A woman was forcibly removed by police from a Southwest Airlines flight Tuesday after saying she had a life-threatening pet allergy. There were two dogs on board.
A fellow passenger, Bill Dumas, recorded the incident, which occurred ahead of a flight from Baltimore to Los Angeles. The woman stated she had a pet allergy and was unable to provide documentation that she could safely fly with the animals on the plane, Southwest said in a statement.
"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.
Dumas, who filmed the incident, said he believed officers were following protocol. He said the woman's behavior was "odd" and officers were doing what needed to be done.
Southwest said it was sorry for how the situation was handled.
"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."