Southwest Airlines has apologized for an incident Tuesday in Baltimore in which police removed a woman from a flight after she complained about two dogs on board.
The woman, later identified as Anila Daulatzai, 46, of Baltimore, told the flight crew she had a serious allergy to pets and could not fly with the two dogs aboard, reports NBC News. One was an emotional support animal and the other a pet. The woman did not have a medical certificate clearing her to remain aboard, the airline 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 on board,” said Southwest in a statment. “Our Flight Crew made repeated attempts to explain the situation to the Customer, however, she refused to deplane and law enforcement became involved.”
In the video taken by passenger Bill Domas and shared by NBC Los Angeles, two law enforcement officers board the plane and try to remove the woman. They pull her down the aisle.
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“My dad has surgery tomorrow. I’m sorry, my dad has a surgery. What are you doing?” Daulatzai says.
“C’mon, lady. Let’s go,” an officer replies.
Daulatzai accuses the officers of tearing her pants, and they tell her to fix her pants and leave. An officer wraps his arms around her chest and begins dragging her down the aisle.
“Don’t touch me! I’m walking!” Daulatzai shouts.
Other passengers call out to Daulatzai to leave the plane and an officer shoves her toward the door.
“I’m a professor. What are you doing?” Daulatzai asks before exiting the plane. “Geez, lady,” a passenger calls out. “Get off the plane. Make the complaint later.”
Daulatzai faces charges of disorderly conduct, failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order, disturbing the peace, obstructing and hindering a police officer and resisting arrest, reports the Los Angeles Times. She teaches at the Maryland Institute College of Art as a socio-cultural anthropologist in the Humanistic Studies department.
Southwest, however, apologized for the incident in its statement.
“We are disheartened by the way this situation unfolded and the Customer’s removal by local law enforcement officers,” Southwest Airlines said. “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.”
The flight, bound for Los Angeles, departed Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport about 35 minutes late, reports The Baltimore Sun.
The incident is the latest in a series of high-profile cases of passengers being forcibly removed from airline flights captured on dramatic viral videos.
Editor’s note: This story has been updated to identify the woman involved and include the charges she faces.