Woman Dragged Off Southwest Flight Garners Apology
By Ryan Velez
NBC News reports that following video footage of a woman being dragged off a Southwest Airlines flight being shared online, the airline has made a formal apology.
Taken on Tuesday evening, video shared by NBC Los Angeles shows the unidentified woman repeatedly asking Transportation Authority officers, “What are you guys doing?” as they wrap their arms around her and begin to pull her down the aisle. According to the airline, the situation started when the woman, who is currently unidentified, informed the flight crew of a serious pet allergy. The airline mentioned that one pet and one service animal were aboard the flight. According to the airline, she did not have the proper medical certificate to stay on board.
“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,” a Southwest Airlines spokesman said in a statement.
The short first video shows two law enforcement officers tugging at the woman as they try to remove her from her seat, and as the second one begins, people see her pleading with the officers as they move her down the aisle. “My dad has surgery tomorrow. I’m sorry, my dad has a surgery. What are you doing?” she says frantically, as she resists the officers.
Some passengers suggest that she make her complaints off the plane, while others encourage her to comply for her own safety. This will likely remind many of a similar incident on a United flight where Dr. David Dao was bloodied as he was dragged off of a plane. Time will tell if this reaches the viral fame of the other video.
“We are disheartened by the way this situation unfolded and the Customer's removal by local law enforcement officers," Southwest Airlines said in their formal 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."
“C’mon, lady. Let’s go,” an officer responds.