A woman was forcibly removed by two police officers from a Southwest flight from Baltimore to Los Angeles Tuesday after claiming to have a life-threatening pet allergy.
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While the plane was boarding, the woman notified airline staff of her allergy after noticing two dogs on the plane, one a pet and another a service animal, Fox5 reports.
According to airline officials, the woman asked for the animals to be removed and that she needed to stay on the plane because her father was having surgery. However the airline said the woman was unable to provide the necessary documentation to prove her allergy.
“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,” the airline said in a statement.
Airline staff reportedly asked the woman to exit the plane multiple times, but after refusing, local law enforcement arrived on the scene, forcibly removing her despite her objections.
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Another passenger on the flight, Bill Dumas, captured the incident on video, which shows multiple police officers attempting to drag the woman off the plane.
The woman can be heard yelling “don’t touch me” and says the officers “ripped her pants.” As officers struggle with the woman, they yell at her to walk, and one is heard saying “geez lady, get off the plane.”
Dumas told CBS News that the woman’s behavior was “odd” and the officers were “doing what needed to be done.”
Southwest issued a statement saying: “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.”
The Maryland Transportation Authority Police issued a statement to Fox News saying they responded to the incident after receiving a request from the captain of the plane to remove a disorderly person. After police escorted the woman off the flight, she 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,” the statement said. “After processing, the individual was transported to the Anne County Court Commissioner, where she was released on her own recognizance.”