A video is now going viral of a passenger aboard a Southwest Airlines flight who was literally dragged off a plane by police officers Tuesday evening after she complained that she had a life-threatening pet allergy.
The incident happened just prior to takeoff in Baltimore when passengers were already on board flight 1525 headed for Los Angeles.
Two dogs were on board the plane, and the woman had asked that they be removed from the plane, saying she had a deadly allergy.
According to a statement from Southwest Airlines, one of the dogs was a pet and the other was an “emotional support” animal. Southwest officials informed the woman that their policy did not allow them to remove the paying passengers who had the dogs on board.
The woman then decided she wanted to remain on the flight, but crew members were worried she might have an allergic reaction and cause them to divert their flight. She was asked to leave the flight but refused to do so.
Several Baltimore transportation officers had gone to the back of the plane to speak with the woman, and when she refused to leave the plane, they forcibly removed her.
Fellow passenger Bill Dumas recorded the removal on his cell phone, despite that crew members can be heard in the video telling people to put away their phones.
“Everything was very quiet up until a decision was made that this woman would have to be physically removed from the plane,” Dumas said. “She just put up a lot of resistance and was adamant about not being taken off the plane.”
The woman can be heard saying she wanted to walk on her own, but then did not walk. Another time, she is heard saying the officers ripped her pants as they were dragging her down the aisle.
Southwest released a statement afterward that read: “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. Southwest Airlines was built on Customer Service, and it is always our goal for all Customers to have a positive experience.”
Southwest stated that if any passenger reports they have a life-threatening allergic reaction and cannot travel with animals, they may be denied boarding.
Dumas’ recorded cell phone video has now gone viral, and he was interviewed at the airport afterward:
— JASMINE VIEL (@jasmineviel) September 27, 2017
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