CNN (CNN) – The bathroom became her seat for the next three hours after a woman tested positive for Covid-19 mid-flight.
Marisa Fotieo was on an Icelandair trip with her brother and father from Chicago to Reykjavik, Iceland, on December 19, en route to her final destination of Switzerland.
Fotieo told CNN that she took two PCR tests and maybe five fast tests before the flight, all of which came back negative. However, Fotieo developed a sore throat around an hour and a half into the journey.
“‘OK, I’ll simply go take a test,’ I thought as the wheels in my head started turning. It was supposed to cheer me up, “CNN spoke with Fotieo. “It came back positive right away.”
Fotieo is a Chicago-based early childhood educator who is completely vaccinated and has received the booster. Because she deals with an unvaccinated population, she tests frequently.
She began to panic when she received her results in the airplane lavatory while flying over the Atlantic Ocean.
“Rocky was the first flight attendant I met. I was laughing and weeping, and I couldn’t stop myself “Fotieo remarked. “I was worried about my family, whom I had just eaten supper with. I was worried about the other passengers on the plane. I was worried about myself.”
The flight attendant Fotieo met, Ragnhildur Eirksdóttir, or Rocky, helped her relax.
“Of course, when something like this happens, it’s stressful, but that’s part of our job,” Eirksdóttir told CNN.
The flight attendant stated she did everything to rearrange seats so Fotieo could sit alone, but the trip was utterly entire.
“I was worried about my family, whom I had just eaten supper with. I was worried about the other passengers on the plane. I was worried about myself “CNN spoke with Marisa Fotieo.
“When she came back and stated she couldn’t find enough seating,” Fotieo explained, “I chose to stay in the lavatory because I didn’t want to be with other people on the aircraft.”
The bathroom door was subsequently marked as out of service, and Fotieo was assigned to that seat for the remainder of the flight.
On Thursday, CNN reached out to Icelandair for comment but has yet to hear back.
When it comes to handling a Covid-positive customer, airline policies differ. This comes after the United States and other countries imposed travel restrictions in response to the spread of the Omicron form.
Fotieo spent almost three hours in the restroom. Eirksdóttir kept a close eye on her and ensured she had plenty of food and water.
“I couldn’t believe I’d be missing out on a family vacation. I couldn’t believe I was going to Iceland by myself. I was astounded to learn that I had 20 families at home who had only recently had me in their school “Fotieo remarked.
She said she bought internet access and called her school while in the restroom. She also made a TikTok video, which had been viewed over 4.3 million times as of Thursday afternoon.
Fotieo stated that she did not feel crowded inside the lavatory and was relieved to be out of the main cabin with the other passengers, one of whom was her 70-year-old father.
Iceland has placed you under quarantine.
Fotieo and her family were the last passengers off the plane when it landed in Iceland.
Her brother and father were free to board their connecting trip to Switzerland because they had no symptoms. Fotieo was offered a quick and PCR test at the airport, both of which came back positive, she added.
Subsequently, she was transported to a Red Cross hotel, where she would spend the next ten days under quarantine.
Doctors checked on her three times a day, she was fed, and medication was readily available. “To be honest, it’s been a breeze,” Fotieo added. “It’s partly due to Rocky and the Icelandic people’s genetic makeup. Everyone is extremely nice here.”
While detained in Iceland, Marisa Fotieo received gifts, a tree, and a note from the flight attendants.
She continued to document the encounter on TikTok during her quarantine. Eirksdóttir, with whom she had maintained communication via social media, even sent her Christmas gifts and food.
“I knew she’d be on her own in Iceland,” Eirksdóttir explained. “So, even if you’re alone, having someone who can bring you something is good. So I had no choice but to be that person.”
Fotieo’s quarantine was set to end on December 30, and her family intended to meet her then. They’ll be able to make up for the missed time by seeing Iceland together, as their flight back to the United States is on January 3.
And before she leaves the country, Fotieo intends to meet up with Eirksdóttir. Eirksdóttir also indicated that she plans to see Fotieo when traveling to Chicago.
“I have a new friend and a new perspective on how much flight attendants have to accomplish as a result of this experience,” Fotieo remarked. “Rocky and the flight crew had me, but they also had to deal with the other passengers on the plane.”
This piece was co-authored by CNN’s Channon Hodge and Mackenzie Happe.