When a Michigan schoolteacher Marisa Fotieo was traveling to Switzerland with her brother and father a few days before Christmas, she was full of excitement.
But everything got terrible when she tested positive for COVID-19 while flying on Icelandair. So much so that she isolated herself in an airplane toilet for five hours.
“It was a crazy experience,” Marisa Foteo told NBC News.
About an hour after flying to Reykjavik, where she planned to transfer to a flight to Switzerland, Foteo had a sore throat. So she went to the bathroom with one of the quick tests she brought with her in case she needed them.
“I just took my quick test and brought it to the bathroom, and within about two seconds, two lines appeared (indicating a positive test result),” Fotieo said.
She quickly tested positive and, of course, went berserk. Then she left the bathroom and met the flight attendant. Ragnhildur “Rocky” Eiriksdottir.
As the flight was full, Foteo had only one way to socially distance himself from other passengers.
“There were about 150 people on board, so I said I’d just stay in the bathroom for the rest of the flight,” Fotieo told WZZM, a subsidiary of Grand Rapids ABC.
Luckily for Foteo, Eiriksdottir was by her side.
“Rocky was so sweet, he brought me water and snacks and said it would be my personal space,” Fotio said.
Foteo was doing something – what else? – video recording in TikTok.
When the plane touched down, Fotie had to be quarantined at the Red Cross Hotel, but Eiriksdottir offered to keep in touch in case she needed anything.
“She bought me flowers and a little Christmas tree with garlands so I could hang it,” Fotieo told NBC News. “It was so sincere and she’s just an angel.”
Fotio’s isolation period lasted 10 days until December 30, but according to Eiriksdottir, thanks to Eiriksdottir’s efforts, she felt a little less alone.
“I can confidently say that I probably would have cried for 10 days in a row if not for Rocky,” Fotieo told WZZM TV. “And Icelandair as a whole really made the experience fun and memorable, and it was really so moving.”
Fotieo may not have spent Christmas in Switzerland as planned, but her father and brother are planning to join her in Reykjavik when her quarantine ends. They plan to spend four days in Iceland snowmobiling and watching the northern lights.