However, she failed to provide documentation of this allergy, leaving the crew to choose between the human woman without paperwork and the dogs with their papers.
Flight attendants reportedly asked the woman to leave voluntarily several times before calling police, leading to this:
Southwest’s official statement is apologetic towards the customer regarding the way she was pulled off the plane:
“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. Southwest Airlines was built on Customer Service, and it is always our goal for all Customers to have a positive experience.”
BUT they are also standing by their decision, noting that it’s policy to deny boarding to a customer who reports a “life-threatening” allergy — presumably for their own safety (not to mention the airline’s liability if an allergic reaction were to occur):
“Initial reports indicate the Customer in the video stated that she had a life-threatening pet allergy, but she was unable to provide the medical certificate necessary to complete travel. There was one emotional support animal and one pet onboard the aircraft. 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. Our Flight Crew made repeated attempts to explain the situation to the Customer, however, she refused to deplane and law enforcement became involved.”
Was this removal actually justified? Did the airline have no choice?
What do YOU think, Perezcious readers??