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Southwest Airlines Community

Response to Customer Incident on Flight 1525


I want to talk about several details surrounding Flight 1525 and an incident that occurred on the evening of Tuesday, September 26.


Explorer C

I fail to see why you need to apologize to this individual.  The fault is entirely hers. She is not “entitled” to deny others their right to have a service animal or pet. It’s public transportation. If this was a real health concern, she would have made sure that she was on a flight which did not have an animal. As a nurse, I have to wonder how life threatening this “allergy” is when pet dander is very likely clinging to many passengers.  This too would put her at risk. I find the lack of logic suspect.  She did, I believe obtain her objective.  She caused a huge problem which will likely get het free services or money, and United is not blamed.  Customer service was not sacrificed, it was manipulated.  Your airline was the victim, not her. 

Explorer C

Southwest PLEASE do not apologize or give her anything!! She did this on purpose! If you do this it only opens the door for more nut jobs to fight the police in hopes of a million dollar settlement. Your endangering your company and its employees and the lives of officers!! Once anyone tells a customer they have to deplane that's it!! Game over, leave or pay the price. She should of been arrested and charged with all the things your read on the back of an airline ticket. Not only did she resist the crews lawful orders but then the police as well. At least ask her for proof her dad was having surgery, she's a professor, and she has a pet allergy (of course if you have the money you can pay a doctor to write anything). If her allergy isn't documented prior to the date in question, give her nothing!! I don't want her to screw up the only affordable airline left!! If you do this watch how the future unfolds. Don't cave to entitled morons!!

Explorer C

I registered for this forum just so I could respond.  DO NOT APOLOGIZE TO THIS WOMAN.  Let me put it another way, if you aren't going to enforce your rules, why have any?  Why should I follow your rules when that fool didn't?  Of course, you're counting on my ethics... but if you keep this up - pandering to the idiots in society who think they can never be inconvenienced - then guess what?  you're going to wear those of us who would never dream of throwing this tantrum down.  STOP APOLOGIZING FOR ENFORCING YOUR RULES.  STOP IT. You want to "make it right" - give everyone else on that flight some frequent flier miles and say THANK YOU FOR FOLLOWING THE RULES.  seriously.  

Explorer C

You did nothing wrong.  She was in the wrong because she did not indicate such an allergy when she purchased the ticket and when you told her that she would need to take another flight, she refused.


She wanted those customers with animals to be removed from the flight.  Now to be quite frank, if she really had such an allergy, then she would not be able to function around humans because of the pet hair that we carry on our clothes.


She lied because she did not like the fact that the service animal was likely for a vet with PTSD.  Trust me if it was just the pet dog on board, she would of said nothing.


My guess is in the coming days, it will be learned that she has cats as pets.

Explorer C

I, too, have a severe allergy to animal dander. It causes asthma attacks that can be life-threatening. Confined spaces such as airplane cabins for long periods of time can exacerbate the problem. Some of the comments above are simply naive about what it is like to have to live with this health situation. Does the airline expect me know to carry around with me wherever I go a note from my doctor about my allergy? When did pets become more important than people? I'm unsure I will ever fly Southwest again because of what happened to this woman on one of their flights. 

Explorer C

. . . I knew this was coming! The **bleep**ing dogs supersede human interests! Guess what? The **bleep** machines STAYED on the plane! And that is my favored airline!


And did you see the one where the lady objected to a dog being in a restaurant? She was the ‘bad’ one! These **bleep**ed up libs and anthropomorphic freaks have no sense of human value any more. They prefer to eat, travel, recreate and sleep with dogs rather than with a human. What a truly **bleep**ed up world this is becoming!


I have lived too long . . . 

Explorer A

Your customer service response to dragging this woman off the plane is pathetic!   As a frequent flier of SW,  I have seen many instances of SW catering to passengers with bogus "service animals"  over the needs of human passengers with allergies to dogs. The irony is that the passenger with an allergy must produce documentation of their allergy but passengers with "service animals" don't have to provide any proof that their animal provides any necessary service to the passenger. I am never informed by SW beforehand when there will be dogs on their planes because passengers just show up at the gate and claim their pet is a service animal. They allow them to board with their pet without regard to how other passengers may be affected. That's not right. 

Explorer C

I echo the same general response from many commenting here: there is no need to apologize to the person removed from the flight.  In fact, in an effort to avoid legitimizing actions like this, I encourage you to refrain from future such apologies to those refusing multiple requests to comply with legitimate & lawful requests.


In fairness to those with concerns about support animals on flights, there must be a balance of legitimate interests.  Just as your policy requires a medical declaration of an allergy or other medical condition to animals, you should require the same level of documentation to allow a service animal.  Further, I would encourage SWA and all other domestic carriers to lobby the federal government to establish a national standard and registry for service animals, and ultimately prohibit animals not accompanied by a person that can document they need it and not identified as being trained to provide the required service.


As a frequent traveler, I've too often witnessed the dishonest (and sometimes outlandish) claims by some stating their need for an "emotional support animal" who simply buy a vest on Amazon to take their >pet< on a plane, boat, bus, etc.  Often, it's painfully obvious that neither the pet nor the owner have any training.  Instead, what I usally see is a dog under stress behaving badly, causing the owner to misbehave toward the dog and other passengers.

Explorer C

I am very disenheartened about SW response to this woman with an allergy.  Do they remove people with peanut allergies from planes?  NO, they do not serve peanuts on that flight and they ask ALL passengers to refrain from eating peanuts or any item with any hint of peanuts!  The fact is that this was not a 'Service Dog' which are trained dogs for a purpose that is required by the owner.  An 'Emotional Support Dog' is a dog that the owner needs/wants to have with them at all times. 


Unfortunately, I believe this is just the beginning of what will become an issue in America and I actually predicted this would happen before this event.  It is VERY easy to deem your dog an "Emotional Support Dog" by getting a certificate on the internet...some require a doctor's note but we all know how easy that can be to obtain if you want one.  I have two family members that have recently acquired this certificate for each of their dogs...I am almost embarassed to say.  One did it to get into a condo that doesn't allow pets and the other just because she likes her dog to go everywhere with her like a child.  This ESD certificate does NOT require or ensure that these dogs are trained to be in all kids of environments.  Without training, there is no guarantee that these dogs won't bite, get into a dog fight with another ESD, relieve themselves without warning, follow owner commands or bark.  This is just opening the door to all sorts of "Dog" issues on all pucblic modes of transportation, restaurants, stores and any public establishment where these ESD's are now allowed to accompany their owners.  The certificate is very easy to obtain so I can only imagine how quickly this will spread (like wildfire) and we will have ESD's everywhere we go! 


Shame on Southwest for treating this woman that way.  Why does she need to produce evidence of allergy? Should everyone with any kind of allergy carry documentation?  What about scrutinizing the ESD certificate. Why didn't they offer to move the dog & owner to the back of the plane and her to the front? I was recenly on a SW flight and sat one seat away from a woman with a dog on her lap.  The woman behind me told the stewardess that she was extremently allergic and SHE was moved to the back of the plane.  That is wrong..the woman with the dog should have been moved.  What about a "Dog Section" of the plane like they used to have for smoking?  With separate air they used to for smoking on planes?   I agree with the above comments...when did dogs become more important than people?