A 46-year-old college professor who complained of life-threatening allergies was arrested Tuesday after being forcibly removed from a Southwest Airlines flight that was bound for Los Angeles and carried dogs in the cabin.
The incident, which was captured in a cellphone video, occurred at Baltimore-Washington International Airport after a passenger asked that two dogs be removed from the aircraft, according to a witness. Instead, the flight crew asked the woman to leave, and she refused.Southwest Airlines Flight
"There was one emotional support animal and one pet onboard the aircraft," the company 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."
The video shows police officers grabbing the woman's arms and holding her by the chest as they push her down the aisle of the plane. Southwest said crew members asked the woman to exit the plane several times before asking law enforcement to remove her from the aircraft.
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 “lady, get off the plane.”
“If you look at the police, they were being overly aggressive," Bill Dumas, the passenger who recorded the incident, told CBS. "Really, she wasn’t giving them much of a choice, and the people on the plane were saying, 'Just get off the plane,'" he said.
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.”