Police removed a woman from a Southwest Airlines flight before it left Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport on Tuesday night, after she reported a life-threatening allergy to two animals aboard but refused to leave the plane, the airline said.
The woman, identified by Maryland Transportation Authority Police as Anila Daulatzai, 46, from Baltimore, complained to the crew about an emotional support animal and a pet aboard Flight 1525, which was set to depart Baltimore for Los Angeles about 8:40 p.m., officials said.
While Daulatzai said her allergy was life-threatening, she was unable to provide the necessary medical certificate, Southwest said. The airline’s policy says a passenger may be denied boarding if they report a life-threatening allergic reaction without a medical certificate and cannot travel safely with an animal, Southwest said.
“We are disheartened by the way this situation unfolded and the Customer’s removal by local law enforcement officers,” Southwest said in a 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.”
The flight left about 35 minutes late.
Daulatzai was arrested and charged with disorderly conduct, failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order, disturbing the peace, obstructing and hindering a police officer and resisting arrest, according to Maryland Transportation Authority Police.
She could not be reached for comment and no lawyer was listed in online court records.
After processing, she was taken to an Anne Arundel County Court Commissioner, where she was released on her own recognizance.
An airport spokesman referred questions to police and the airline.