A woman was forcibly removed from a Southwest Airlines flight by police because she said that she had a life-threatening pet allergy and there were two dogs on board. It made me immediately think about people who have a strong allergy to cats. Unless they have a medical certificate they may be denied boarding if they report that they have a life-threatening allergic reaction to pets including cats. These sorts of strong allergies to cats are described as ‘anaphylactic cat allergies’.
In this particular instance the woman stated that she had a pet allergy but couldn’t provide documentation that she can fly safely. She had managed to board the plane which must have been a mistake because it led to her eviction which is something an airline does not want to get involved with because of the public relations consequences.
The whole event was videoed by a fellow passenger, Bill Dumas. His video shows police officers grabbing the woman’s arms and holding her by her chest and then pushing down the aisle of the plane (see screenshot from CBS News). This was deemed to be necessary because crew members had asked the woman to exit the plane several times before asking law enforcement to step in and remove her.
Southwest are sorry about the whole incident and will contact her to address her concerns. This is a bizarre incident but I would have thought that the airline is at fault primarily because they let her board the plane when they shouldn’t have.
“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.”
Source: MSN News