The drama started when Rosetta Swinney said she found the mess on a Frontier Airlines flight from Las Vegas to Raleigh. Witnesses said the flight attendant gave the young girl a Clorox wipe to clean up the mess.
"She felt something wet in her hand," Swinney told Inside Edition. "... She smelled it, she said, 'Oh, this is vomit, Mommy.'"
When the mom then asked for someone else to take care of it, the flight attendant reportedly told her it wasn't her job.
Videos taken by other passengers captured part of the encounter. "Y'all just clean that or change me and my daughter's seat," Swinney says at one point.
The airline said Swinney then became "disruptive."
Police boarded the plane and told Swinney she had to get off and be rebooked on a later flight, at which point she refused to leave.
"I'm not getting off," Swinney says in the video.
"If you don't get off the plane, everybody's getting off the plane," the officer replies.
"They were supposed to clean that up so what was I supposed to do?" Swinney asks.
"I sympathize with you," the officer says, later adding, "The bottom line is, the airline says you can't fly."
In the terminal, after everyone deplaned, the mother is handcuffed in front of her daughter, who by this point is crying.
"This is not right. This is not right. All of y'all seen what happened on that plane," Swinney says.
Another passenger chimes in, "It's not right."
Frontier said in a statement in part: "The flight attendants apologized and immediately invited the mother and her teenage daughter to move to either end of the plane so that the seat area could be cleaned. The mother and daughter were also told that once boarding was complete, they would be provided other seats if available. The daughter was also offered cleaning products and invited to use the lavatory to wash up.
"The mother was unsatisfied with the response and became disruptive," the statement added.
Swinney told Inside Edition she was "humiliated" that she had to be put in cuffs in front of her daughter.
"I was very upset," Swinney said, adding she spent 12 hours in jail.
Frontier refunded the cost of Swinney's flight. After she got out of jail, Swinney rebooked the flight through Delta.
She faces a misdemeanor trespassing charge, which Swinney said she plans to fight. A court hearing is scheduled for June.