On Tuesday, a woman was forcefully dragged off a Southwest Airlines flight by her arms and legs as she repeatedly screamed, “Don’t touch me. you have ripped my pants off.” Sound familiar as to another incident that involved a passenger in April from United Airlines who was carried off because the flight had been overbooked? This time, however it had nothing to do with overbooking; this time the passenger demanded that two dogs on the plane be removed immediately because of her “life threatening pet allergy.”
According to NbcNews, the flight from Baltimore to Los Angeles had two dogs on board. One dog was an emotional support animal, and the other was a pet; the woman stated she had a a life threatening allergy but did not have a medical certificate and demanded the dogs be removed. The airlines stated they would not remove the dogs, and the woman asked for a type of injection to alleviate her symptoms.
Passenger Bill Dumas said he heard a flight attendant say they needed a certificate to administer an injection, which the woman didn’t have. A pilot offered to let the woman exit the plane so an injection could be administered, but she refused.
“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,” stated airline personnel.
The crew repeatedly explained the situation to the woman, but she refused to deplane. Once police officers come aboard to escort her off the plane, the situation and tempers escalated. Bill Dumas recorded the scene and told news media he thought the police were “being overly aggressive” even though the police and airline personnel spent a long time talking and “trying to work” with the woman.
“If you look at the police, they were being overly aggressive. Really she wasn’t giving them much of a choice, and the people on the plane were saying ‘just get off the plane,'” while the woman kept repeating her father was having surgery.
Another passenger on the plane, Julia Rockett heard the woman lodging a myriad of excuses as officers continued to lead her off the plane:
“She like kept saying she was pregnant, and 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,” passenger Julia Rockett, 20, said. “She was kind of yelling random things, and she knew people were recording.”
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. She was later released on her own recognizance.
Southwest Airlines has apologized to the woman and will be contacting her directly to address her concerns.
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Opinions – was the woman wrong and should the dogs have been kicked off the plane even though the woman had no medical proof?
Video and photo of woman dragged off flight via Bill Dumas