An unnamed woman was forcibly removed from a flight after reporting she had a "life-threatening" allergy to animals, according to Yahoo.
However, the woman, who identified herself as a professor, did not have the proper certification to instead have the service animal on board the flight removed and, thus, was asked to leave. Officers were called to escort her when she would not comply with the request.
“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,” said the Southwest in a statement.
“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 captured the incident on social media. Videos shared on Facebook and Twitter show that customers attempted to convince the woman to comply with the officers.
“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.”
Reactions to the situation on social media have been widely varierd, with some angry at Southwest for how they handled the situation and others openly mocking the woman depicted in the videos:
It's unclear if the woman in question plans on taking legal action over the incident. The New York Post reports (who identifies the woman as Anila Daulatza) that she was 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 transit cops said.
[Photo: Screenshot from YouTube]