A woman on a Southwest flight from Baltimore (BWI) to Los Angeles (LAX) yesterday was dragged from her flight after refusing to get off the plane. She was originally asked to deplane from her flight after she raised concerns to a flight attendant that she had a life-threatening allergy to pets, on the flight was one pet and one service animal.
The kicker here is that she did not have any medical documentation indicating her life-threatening allergy which would have allowed her to continue on the flight. There was medication available on the flight that would have alleviated her life-threatening allergy. When questioned about any medical documentation that would have allowed this injection she refused to produce any, thus the captain was forced to ask her to deplane and take another flight.
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 on board. Our flight crew made repeated attempts to explain the situation to the customer, however, she refused to deplane and law enforcement became involved.
The video that we see spreading around the internet is only the situation when airport police got involved to remove the passenger from the plane. After repeated attempts to peacefully remove the passenger from the airplane force was used to remove her. At this point you could see passengers getting annoyed at the passenger who would not get off the plane.
This situation is not like the United situation in which the passenger with a confirmed seat was told to give it up. By Southwest Airlines continuing on with the flight with her onboard without proper documentation of her medical issues the airline was taking a huge risk that something could happen mid-flight. She was a danger to the entire flight if she would have continued and would have put the safety of the entire flight at risk.
At this point Southwest Airlines is apologizing to the passenger who was removed from the flight. In no way was Southwest Airlines in the wrong here, the woman indicated a life-threatening allergy that would have caused an immense risk to continuing the flight. The fact that the woman did not have any medical documentation but kept complaining about her life-threatening allergy leads me to believe it either wasn’t as bad as she was complaining or she didn’t want to be close to any pets. While we may not know the real reason for sometime she had so many avenues if she really needed to get to Los Angeles by either taking another flight or even an entire other airline.