Southwest Airlines has apologized to a passenger after a video showing her being forcefully dragged off of a plane to Los Angeles went viral online.
The passenger, who was flying from Baltimore to L.A. on Tuesday, reportedly complained about an emotional support animal on the flight, saying she was deathly allergic to the pet. Airline officials say she did not provide a medical certificate that corroborated her claim, so she was asked to leave the plane. When she refused, law enforcement was called and removed her.
The video shows the woman, who claims to be a professor, repeatedly asking officers what they were doing and saying they had ripped her pants as she resisted their efforts to remove her. She tells them several times, “I will walk up. Don’t touch me.” One of the officers appears to shove her towards the door while shouting, “Then walk!”
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“We are disheartened by the way this situation unfolded and the Customer’s removal by local law enforcement officers,” Southwest 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. Southwest Airlines was built on Customer Service, and it is always our goal for all Customers to have a positive experience.”
The incident follows a string of videos showing passengers being removed from flights, sometimes violently. In April, United Airlines went on the defensive when a passenger was removed with a bloody face. The following month, a California family were booted from a Delta flight for refusing to give up a seat.