Frontier Airlines notifying people on 5 more flights they were on same plane Ebola patient flew

Posted at 2:23 PM, Oct 16, 2014
and last updated 2014-10-18 00:13:43-04

Frontier Airlines is now notifying people on five flights that they flew on the same plane as a nurse who was showing a symptom of Ebola, ABC NEWS has confirmed.

Initially, Frontier Airlines asked people who flew on the same two flights as the woman -- Flight 1142 from Dallas-Fort Worth to Cleveland on Oct. 10 and Flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas on Oct. 13 -- to contact the CDC at 1-800 CDC-INFO (1-800-232-4636).

Now, Frontier has told ABC NEWS the airline has begun the process of reaching out to passengers that were on five flights on Oct. 14 that were flown by the plane that the victim also flew on.

Those flights were:

  • Flt. 2042 DFW-CLE (departs 7:50 a.m. CDT, arrives 11:27 a.m. EDT)
  • Flt. 1104 CLE-FLL (departs 12:13 p.m. EDT, arrives 3:01 p.m. EDT)
  • Flt. 1105 FLL-CLE (departs 3:43 p.m. EDT, arrives 6:25 p.m. EDT)
  • Flt. 1101 CLE-ATL (departs 7:14 p.m. EDT, arrives 9:07 p.m. EDT)
  • Flt. 1100 ATL-CLE (departs 9:57 p.m. EDT, arrives 11:00 p.m. EDT)

Frontier said it pulled the plane from service around 1 a.m. on Oct. 15, after it was notified that the latest Ebola patient, nurse Amber Vinson, had tested positive for the disease and had flown on Flight 1143 from Cleveland to Dallas.

MORE | Vinson warned federal health officials that she had a fever before the flight

Frontier flew the plane, without commercial passengers, to its hub at Denver International Airport Wednesday night. Frontier said while the plane was cleaned to CDC standards on Monday and Tuesday night, is was in the process of removing the seat covers and carpets in the immediate vicinity of Vinson's seat.

The airline will also change the environmental filters onboard.

MORE | Nurses in safety gear got Ebola, why won't you?

"These extraordinary actions went beyond CDC recommendations," according to a letter from David Siegel, the CEO of Frontier Airlines. "These steps were taken out of concern for the safety of our customers and employees. Steps such as removing the aircraft from service, removing aircraft seat covers and carpet and replacing environmental filters as well as placing the crew on paid leave were not requested nor mandated by the CDC. Frontier expects that the aircraft will return to service in a few days."

ABC NEWS said it has learned that Vinson was seated in the middle of the airplane, but Frontier will not release any further details on her seat location.

7NEWS asked Frontier officials about the status of the plane used for Flight 1142 from Dallas-Fort Worth to Cleveland on Oct. 10.

"The aircraft is still grounded in Denver … indefinitely for now until we make the changes described in last night's letter," said Todd Lechmacher with Frontier. "Aircraft No. 1 has been cleaned 9 times … all cleanings have been consistent with CDC procedures." 

Lechmacher added that the, "CDC initially told us that this aircraft and flight was not a concern. The aircraft would no longer be contaminated as the customer first traveled six days ago (Oct. 10)."

-- Update on Vinson --

Officials with the CDC said Vinson may have shown symptoms earlier than first believed.

During a press conference in Summit County on Thursday, the CDC said the nurse may have experienced symptoms on Friday, the day she flew from Dallas, Texas to Cleveland.

Dr. Chris Braden with the CDC says they can "not rule out" that Vinson had symptoms on Oct. 10 and that now the passengers on the flight from Dallas to Cleveland will be "included in the investigation."

Health officials say the Ebola virus is transmitted when a patient is showing symptoms, which could take anywhere from two to 21 days to appear. 

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