A woman has described her experience of quarantining in a plane lavatory for five hours after testing positive for COVID-19 midflight. Marisa Fotieo posted a TikTok video of her experience in the makeshift isolation facilities which has already been watched more than 4.5 million times.
Fotieo had been flying with Icelandair from Chicago to Reykjavik in time for Christmas but only a short time into the flight she says she started to experience a sore throat.
Shout out to @Icelandair for my VIP quarantine quarters.. luxuryliving imsolucky covid vaccinated fyp viralvideotiktok quarantine
Fearing the worst, Fotieo got out a rapid antigen test she had packed in her carry-on for her trip and went straight to the bathroom. In an interview with NBC’s Today programme, Fotieo says it only felt like two seconds for the test strip to show up with two lines indicating a positive result.
Scared that she might infect her seat maters, Fotieo decided the only option was to isolate in the lavatory for the rest of the flight.
“There’s 150 people on the flight, and my biggest fear was giving it to them,” Fotieo told Today.
Thankfully, one of Icelandair’s flight attendants came to the rescue and made sure Fotieo had snacks and drinks to keep her as comfortable as possible for the remainder of the flight.
On arrival in Iceland, Fotieo was whisked into the slightly more comfortable surroundings of hotel quarantine. The flight attendant, who has been identified as Ragnhildur ‘Rocky’ Eiríksdóttir, even brought gifts for Fotieo including flowers to make her forced stay in Reykjavik more bearable.
Under Iceland’s existing pandemic travel rules, vaccinated travellers must have a negative COVID-19 test within 72-hours of departure. Some countries have reduced the timeframe for rapid antigen tests because, while they are very good at picking up positive cases when someone is actively infectious, they aren’t as accurate in identifying a positive case within a few days of symptom onset.
And while Iceland requires its own citizens and residents to test again on arrival, visitors like Fotieo are not currently required to take a post-arrival test.
Mateusz Maszczynski honed his skills as an international flight attendant at the most prominent airline in the Middle East and has been flying throughout the COVID-19 pandemic for a well-known European airline. Matt is passionate about the aviation industry and has become an expert in passenger experience and human-centric stories. Always keeping an ear close to the ground, Matt's industry insights, analysis and news coverage is frequently relied upon by some of the biggest names in journalism.