City of Cleveland Releases Update on Report of Passenger Illness during Flight from Cleveland to Tampa

Wednesday, January 2, 2019

CLEVELAND – The City of Cleveland today released a statement following a notification from Frontier Airlines of six passengers who reported an illness after traveling on a flight from Cleveland to Tampa: 

Cleveland Hopkins International Airport (CLE) received a notification from Frontier Airlines on New Year’s Day that six passengers reported being sick on a flight from CLE to Tampa. The safety of passengers at CLE is our top priority and we are conducting a thorough investigation.

While the cause of the illness is unknown, an early report from Frontier indicated each of the passengers may have used a public drinking fountain before the flight.  Cleveland Department of Public Health (CDPH) is contacting each of the six affected passengers to conduct an interview.  We are also working to confirm if all six passengers did in fact drink water from the fountain. 

CDPH, Cleveland Water and CLE airport staff are working collaboratively to investigate all potential causes, including passenger activities before arriving at the airport. Based on our expertise, water borne illnesses generally have a longer incubation period than what we saw in this instance. Also, Cleveland Water has no known water safety issues in the vicinity of CLE, but is collecting additional street-level samples to verify. 

Since Frontier’s initial report referenced the water fountain, airport staff immediately closed down and sanitized all fountains on Concourse A. CLE airport staff and CDPH are testing fountains and will send water samples to an external Ohio EPA-certified lab for evaluation. Due to the nature of the testing, it will take approximately 24-48 hours before results are ready. 

On New Year’s Day, more than 11,000 passengers traveled through CLE and no other passengers have reported illnesses.”  

Any additional updates or information will be available through GovQA.

About the City of Cleveland 

The City of Cleveland is committed to improving quality of life for its residents by strengthening neighborhoods, delivering superior services, embracing diversity and making Cleveland a desirable, safe city in which to live, work, play and do business. For more information on the City of Cleveland, visit online at, Twitter at @cityofcleveland, Facebook at or on our blog at