Another Passenger Has Been Dragged Off a Flight — This Time After Saying She Had a Deadly Pet Allergy
A Southwest passenger was forcibly dragged off a flight from Baltimore to Los Angeles on Tuesday night after she was unable to produce paperwork related to an allergy.
The woman claimed to have a life-threatening allergy to pets and informed flight attendants after she noticed two dogs onboard. She asked that the two pets be removed from the flight.
When flight crew told the woman that they could not remove the pets, she asked for an injection to alleviate her symptoms. Flight crew could not administer the injection without a medical certificate — which she was unable to produce.
The pilot offered to let the passenger exit the plane and receive the injection at the airport, but she refused, according to NBC News.
The airline’s 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,” a Southwest Airlines spokesman said in a statement. “Our flight crew made repeated attempts to explain the situation to the customer, however, she refused to deplane and law enforcement became involved.”
Officers came aboard the flight to remove the passenger and when she refused to go, they restrained her arms and pushed her down the aisle. “Move, lady, let’s go,” one of the law enforcement officers said in a video recorded by another passenger. The passenger repeated that she needed to stay on the plane because her father was undergoing surgery the next day.
The 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,” Maryland Transportation Authority Police told Fox News.
The flight took off a half-hour later than scheduled.
“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.”
In April, United Airlines made headlines for a now infamous incident when a passenger, Dr. David Dao, was dragged off an overbooked flight. The 69-year-old man was violently dragged off the plane and, after the event received widespread attention, United reached a settlement with Dao. The airline also changed its overbooking policy in the aftermath.