A woman was kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight for the most ridiculous reason: for comforting her newly-adopted dog who was travelling with her.
The situation outraged her fellow flyers and many people online.
On October 21, a woman named Sara Price shared videos on TikTok of an altercation she witnessed on board a Southwest Airlines flight.
A stranger she met on the boarding line had flown out to Colorado Springs to pick up a new puppy, and was flying back with him to her home in California. The pup flew on board with her in a soft carrier.
But the pup attracted attention from hard-nosed staff members. According to Sara, the puppy was whining a bit, as young puppies do, and a flight attendant told the owner she might not be able to fly if the dog wasn’t quiet.
The woman unzipped the carrier to pet her new dog, which calmed him down, but she was quickly told the carrier needed to be zipped and left under her seat.
The other passengers were sympathetic to the woman and couldn’t believe the harsh attitude of the staff: “Everyone around us was like, what’s going on here!?” Sara wrote on TikTok.
“Everyone around us was so confused as to why they were so harsh with her,” Sara told People, saying the woman “did as she was told and zipped the carrier completely and put it under the seat.”
As the plane started to taxi the runway, the situation came to a shocking head when the dog started whining again and the woman pet the dog from outside the carrier. All the flight attendants then announced that the flight would return to the gate and the woman would be removed from the flight.
Video shows the woman gathering her things before being escorted away by a flight attendant, whom she calls “rude” and “mean” and refuses to let touch her bags. Her fellow passengers voice sympathy, calling the situation “insane.”
“You should be ashamed of yourself,” Sara’s husband says to the flight attendant.
In a follow-up TikTok, Sara reveals that she and her husband were also kicked off the flight for their “attitude,” for filming the incident and sticking up for the dog owner. She also said they all ended up on a “fantastic” United Airlines flight. She told People that several passengers also left the flight in protest.
In further videos, she says she has been in touch with the woman, whose name is Susan. The dog’s name is Sitka, who is adorable and doing great despite the ordeal experienced getting him home.
Sara and her husband have reportedly been refunded by Southwest Airlines, but Susan has not.
The situation has outraged people online, with the original video gaining 2.3 million viewers on TikTok. Some vow to never fly Southwest again, others are demanding accountability from the flight attendants. The airline, meanwhile, has denied wrongdoing.
“We’re aware of the videos and our initial reports indicate that the customer would not comply with keeping her dog’s kennel closed, which is our policy,” a Southwest spokesperson said in a statement, according to People. “Our employees are trained to ensure customers are following protocol, and in this situation and after the customer repeatedly refused to comply with our crew’s instructions, the decision was made to deplane the disruptive passenger.”
What an outrageous situation — no one should be kicked off a flight just for petting a scared puppy. We hope Southwest Airlines makes this right.
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