Southwest Airlines Drags Passenger Off Plane After Alleging Life-Threatening Pet Allergy

Southwest Airlines Drags Passenger Off Plane After Alleging Life-Threatening Pet Allergy

Admin Airplanes, Flex Air News

Two police officers forcibly removed a woman from a Southwest Airlines flight from Baltimore to Los Angeles on Tuesday September 26, 2017, after she claimed to have a life-threatening pet allergy.

Southwest has since apologized to Anila Daulatzai of Baltimore, a 46-year-old college professor, for the incident after video surfaced of the altercation.

Ms. Daulatzai informed flight attendants of her allergy after seeing two dogs, a pet and a service dog, on the plane. She insisted she needed to travel to LAX since her father was having surgery.

The airline alleges that the passenger failed to produce the necessary documentation to verify 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 has stated.

After being repeatedly ask to vacate the plane, police arrived to forcibly removing Ms. Daulatzai against her will.

Bill Dumas, a fellow traveler, captured the argument on video, which shows the woman being dragged by several police.

“She put up a pretty ferocious fight to not be removed from the plane,” said Dumas, adding that the police officers “were in a very, very tough situation” given the woman’s resistance.

The woman can be heard saying, “don’t touch me” and claims the officers “ripped her pants.” As the struggle continued, an officer can be heard yelling, “Geez lady, get off the plane.”

Dumas defended the police, stating officers were “doing what needed to be done.”

A spokesperson for Southwest Airlines has stated, “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 has said that they responded after being notified by the captain of the actions of a disorderly person. The woman has been “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. After processing, the individual was transported to the Anne County Court Commissioner, where she was released on her own recognizance.”

“In terms of customer service, the airline industry has had a challenging year,” said Marc Raybin, president of a public relations firm in South Bend, Indiana. He added that Southwest Airlines and the transit police in Baltimore may have been within their rights, “but the optics of this certainly look bad for Southwest and the airline industry as whole.” Southwest, Raybin said, should continue to apologize, cover the cost of the passenger’s flight and expenses, and “not blame the customer at any point.”