AUSTIN, Texas - A passenger on a Frontier Airlines flight from Austin to Denver is sounding the alarm after she says flight attendants wouldn’t let her move to a different seat during boarding to be safely socially distanced.
Becky Stojeba said the majority of passengers on her flight were seated very close together in the first eleven rows even though rows 12-30 were largely empty.
“Actually, my whole row was full. There was three of us that were assigned those seats,” said Stojeba.
She tried to move back to an empty row to give herself and others more space as a precaution.
“That's when I was told to then take my assigned seat and they would come around with a manifest,” Stojeba said. "And once everybody was accounted for and the manifest was complete, they were going to start moving people. A few of the other passengers were actually expressing a bit of concern as well."
Get breaking news alerts in the FOX 7 Austin News app. It is FREE!
A spokesperson for Frontier Airlines sent FOX 7 Austin a statement that reads in part:
“Our flight crew strive to accommodate passenger requests and can allow individuals to change seats once the flight is fully boarded. They may ask passengers to wait until after take-off and may find a need to impose some limitations based on aircraft balance and weight requirements or other factors.”
Stojeba said that after the entire plane finished boarding, she and five other passengers who spoke up were reseated, but they had already been shoulder to shoulder with strangers for 15 minutes.
Stojeba worries during that time anyone who may have been infected with COVID-19 could’ve spread it to those next to them.
“I think that the amount of time that they were asking people to sit in their assigned seats was enough time to have the damage done,” said Stojeba.
She hopes as more people begin flying again, airlines consider staggering available seats to help keep passengers safe.
FOX 7 Austin is working to keep you up to date with coronavirus, with both local and national developments. Every weekday we're live at 12 p.m. with a special show reporting the latest news, prevention tips and treatment information.
You can also get the latest COVID-19 news from around the country at coronavirusnow.com.