JetBlue Flight Attendant Vacationing In Jamaica Tests Positive For Coronavirus, Causes Hostage Scandal

Filed Under: Travel

As an update to the below story from a couple of days ago, a JetBlue spokesperson has now confirmed that this former flight attendant has been let go after an investigation, and adds the following:

“We continue to offer our apologies for the frustration and concern this incident has caused and reiterate our confidence in the health protocols Jamaica has put in place.”

You can find the original full story below.


A JetBlue flight attendant on vacation in Jamaica tested positive for coronavirus, and then caused quite a headache for the country.

American tests positive for coronavirus in Jamaica, forced to quarantine

Kalina Collier is a 22-year-old JetBlue flight attendant who decided to go on vacation in Jamaica in late January. She arrived in the country on January 28, and was scheduled to depart on February 1.

The US now has a pre-travel coronavirus testing requirement, meaning she had to get tested prior to returning to the US. On January 30 she took a rapid antigen test, and tested positive for coronavirus. An hour later she was given a second rapid antigen test, and tested negative for coronavirus.

At this point she was put into quarantine. Given the conflicting results of the rapid antigen tests, she was given a PCR test on February 2, which is known to be much more accurate. Well, that test also came back positive, so at that point she had to complete a 14-day quarantine (based on the timeline, it sounds like she may have already had coronavirus prior to coming to Jamaica).

During the quarantine, Collier did an Instagram live video in which she explained that she was being treated poorly, was being held against her will in a room, was being separated from her friends and family, etc. She mentioned how she was put in a room and wasn’t given a key for it, as if that’s somehow the equivalent of being held hostage, when in reality that’s a standard policy when quarantining.

While the Ocean Coral Spring Hotel let her stay for free, she wasn’t pleased with the quality of the room (it apparently wasn’t very clean, had just one sheet and one pillow, and didn’t have much art on the wall, so she speculated that maybe these rooms were for swingers… hmmm), and she wasn’t happy that the hotel tried to charge her for room service, since it was an all-inclusive (again, despite the fact that she was having her stay comped).

How did a standard quarantine become a news story?

While I can appreciate that her accommodations may not have been very luxurious, all things considered it sounds to me like she had it pretty good — she wasn’t transfered to a government facility, and her stay was even comped. The woman did get inconsistent test results, which is frustrating, but rapid antigen tests are known to not be terribly accurate. The PCR test is much more reliable, and she did test positive with that.

How do we go from the above situation to a lot of backlash on social media against the hotel and Jamaica, and even hashtags like #FindKalinaCollier and #SaveKalinaCollier?

Well, it would appear that the Instagram live made some people believe she had been abducted or was being held hostage, especially after she went quiet on social media for a few days.

To my knowledge Collier never explicitly said she was being held hostage or abducted, though she did suggest she was being held against her will in the room. Ideally people would be able to read between the lines and not think that her being unhappy about a quarantine is the same as her actually being abducted, but then again, nuance is often lost on the internet. Then again, I’m not sure claiming you’re being held against your will after testing positive for coronavirus is reasonable either…

For that matter, Collier even suggested she didn’t have coronavirus and that this they were out to get her, saying “I’m a &^#@! flight attendant, I work with COVID, and I’ve never had COVID.”

The situation got so bad that police did a wellness check to make sure she was okay, and then later the country tried to get her to issue a statement saying she was okay (to stop the social media outcry), though she refused.

Collier finally returned to the US over the weekend, after her quarantine.

Bottom line

There are lots of potential risks and logistical challenges associated with travel nowadays, especially international travel with testing requirements. If you’re going to travel, you should be prepared for the reality of what could happen in the event you test positive for coronavirus. That’s especially true when you’re in a foreign country.

A flight attendant should know better than most about these risks, and shouldn’t act outraged when forced to quarantine for 14 days after testing positive. Never mind the fact that the hotel comped her additional two week stay, which is downright generous.

It does seem Collier was out of line in her behavior, though it’s clear that some of the people on social media trying to help her may have only made the situation worse, by suggesting that she was somehow missing.

What do you make of this situation?

Comments
  1. IMHO if someone is forced into quarantine, the powers to be need to make sure basic needs are met. if the Jamaican Government enforces a quarantine they need to see that she has shelter, food and medical care if necessary.
    It sounds like her needs were met and mostly comped, which is not an obligation of Jamaica.
    In my opinion she should shut up.

  2. The outraged Karens coming to the rescue of an outraged Karen, causing outrage all around. Meh. And life goes on.

  3. Take away her cellphone during quarantine, problem solved. Entitlement knows no end. Should not be vacationing at this time from the get go. Thank god she wasn’t out there transmitting virus to other people.

  4. Throw the entitled superspreader in jail (real jail, not a resort, let her start to understand the difference). Leave her there for a month or two. STFU.

  5. Covidiot on full display. These people insist on taking vacations in the middle of a pandemic well not going to be sympathetic when this stuff happens to them. Just another reason not to engage in non-essential travel.

  6. Ocean Coral Spring hotel resort in Jamaica is 5-star (according to its website) and guests get a free rapid covid test. I’m guessing that’s where she was staying originally but after getting a positive test, was forced to do a 14-day quarantine in a different room. I would think that new room where she had her quarantine was very very different from the room she originally stayed in.

  7. Once she tested positive, she was placed in isolation, not quarantine. Quarantine is for someone who is not known to be positive but came into contact with someone who was, after travel, etc. The CDC has a great handout on the differences.

  8. This is the risk of international travel at the current time. If it goes well, you’ll have an amazing vacation at a mostly-empty destination. If it doesn’t, you risk getting stuck for longer than expected or in a worst-case having to go to a foreign hospital. Don’t travel now unless you know what you’re getting into and have the flexibility/money to handle the worst-case scenario if it happens.

  9. Who would want to vacation in Jamaica to begin with – a drug-ridden, corrupt government, LGTBQ hating country??? No thank you.

  10. ahh yes, my hotel stay in a 5-star hotel was sponsored but im not gonna talk about it because there’s no art in my room.

    bruh

  11. What has her being a Jet Blue FA got to do with this?

    Tenuous link so you can publish this story?

    She complains that she was separated from her friends? Does she not comprehend that’s what isolation is?

    I’ve been in plenty of hotel rooms where I didn’t like the art and I never thought it would be something I should complain about.

    She didn’t need ‘saving’ from Jamaica. She needed saving from herself and her own stupidity.

  12. Why are Americans still going on holiday where most of the rest of the world can’t
    ? Being a crew is irrelevant, however she should know better
    She expected to stay for free? Many Americans don’t bother to take travel insurance

    Furthermore if she had Covid there’s a risk she spread it.

    Meantime I still continue to read about Americans travelling to Cancun as if nothing is happening.

  13. She sounds like a self entitled brat. She was well informed of what would happen if she (or any other worker) tested positive. Hopefully she gets canned.

  14. That’s why you should never fly to countries with policies like this, and ideally avoid any circumstance where test may be needed (although the latter is now sadly almost impossible for Americans).

    I’m happy to have had covid in a country where the procedure is to simply avoid meeting other people as much as possible. I isolated myself but there was no one threatening me, checking on me, or even collecting information on where do I spend my isolation. I made my own arrangements, didn’t meet anyone during my isolation, but I’ve also been able to go for a walk in a forest, or drive around a bit to get some fresh air.

    This madness needs to stop. We can’t imprison people just because they are ill.

  15. @Icarus – The rest of the world can travel there too. Jamaica allows visitors from all over the world. Same goes for Mexico (Cancun), which you’ve used as an example.

  16. @Samo – “We can’t imprison people just because they are ill.”

    That’s a stupid oversimplification. Quarantine or isolation is not imprisonment, and covid is not just a flu.

  17. @Pete why use Karen as a derogatory term? It is unfair to those who were named Karen before the last two to three years. How would you like to use your name Pete as the term for entitled folks? I don’t think you would like it. So stop being lazy and spell out the words “entitled folks” instead of picking on females named Karen who may or may not be entitled.

  18. Wow. Go to Taiwan. A guy in mandated hotel quarantine stepped out of his room for 12 seconds and was fined $8,000. Whine all you want but the second you step out of the US and into another country, you play by their rules. Whine all you want but I’m guessing not only was she removed from any trips during those 14 days and most likely still pay protected for them, she probably received per dime the entire time she was in quarantine. Shoot, even Hawaii was doing the no key to your hotel room thing. Americans are insanely privileged and think tHey can’t be treated certain ways because they are Americans. I’m American in the travel industry – I saw it every day. “You can’t treat me like this” – Honey, yes they can when you aren’t on US soil anymore

  19. Clearly, she went too far with her grievance.

    It’s an easy decision to defer leisure travel until the travel restrictions are eased. For those of us trying to keep our international businesses afloat during this time, it’s a huge logistical challenge paired with risk of tests coming back positive and associated expenses at both ends along with quarantines and the stress that comes with it. For myself, as soon as I get the second vaccine, I’ll be temporarily relocating to Europe until the restrictions are eased. It’s just too much hassle.

  20. If she is dumb enough to travel on holiday during Covid, she needs to bear the risk of quarantine for testing positive. It is 100% her responsibility to bear the cost of quarantine as was her poorly considered decision to travel on vacation in the first place. Catching Covid can be avoided if you wear a mask, wash your hands, socially distance and if possible stay home. It isn’t rocket science.

  21. One would assume the resort would have reserved a portion of the resort for those who tested positive. Clearly you would not want them staying in close proximity to other guests. How many guests would be comfortable with an infected person in the room next door? One would also have to assume you are not going to get the best room and should just accept it. It could have been a lot worse – just look at the costs in Canada.

  22. Entitled b***h. Didn’t like the pictures, huh? Serves you right. Hope JetBlue gives you the heave after it checks out your non-story. Outrageous behaviour. Apologize to Jamaica and the hotel, then STFU.

  23. All responses are well accepted! This is about $$! Countries that depends on tourism are taking a financial hit daily so we must all understand the policies and procedures when traveling aboard..an employee in the air line industry should understand more than the average travel.. Her detention was to protect all above writes and Jet Blue passengers so She should apologize.

  24. 1.) People should not be leisure traveling right now, particularly between countries. It’s careless and selfish, full stop.

    2.) She sounds very entitled and easily cries “poor me”.

    If you travel to other countries, particularly during these times, this is what you get. Actually it seems like she was treated quite well, like you said. She could end up with a bill for her carelessness. I’m not at all a fan of Jamaica but it seems like they did the right thing here.

  25. I would be angry too if I were her. It was supppsed to be a FIVE DAY vacation, before going home. She probably wasn’t sick when she FIRST arrived on January 28, if she manaaged to actually ENJOY her vacation for those first 2 days, before taking the test on January 30 so she could be able to go home on February 1, only to find out she was NOW sick when she wasn’t when she first arrived, if they didn’t immediately put her in quarantine on her January 28 arrival, and was STILL expecting to be home by February 1 as planned.

    Plus they put her in a room that was DIRTY when she was moved to it away from the room she was probably already staying in at the hotel when her test results came in, If the hotel she was now quarantining in had STILL been the SAME one she had originally been checked into when the test results came in if the hotel was ‘comping’ her for her unplanned and unexpected CONTINUED stay from what was SUPPOSED to be a 5 day stay turning into a 19 day one thanks to the quarantine. Unless they were discounting the days she had already spent there before the test came back and added those first couple of post-test days as part of the quarantine.

    But if it wasn’t it means she was minus the January 28 arrival up to her January 30 test (2 days) up until her being told to quarantine days later, she was already there past the 14 day quarantine date, if the quarantine people were discounting the EARLIER days she was in the country before the the test results came in.

    If her quarantine officially started the day she got the test results in, and discounted the days she had already been there, and the day her quarantine officially started became day 1 of quarantine instead of day whatever number it was when the order came in, that means she was in Jamaica in quarantine LONGER than the 14 day quarantine was supposed.

    I mean come on.

    For example let’s use that airplane incident where passenger onboard died mid flight and it later turned out the guy had Covid-19. It took the CDC days if not WEEKS to FINALLY track down EVERYBODY who was on that flight, even though in the mean time the news of how that passenger died was already on the news so all of the passengers must have known by now, and probably after WEEKS of delaying in contacting the passengers on the flight, when they are FINALLY contacted WEEKS after the incident happened, the passengers are being told that somehow WEEKS after the ‘plane incident’, which they are being told was the MAIN reason behind the call, they are somehow obligated to NOW do the 14 day quarantine just because the CDC says to do so now that they FINALLY made the call to the supposedly ‘infected’ person. I mean come on, depending on how many days/weeks it took the quarantine call to FINALLY come in, what if the quarantine was legally ALREADY over by the time the call finally came in, and the person being called HASNT gotten sick in that time? Or what if they had ALREADY been quarantine themselves in that time after hearing what happened on the flight they had been on and took no chances themselves? Just because the quarantine call comes in NOW, they should put their lives on hold for another 14 day because they were ‘exposed’ to a deadly disease that they HAVENT gotten sick from in the days/weeks since the original exposure happened?

  26. Jamaica should have put her in deportation procedures the moment she tests positive for COVID-19. She is no longer a tourist and becomes a financial burden on an already financially struggling country. She is not a Jamaican and the country should have refused to keep her on the island and let the US take back their corona-infected subject.

  27. This girl should not be allowed back on the island. Permanently banned. At Customs if she ever tries to enter, she should be turned right back around and be escorted to a departing flight and charged the highest fare. Also she should be fined for lying.

  28. @MKLDH – Forcing someone to stay in a specific place against their will is the definition of imprisonment.

  29. She wasn’t there in her capacity as a Jet Blue employee so once again this blog is grasping for straws to make a story seem somehow more relevant than it actually is. Coming from a notorious complainer such as Ben himself that’s pretty rich.

  30. Yes much of this is along the lines of the TSA. That being said if you decide to travel Internationally you will need to take a test-that’s the rule. A very unreliable one at that. Therefore seems to me anyone with a smidge of common sense would avoid International vacations. Or you might get stuck in a crappy hotel room for 2 weeks.

  31. @Samo – you nailed it and are a rare voice of reason in this thread and on this topic. Thank you for taking care of your needs with concern and respect for others.

    @MKLDH – LOCKED in a room without the key? Yeah. That is imprisonment and that is beyond excessive. While others make a valid point when you go to another country, you play by their rules, but pointing out the extreme manner in which they handle this is legit. As Samo did, it is very possible to isolate yourself if you have and protect others. I take great exception to locking someone in a room.

    Unfortunately, most on this thread are those extreme “Sit in your homes and cower for years if need be” folks. That’s not to say you should go to the other extreme of “Act as is if nothing is going on.” There is a median position – go about your life to large degree, avoiding certain situations that are not feasible, but otherwise taking reasonable precautiouns. You don’t have to sit at home do absolutely nothing nor do you have to be out hanging out in large groups with masks and taking no safety steps. However, if you want to act as if you will drop dead from COVID if you step outside your front door, be my guest. I won’t be joining either extreme.

  32. Americans have to abide by their laws! Why when they go to other people’s countries they think the laws are exempt from them? If the government requires a covid test and has its protocols follow them. If you do not want to just do not visit! Do not go on a social platform to scandalize a place that basically gave u free accommodations. America isnt giving nobody any free accommodations u test positive u stay out! Jamaica has its challenges but we take care of our visitors, we try as best as possible to keep all of you safe whilst visiting! Every country has its challenges look what’s happening in the USA!! Come on be fair that girl need to never be granted entry ever again! Ungrateful and mischievous! You should still have covid yours should have latest over a month! Very out of order you are!

  33. Americans have to abide by their laws! Why when they go to other people’s countries they think the laws are exempt from them? If the government requires a covid test and has its protocols follow them. If you do not want to just do not visit! Do not go on a social platform to scandalize a place that basically gave u free accommodations. America isnt giving nobody any free accommodations u test positive u stay out! Jamaica has its challenges but we take care of our visitors, we try as best as possible to keep all of you safe whilst visiting! Every country has its challenges look what’s happening in the USA!! Come on be fair that girl need to never be granted entry ever again! Ungrateful and mischievous! You should still have covid yours should have latest over a month! Very out of order you are!
    You are isolated what key do u need? To get out and infect others? Jamaicans are free nothing or nobody imprisons us! So if u must be isolated for having the virus u will be! Nobody cares what you think is imprisonment she wasnt charged by government and locked up to face the courts she was isolated. Since it’s so easy for u do not do as the American government says then you will truly know what imprisonment is!

  34. She’s a liar … her and her mother. It’s been proven. Couldn’t appreciate how many really stupid persons we may possibly engage with until the Trump era. It’s 74MM! and counting.

  35. @Derek she had a room with a sliding door that led out to the pool area and she was able to go out that way and sit out but wasn’t able to mingle with the guest so she was able to be outside. looking at how irrational she was saying she was kidnapped and they had cameras in her room do you think she would have been able to stay in her room if it wasn’t locked? she would have just spread the virus to other people. the Resort did what they thought was the right thing to do with her. I hope she loses her job and the resort sues her and her mother for defamation.

  36. @Kelz as @Samo noted, you can be infected and CHOOSE to avoid people. I go for long walks near my home everyday. I rarely encounter anyone and if I were infected, I would be extremely cautious to steer very clear of anyone else who might also be out. I don’t need to be locked in my home – nor would I be nor would I tolerate it having not commited a crime. Perhaps this woman could have gone and walked on an isolate beach. If she keeps herself separate from anyone else while she is infected, why must be she be detained like someone who is incarcerated? Again, she has a virus, she has committed a crime. Once someone takes actions to suggest they won’t prioritize the safety of others then it may be appropriate to limit her movements. Again, I understand this is another country and they can do as they wish, but we see people speaking out aginst the practices of other countries all the time. My biggest concern is effectively being forcefully detained. As an ardent supporter of personal liberty, I have a very serious problem with that.

  37. @Bucks, calling 74 million people “stupid” because they have a different opinion than you is probably far more….I will see “unthoughtful”…than merely having a different opinion.

  38. @Derek

    I agree with you completely. One could even argue that many of those who are not part of the 74 million were manipulated by the media and big tech to such an extent that they had no idea why they even voted for the other guy. Several youtubers interviewed college students asking them who they believed had said a particular quote and in almost all cases, they identified the wrong candidate.

  39. 51+ year flight attendant here. We have been well informed about the potential hazards of testing positive when traveling, both for work and leisure. I decided it wasn’t worth the risk to make any leisure trips – by plane or vehicle. The highly entitled focus of this article should be grateful the hotel comped her room. Maybe they should have offered her free meals but she would have to pay for the room. Even both being her responsibility would be acceptable. Her inappropriate slamming of the hotel and Jamaica should be reviewed by her employer. That might necessitate disciplinary actions or termination. Airlines negotiate with hotels for crew rooms on a long-standing basis. Her motormouth could cause a contract to be terminated (depending on the agreed-upon terms), or eliminate future negotiations. Social media can have long-lasting impact. Since she is 22 she could possibly start a new career with McDonald’s.

  40. I can guarantee you that she wasn’t wearing a mask and social distancing before she tested positive. I can tell by her entitled attitude. Most Americans probably really shouldn’t travel period. They get spoiled in the U.S., and don’t know how to behave when they travel abroad, and it reflects badly on us Americans who do know how to behave. Most foreigners don’t even believe that I’m an American, because I’m so polite. My ex-girlfriend from Canada said that she thought I was gay when she first met me, because I was so polite. Oh boy, was she ever surprised. Slurp. lol.

  41. Thank God, she got fired by jetBlue now (www.miamiherald.com/news/nation-world/world/americas/article249294520.html). @Lucky, please update this.

  42. jamon I sure hope there be enough space on da plane
    Lorda mercy .
    I wanna talk to Samson
    What part of Jamaica ya from ?
    Right by da beach.

  43. LMFAO to both the story and those who respond saying this not being a real travel blog story.

    This article got 11x (as of now) the number of people adding comments, compared to say Lucky’s article yesterday on best credit card pairings for points earning and asking for others input. #Clickbait

  44. The tests are notoriously inaccurate and I’m shocked by most of the comments. Getting a false positive in another country would be a nightmare.

  45. Two thoughts:

    1 – she is whining about a free stay (easily could have made her pay for it) and deserves to be bashed. Glad Jet Blue fired her!
    2 – to those that say you shouldn’t travel now STFU – you live your life a f if you don’t want to travel fine. However if travel is allowed and you are willing to assume the risks go for it! I haven’t been on an international trip in the past year but have been on 10-12 trips including casino visits, golf trips and a week in Florida w another family. I take reasonable precautions but also will accept whatever happens. You live your life as you want but don’t try to shame or dictate how others live theirs!!!

  46. JetBlue was right firing her. Behavior unbecoming to JetBlue whether you are on duty or not. She dragged her employe’ss reputation into mud by her selfish behavior. Bye, bye..

  47. @Alan: if they asked the 74 million deplorables they would respond by asking to turn to Fox first or just guess some Socialist. Yes, I always go to Youtube in my search for hard facts. smfh

  48. AC, when your choices are killing other people, then expect to be criticized. America and the western world is full of selfish people, in contrast to Asia and China where they look out for each other. The choice to travel is killing people, and as such anyone who tests positive after flying deserves to be handed a huge fine and not just quarantine

  49. She shouldn’t have gone on vacation. This is entirely her fault. If she isn’t happy with the arrangement, too bad. Jamaica has the right to handle quarantine how it so chooses. Very little sympathy here.

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