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Southwest Airlines Apologizes After Video Shows Woman Being Forcibly Removed From Plane

Southwest Airlines apologized today after a video made the rounds this week showing a passenger being forcefully removed from a plane. 

The Baltimore Sun reports that the incident occurred Tuesday evening when a woman — flying from Baltimore to Los Angeles — complained about two animals on the plane and informed Southwest crew members that she had a life-threatening pet allergy.

The flight, which was scheduled to depart around 8:40 p.m., had an emotional support animal and another pet on board.

A fellow passenger tells NBC Los Angeles that the woman asked the crew to remove the dogs because of her allergy. When the crew told her they couldn’t remove the animals, the woman asked for an injection to alleviate her symptoms.

However, the airline couldn’t provide her with an injection if she didn’t have a proper medical certificate.

Per the airline’s policies, a passenger can be denied boarding if they report a life-threatening allergic reaction without a medical certificate and cannot travel safely with an animal, a rep for the airline says. The airline’s allergy policy notes that passengers can be seated as far away as possible from animals, but that the airline is required to fly emotional support animals.

As a result, she was asked to exit the plane.

A rep for Southwest tells NBC Los Angeles that the crew made repeated attempts to explain the situation to the customer but she refused to leave the aircraft and law enforcement was brought in.

A video taken by another passenger shows the woman being removed from the plane by two officers.

In the video, the woman – who is being dragged by the officers at first — can be heard multiple times asking the officers what they are doing, and noting that they had ripped her pants.

She also tells the officers that she will walk off, exclaiming, “Don’t touch me.” As they make their way down the aisle, the officers can then be heard yelling at the woman, to “walk” occasionally moving her forward themselves.

“We are disheartened by the way this situation unfolded and the Customer’s removal by local law enforcement officers,” Southwest said in a statement. “We publicly offer our apologies to this customer for her experience and we will be contacting her directly to address her concerns.”

The flight departed about 35 minutes behind schedule.

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Source: Consumerist

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