A woman aboard Southwest Airlines Flight 1525 from Baltimore to Los Angeles International Airport this week was seen in video being dragged off the plane over a dispute regarding a “life-threatening pet allergy,” the airline said. Law enforcement officials were seeing pulling and physically carrying her as other passengers filmed the incident, which the airline told International Business Times occurred Tuesday, Sept. 26.
“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,” the airline said.
“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.”
Passengers could be heard telling the woman — who was not named in reports but identified herself as a professor — to comply with officials and later file a complaint. Seemingly advising her for her own safety, one passenger could be heard telling her: “Do it for yourself.”
As she was being pulled down the aisle, the woman could be heard repeatedly saying, “My dad has a surgery tomorrow.” At one point, she stopped to close her pants, which had presumably become unfastened during the altercation. As one officer reached toward her, she said: “What are you doing? You ripped my pants.”
Immediately after, an officer was seen yanking her from the row and pushing her down the aisle. The woman yelled, “I will walk off. Don’t touch me. I’m walking!” Other passengers could be heard yelling at the officers that the woman was indeed walking or attempting to walk.
In an earlier clip of the incident, a flight attendant and another individual could be heard asking passengers to “put your phone away” over the plane’s intercom.
“We are disheartened by the way this situation unfolded and the Customer’s removal by local law enforcement officers,” the airline 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.”