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Flight ASA298 LAX to SJO 10-22-20 Diverted and Returned to LAX

I happened to be on Alaska flight 298 that left LAX on the 22nd of December headed to San Jose Costa Rica. I was seated in the back of the plane on the right side in a window seat. We left the gate 7 minutes later than scheduled so not bad. We had a normal takeoff and the pilot informed the passengers the flight should be pretty smooth and we should make up the time lost at the gate. About 20 minutes into the flight I fall asleep and do not know anything about what is going on until I wake up about 2 hours later and notice the sun is not on my side of the plane. I thought it was odd and grabbed my phone to look at the flight tracker software to see what is going on. As it turns out they crew had disabled the Wi-Fi so people were not able to get information out to others via message apps and then one of the pilots comes on the intercom and informs the passengers that someone on the plane has tested positive for COVID and we are unable to land in Costa Rica. The plane was returning to Los Angeles to so the infected person and those traveling with him could be removed from the plane and then all the other passengers would be allowed to disembark. A little while later one of the pilots informs us that we would have the option of getting on another flight right after we land and fly to Costa Rica getting in around midnight Costa Rican time, or they would allow us to change our flight for a different flight. All was fine for me other than being inconvenienced a few hours. After getting off the plane and getting to the new gate area for a fresh crew and different plane I was contacted by phone to go see a gate agent about my flight. At this point I am thinking I will get a new boarding pass and all is good. Imagine my surprise when I am told I am being denied boarding as I have been in close proximity to this infected person. The passengers had already figured out this infected person was sitting in the front of the plane and I am trying to figure out how I would have been in contact with this person if I did not leave my seat and was asleep until after the flight had turned around. At this point I was informed that the crew had moved the infected passenger and brought him 20+ rows to the rear and seated him behind myself and another gentleman that was in the aisle seat. So instead of leaving him where he had already been they decided to cause at least 2 other people to miss their trips to Costa Rica and have to Quarantine for 14 days. I had just gotten married and was flying to be with my wife in Costa Rica, planning on enjoying my Honeymoon along with Christmas and New Years with my family. Now thanks to the brilliant idea of the flight crew to move this infected person, I now have to drive 8 hours as I am not allowed to fly for at least 14 days. I never in my wildest dreams would have thought something like this could happen. I can understand that someone might be sick while on the plane but for the life of my why the flight crew decided to move this person and put other passengers at risk is beyond me. The people he was sitting by and with are already in the sphere of contagion but to increase that sphere is reckless and quite frankly dangerous. I thought it was bad enough having to cancel my wedding in April because Costa Rica had closed its borders. I was then able to have a small window of opportunity in November where I was able to take time off work, make a short trip, get married, go to her brother’s wedding, along with making plans for our honeymoon, Christmas, and New Year’s. So much for well made plans and a flight crew’s reckless disregard for passenger’s health and safety.

It is unfortunate, but surely you should be quarantining if you have been in contact with an infected person, not driving to your destination and potentially infecting more people. I’m amazed that anyone on the flight was allowed to continue when they were all potentially infected.

You are exactly correct. What really amazed me through all of this, is the fact that I had no consultation with any medical personel whatsoever. One would think if you are being prevented from boarding an aircraft and being flagged in the database as being in close proximity to someone known to have Covid that I would have at least been given a piece of paper explaining what I needed to do, watch for, becareful about etc. At the very least I expected to be escorted out to a waiting vehicle to begin my drive home. As dangerous as the media has made Covid out to be, I was just left to go on my merry way. Unbelievable.

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