Police dragged a woman off a Southwest Airlines flight Tuesday after she learned there were dogs onboard and requested an EpiPen because she had a life-threatening animal allergy.
Anila Daulatzai, 46, requested an EpiPen after learning there were two dogs — a pet and a service animal — onboard the Baltimore-to-LA flight. The airline policy requires passengers to report their allergies at the departure gate to receive proper accommodations, though it cannot provide prior notification of animals onboard flights.
Further, the airline does not have or administer shots, spokesperson Chris Mainz said. When Daulatzai, a former Harvard professor, was told of the policy, she became agitated and uncooperative and was removed from the flight. Daulatzai also did not have the proper documentation to prove her allergy, the spokesperson added.
“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,” Mainz said in the statement. “Our flight crew made repeated attempts to explain the situation to the customer; however, she refused to deplane and law enforcement became involved.”
Southwest took Daulatzai into custody and filed four charges against her: disorderly conduct, failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order, obstructing and hindering a police officer, and resisting arrest.
In video captured by another passenger, two officers are seen dragging Daulatzai down the aisle. The main one wrapped his arms around her chest by locking his left hand around his wrist as she screamed at him to not touch her.
“I can’t walk,” Daulatzai yelled as passengers yelled suggestions to show the officers she was cooperating. “He’s got my leg.”
She also complained that the officers ripped her pants and that her father had had surgery, presumably meaning that’s why she needed to stay on the flight. Passengers onboard said they later heard Daulatzai also yell that she was pregnant.
“We are disheartened by the way this situation unfolded and the customer’s removal by local law enforcement officers,” Mainz said in the statement. “We publicly offer our apologies to this customer for her experience, and we will be contacting her directly to address her concerns.”