A woman was dragged off of a Southwest Airlines flight Tuesday, after demanding two dogs be removed in consideration of her “life-threatening pet allergy,” according to the airline.
The airline told BuzzFeed News that the passenger was unable to provide a medical certificate to substantiate her claim, which prompted the airline to take action.
"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.
According to the airline, the flight crew made repeated attempts to explain the situation to the passenger, but she refused to deplane. At that point, law enforcement became involved.
Cell phone video shows the passenger being removed from the plane, being forced down the aisle by law enforcement:
During the video, the woman can be heard saying that she has to stay on the flight to visit her father who was having surgery. She also accuses officers of ripping her pants.
Another passenger, Bill Dumas, told CBS that police took a long time talking and ‘trying to work’ with the woman before becoming forceful.
"If you look at the police, they were being overly aggressive," Dumas said. "Really, she wasn’t giving them much of a choice, and the people on the plane were saying, ‘just get off the plane,'” Dumas said.
Southwest Airlines offered the following apology:
"We are disheartened by the way this situation unfolded and the Customer’s removal by local law enforcement officers," the airline said. "We publicly offer our apologies to this Customer for her experience and we will be contacting her directly to address her concerns."