This is a surprisingly upbeat story, given that testing positive for coronavirus on a flight, and then quarantining in the airplane bathroom for hours, doesn’t sound particularly fun.
Passenger tests positive for COVID-19 on flight
On December 20, 2021, Marisa Fotieo was traveling on an Icelandair Boeing 737 MAX flight from Newark (EWR) to Keflavik (KEF). She was traveling with her brother and father, and they were going to Switzerland for the holidays.
She had brought along several rapid COVID-19 test kits, especially as she was traveling with her father, and she wanted to protect him. About an hour into the flight she went into the lavatory and took a test, as she had a sore throat. To her surprise, she tested positive. She had taken five tests in the days leading up to the trip and tested negative with all of them, so she was surprised by the result. As she explains:
“And within about two seconds, the test came back positive. I freaked out and ran out of the bathroom and found the first person I could see. Luckily it was this amazing flight attendant named Rocky.”
Passenger quarantines in airplane bathroom for hours
With news of the positive coronavirus test result, the flight attendant asked the passenger to wait in the lavatory while the crew figured out what to do. Apparently the crew made an announcement reminding all passengers to keep their masks on, and also disclosing that a passenger had tested positive for coronavirus.
When the flight attendant returned, Fotieo was informed that it was a full flight, and there was no extra room for her to space out. So Fotieo volunteered to just stay in the bathroom for the rest of the flight. She says that the flight attendant was very sweet, and brought her water and snacks.
The passenger also filmed a TikTok during her time in the lavatory, which has since gone viral and has been viewed millions of times.
- She wasn’t just quarantining in an airplane bathroom, but she was quarantining in a Boeing 737 MAX lavatory, which is known to be especially tight
- I wonder what happened when the crew had to prepare the cabin for landing — did she stay in the lavatory (which seems unlikely), or how did they go about seating her?
What happened when the plane landed in Iceland?
When the plane landed in Iceland, Fotieo had to enter a 10-day quarantine, though at least it cost her nothing. She was put up in a Red Cross Humanitarian Hotel, which actually looks pretty decent (at least compared to some of the other facilities out there). Fotieo even had a pretty positive outlook about the whole thing:
“They have medical personnel here that check on me and bring me food three times a day, and looking back on it, I’m so happy it turned out the way it had to because I’ve been cozy in here.”
What’s especially cute is that the flight attendant who had helped Fotieo onboard dropped off a special package for her on Christmas Eve, with a little Christmas tree, a note, a warm dinner, and presents to open on Christmas day. Fotieo is grateful for both the flight attendant and Icelandair overall:
“I can confidently say that I would have probably cried for 10 day straight had it not been for Rocky, and Icelandair as a whole really made this experience joyful and memorable, and it was really so heartwarming.”
Fortunately both her brother and father tested negative for coronavirus, and were able to continue on their trip to Switzerland.
Here you can see a news interview with Fotieo while she’s in quarantine:
While testing positive for coronavirus on a flight and then having to sit in a lavatory for hours on end doesn’t sound fun, this is actually a pretty great story overall. The traveler was being as responsible as she could, she had a great attitude about the whole situation, and it sounds like Icelandair (and in particular a flight attendant) really went above and beyond to take care of her. Kudos!
What do you make of this Icelandair lavatory quarantine story?
Obviously, her stunt worked well for her. Global media coverage, millions of views, and new followers.
Obviously you crave attention by posting this type of crap. Grow up.
Either she is just seeking attention/followers, or an absolute imbecile for testing on the plane.
Take a look in the mirror. You will find the imbecile in the reflection.
The person/flyer was considerate…but for some reason you take the side of being negative.
Sorry, but I agree this feels like a stunt, or at the very least extremely poor decision-making by the passenger. It’s nice how the flight attendant from Icelandair reacted, but there are a couple of very obvious lessons here: Firstly DO NOT get on a plane when you have symptoms, which it seems pretty clear she did. Secondly, don’t take a mid-flight test… What benefit does a mid-flight test bring to anyone? It puts the...
Sorry, but I agree this feels like a stunt, or at the very least extremely poor decision-making by the passenger. It’s nice how the flight attendant from Icelandair reacted, but there are a couple of very obvious lessons here: Firstly DO NOT get on a plane when you have symptoms, which it seems pretty clear she did. Secondly, don’t take a mid-flight test… What benefit does a mid-flight test bring to anyone? It puts the crew and other passengers in an impossible position, and probably didn’t reduce risk by all that much.
Everyone will get omicron anyways. It doesn't matter how many vaccines you get. It is just a matter of getting and not be punished or getting it and be locked up. I will never voluntarily take a test or let others know I am positive when I do.
You're evil man, but you're probably not aware of that
People are getting dumber by the minute. This moron needs attention and she got it.
@Santastico And some people are just - well - not nice.
Just when I think the world can't get dumber over COVID hysteria I'm proven wrong.
I dunno maybe it is kinda stupid to be engaging in international travel right now for the sake of tourism? This was easily foreseeable. God knows how many other people she may have infected at the airport because she would have been contagious prior to this.
I thought it was weird that she took soo many tests leading up to the flight and then it occurred to me. She was taking all these tests because she had covid symptoms but yet she still got on the plane knowing that. Rapid tests don't always identify covid right away, so it is hard to feel much sympathy for her.
I would have never told anyone. Why suffer a 10 day jail sentence for something I cannot control?
because she's a obviously a way better person than you are
Don't believe for a second this isn't a stunt.
It is very strange that she is wearing different masks between her video and her still photo...
I was struck by her statement
"And within about two seconds, the test came back positive. "
I'm familiar with rapid testing but nothing with that turn-around. The rapid antigen tests generally take 10 -15 minutes
Just pointing this oddity out.
Of course, she TikTok'ed it. She wasn't looking for attention at all. No, not that. Never.
It's free not to be this way online, hth
Even more responsibly, I hope everyone on that flight got tested as soon as they disembarked.
Epidemiologist here...minor point, but technically, she was isolating. Quarantine applies to people exposed but not yet positive/ill. The two terms are often confused, but they have different meanings.