A woman who claimed she has a pet allergy after seeing animals on a Southwest plane was forcibly removed from the airplane by two police officers, and the airline is now apologizing to her.
The incident was captured on citizen video that is going viral, and it is drawing comparisons to the David Dao inident, in which Dao, a passenger, was dragged down an airplane aisle because he refused to give up his seat when the airplane was overbooked. Dao hired a lawyer, and he and the airline, in that case United, settled the case for terms not disclosed.
According to the Baltimore Sun, the latest incident occurred on “Flight 1525, which was set to depart Baltimore for Los Angeles about 8:40 p.m.” The incident occurred on September 26 at Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport.
You can watch the video of the Southwest incident here:
The video shows two officers grabbing the woman’s arms, and one officer, with his arms around her chest, yanking and pulling her down the aisle and off the plane. “Don’t touch me!” the woman yells. A third officer was also at the scene.
CBS Los Angeles said the “woman had argued with police about an allergy.” She was from Baltimore and “refused to get off” after telling flight attendants she was deathly ill of dogs on the plane, CBS LA reported. The woman also accused an officer of ripping her pants off, CBS LA reported. CBS reported that there was a service dog and another animal on the plane, and the woman did not produce a medical certificate confirming she could safely fly on the plane.
“The woman stated she had a pet allergy but was unable to provide documentation that she could safely fly with the animals on the plane, Southwest said in a statement,” according to CBS News. “‘There was one emotional support animal and one pet onboard the aircraft,’ the company said. ‘Our policy states that a customer (without a medical certificate) may be denied boarding if they report a life-threatening allergic reaction and cannot travel safely with an animal onboard.’”
Here’s another view:
According to CBS, a witness said that the flight attendants spent a lot of time trying to get the woman to just leave the plane. Bill Dumas, who filmed the scene on his cell phone, told CBS the woman was acting “odd” and the officers followed protocol. The Baltimore Sun reported that Southwest released a statement that said, “We are disheartened by the way this situation unfolded and the customer’s removal by local law enforcement officers. We publicly offer our apologies to this customer for her experience and we will be contacting her directly to address her concerns.”