Southwest Airlines Apologizes After Woman Was Physically Removed From A Flight [VIDEO]

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Southwest is apologizing to a woman who was physically removed from a plane by police officers in the latest airline video to go viral.

A Southwest Airlines spokesman said Wednesday that the woman said she had a life-threatening pet allergy but couldn’t show a medical certificate she needed to make the flight from Baltimore to Los Angeles. There were two dogs on the plane Tuesday.

Spokesman Chris Mainz said crew members told the woman that she could be barred from the flight if she couldn’t travel safely with animals on board, but she refused to leave the plane, and the airline called police.

The incident was captured on video by other passengers and was reminiscent of a dragging earlier this year on a United Express flight that sparked a public outcry.

“What are you doing?” the woman asked two police officers who had grabbed her on the Southwest plane, one from in front and the other from behind.

“I will walk off. Don’t touch me!” she yelled.

“All right, let’s walk. Let’s walk,” one of the officers answered.

Other passengers chimed in, one telling the woman to file a complaint, another urging her to show that she was walking off the plane. Police pushed and pulled her from the back of the plane to an exit near the front.

Mainz said Southwest was publicly apologizing to the woman and would contact her.

“We are disheartened by the way this situation unfolded and the customer’s removal by local law enforcement officers,” he said.

The airline declined to give the passenger’s name, but she can be heard on camera identifying herself as a professor.

In April, United was widely condemned after security officers in Chicago dragged a 69-year-old man off an overbooked United Express flight to make room for crew members flying to their next flight. United CEO Oscar Munoz was excoriated for initially blaming the passenger, who lost teeth and suffered a concussion. United reached a settlement with the passenger for undisclosed terms.

(AP)

10 COMMENTS

  1. I don’t know what the airline regulation/policy is, but it seems like they were completely justified. Once she told them she has a life-threatening allergy, they have to take precautions to ensure that she doesn’t die on their flight.

    This is pure speculation, but I’m willing to bet that she told them her allergies were much worse than they actually were just to avoid sitting near a dog.

    If the airline was actually justified, it’s a shame that they were pressured to give the apology that they did.

  2. To y2r: Dogs and other pets are allowed to travel in passenger compartments of airplanes if they are service dogs necessary for the physical or mental well-being of a passenger.

    Two oddities in this story is that a passenger with a life-threatening allergy to dogs did not (i) check with the airline in advance as to the possible presence of dogs on the flight or (ii) have documentation of her allergy.

  3. I was on a flight recently on which two passengers had dogs. One looked like stam a dog, the other was labeled for “emotional support.” Unfortunately, a lot of people abuse the rules by getting fake service animal certification (Google fake service animals).

  4. Outrageous!
    I hope that police officer is behind bars.
    We don’t see or hear the conversation that preceded this outcome but it appears totally uneccaptable to manhandle and drag a person off a plane like that, unless a passenger is endangering others.