Southwest Airlines apologized to a female passenger after asking Maryland Transportation Authority Police to drag her off a plane on Sept. 26 because she claimed to have a life-threatening pet allergy.
The woman repeatedly asked the officers: “What are you guys doing?” as they drug her down the aisle. “My dad has surgery tomorrow. I’m sorry, my dad has a surgery. What are you doing?”
“C’mon, lady. Let’s go,” an officer told her.
Bill Dumas, a passenger who filmed the incident, told NBC News that the woman said she had a “deadly allergy” to dogs, and asked the flight crew to remove two animals on board.
The woman reportedly asked for an injection for her symptoms after the crew refused to remove the animals.
A Southwest Airlines spokesman released a statement:
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 on board. Our flight crew made repeated attempts to explain the situation to the customer, however, she refused to deplane and law enforcement became involved.
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.
Julia Rockett, another passenger, recalled that the woman claimed to be pregnant:
Then I heard her say her father had surgery and then she said she was a professor and she needed to be in L.A. She was kind of yelling random things, and she knew people were recording.
Rockett noted a flight attendant told passengers not to film, but “obviously, no one listened.”
The woman was charged with disorderly conduct, failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order, disturbing the peace, obstructing and hindering a police officer, and resisting arrest.
(Source: NBC News, Bill Dumas)