Po­lice drag wo­man off South­west Air­lines flight

Ripon Bulletin - - Nation -

BAL­TI­MORE (AP) — Po­lice of­fi­cers phys­i­cally re­moved a wo­man from a South­west Air­lines plane be­fore it took off from Bal­ti­more, the lat­est pas­sen­ger scuf­fle to be cap­tured on video and mag­ni­fied on so­cial me­dia.

After say­ing she was se­verely al­ler­gic to an­i­mals — there were two dogs on board — the wo­man re­fused the crew’s re­quest to leave the plane. The crew then called on po­lice to in­ter­vene.

A film pro­ducer recorded the en­su­ing strug­gle be­tween the wo­man and of­fi­cers and posted it on­line. The scene from Tues­day night was rem­i­nis­cent of an April in­ci­dent in which se­cu­rity of­fi­cers yanked a man out of his seat and dragged him off a United Ex­press flight in Chicago, spark­ing a pub­lic outcry about shoddy treat­ment of air­line pas­sen­gers.

South­west, per­haps learn­ing from United’s ini­tial hes­i­tant re­ac­tion, im­me­di­ately apol­o­gized. “We are dis­heart­ened by the way this sit­u­a­tion un­folded and the cus­tomer’s re­moval by lo­cal law en­force­ment of­fi­cers,” South­west spokesman Chris Mainz said Wed­nes­day.

Mainz said the wo­man had re­ported she had a life-threat­en­ing pet al­lergy but couldn’t show a med­i­cal cer­tifi­cate that she needed to con­tinue on the flight to Los An­ge­les.

The in­ci­dent be­gan qui­etly near the back of the plane, pas­sen­gers said, as South­west em­ploy­ees — in­clud­ing one of the pi­lots — talked to the wo­man. Mainz said the air­line of­fered to rebook her on a flight the next day, but she de­clined — hers was the last flight of the night.

Air­line em­ploy­ees ended up call­ing po­lice, and the of­fi­cers asked her to leave.

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