

Here's the full statement Frontier Airlines provided to the outlet.

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.
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