Swoop passenger claims to have coronavirus in order to change flight

Mar 3 2020, 10:31 am

A passenger flying with Swoop Airlines was denied a flight change after claiming to have the coronavirus.

A spokesperson from Swoop says that the incident took place on Friday, February 28, 2020. The passenger was flying out of Abbotsford, British Columbia and “self-identified as having the coronavirus, stating that was the reason for changing their flight.”

Swoop explains in a statement that a doctor’s note is required before changing any flights due to medical reasons. The passenger was unable to provide any medical documents and left the airport shortly after.

The airline adds that they took appropriate precautions in sanitizing nearby areas and following up with the passenger.

“We took this situation very seriously and sanitized all appropriate surfaces following the brief interaction,” reads an emailed statement to Daily Hive. “Due to the sensitive nature of this claim, we followed up with this passenger, who indicated the statement was made in order to change their flight.”

Swoop says that anyone who does feel unwell is asked to use their call centre, rather than showing up at the airport. The company was unable to share additional details regarding the flight or the guest, due to privacy reasons.

Last month, passengers on a WestJet flight travelling from Toronto to Jamaica were forced to turn around after a guest made “unfounded claims regarding coronavirus.”

243 guests were on the plane at the time and law enforcement, as well as emergency responders, were requested to meet the flight when it returned to Toronto.

The unruly guest, a 28-year-old man, was later charged with Mischief and Breach of Recognizance, with a court appearance scheduled for March.