BALTIMORE (WSVN) — A passenger on a Southwest flight was pulled off of the plane after saying she had a life-threatening allergy to the two dogs on board.
The woman reportedly told flight attendants she was extremely allergic to dogs and wanted the animals removed from the aircraft. Airline officials said an emotional support dog and a pet were both on the plane, Fox 11 reports.
Passenger Bill Dumas recorded the incident on his cell phone, and said the woman had been acting strangely, banging her head against a wall. She demanded to stay on the plane, saying her father was scheduled for surgery in Los Angeles.
Southwest Airlines said the woman was unable to provide a medical certificate to prove that she had a dangerous allergy, and the airline’s policy states a passenger may be denied boarding if they have no medical certificate that says they cannot travel safely with an animal onboard.
Eventually the airline asked officers to help control the situation. Dumas said the officers spoke with the woman at length before deciding to remove her from the plane.
That’s when the woman struggled with officers, accusing one of ripping her pants and demanding they refrain from touching her. Eventually the woman was forcibly removed from the plane.
Southwest Airlines released a statement about 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. Southwest Airlines was built on Customer Service, and it is always our goal for all Customers to have a positive experience.
Initial reports indicate the Customer in the video stated that she had a life-threatening pet allergy, but she was unable to provide the medical certificate necessary to complete travel. There was one emotional support animal and one pet onboard the aircraft. 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 onboard. Our Flight Crew made repeated attempts to explain the situation to the Customer, however, she refused to deplane and law enforcement became involved.
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