Southwest Airlines has apologized to a passenger who was allegedly dragged off a flight after disclosing a pet allergy — and the disturbing incident was caught on video.
The airline told NBC News that Tuesday’s ordeal began when the unidentified woman informed crews of her life-threatening pet allergy. There were one pet and one service animal aboard the Los Angeles-bound flight, according to Southwest Airlines.
According to KNBC, video captured by another passenger shows two officers dragging the woman off the plane after she failed to provide documentation confirming her allergy.
In a statement, Southwest Airlines said that passengers without medical documentation can be denied boarding if they “cannot travel safely with an animal” on the plane.
Video, included below, also shows the woman asking the Transportation Authority officers, “What are you doing?” as they carry her down the aisle. She is also recoded telling officers to let her walk and that they ripped her pants.
“Our Flight Crew made repeated attempts to explain the situation to the Customer, however, she refused to deplane and law enforcement became involved,” Southwest Airlines said in a statement.
Bill Dumas, who filmed the video, told NBC News that the woman originally asked for the two dogs to be removed, citing a “deadly allergy.”
When crew denied her request, she then allegedly asked for an injection to alleviate her symptoms.
Dumas recalled overhearing a flight attendant saying that they couldn’t administer the injection because the woman didn’t have the required medical documents. However, the pilot allegedly gave her the go-ahead to exit the plane and administer the injection—an offer the woman reportedly refused.
That’s when officers became involved, and Dumas started filming.
The woman can be heard saying that her father is getting surgery and that she was a professor as officers urge her to get off the plane. Passengers can also be heard telling the woman to “show them you’re walking” and to cooperate with officers.
“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 LA,” passenger Julia Rockett told NBC News. “She was kind of yelling random things and she knew people were recording.”
Rockett also claimed that flight attendants instructed passengers not to film the incident.
The unidentified woman was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order, disturbing the peace, obstructing and hindering a police officer, and resisting arrest. Police said she has since been released on her own recognizance.
Southwest Airlines issued the following apology in light of the incident:
“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.”
[Featured Image: Twitter/CStewartWPTV (screenshot)]