Southwest Airlines Passenger Ejected for Petting Puppy – Viral Outrage Follows
A Southwest Airlines passenger was unceremoniously removed from a flight, sparking outrage among onlookers and dog lovers alike. The controversy began when the passenger was caught petting her 8-week-old puppy while waiting to take her seat.
Little did she know that this innocent act of comforting her pup would result in a chain of events leading to her ejection from the flight.
A Viral Outrage Erupts on TikTok
Sara Price, a fellow passenger on the Southwest flight, documented the incident on TikTok, and her videos soon went viral with over 1.4 million views, Insider reports. The drama unfolded as the flight attendant expressed concerns over the puppy’s whining. The owner resorted to petting her dog, Sitka, to calm it down, but this only exacerbated the situation.
The confusion arose when the flight attendant insisted that the pet carrier should remain zipped at all times, the New York Post reports. According to Southwest’s pet policy, pets must be secured in the carrier during the entire flight. This seemingly contradictory instruction left the passenger bewildered.
The Breaking Point
The situation escalated when the passenger resumed petting Sitka through the carrier’s mesh, despite the carrier remaining fully zipped. As the New York Post reports, the flight crew convened and decided to return to the gate, ultimately leading to the passenger’s removal from the flight.
As the woman was escorted off the plane, she expressed her displeasure with the flight attendant’s actions, calling them rude and mean. Sara Price’s husband, who was sitting beside the ejected passenger, also voiced his disapproval, leading to their subsequent removal from the flight.
A Happy Ending
Despite the unusual circumstances, the three passengers who were removed from the flight managed to catch the same United Airlines flight to California, later describing the experience as “fantastic,” Boing Boing reports.
Southwest Airlines defended their decision to remove the passenger, citing that the customer repeatedly refused to comply with the crew’s instructions. According to the New York Post, the airline staff reiterated their commitment to ensuring passengers adhere to airline policies.
The dog owner, however, vowed never to fly with Southwest Airlines again.
TikTok users rallied behind the ejected passenger, condemning what they saw as a disproportionate response to a simple act of petting a dog. Many called for Southwest Airlines to make a statement, issue an apology, and provide compensation.
Southwest Airlines’ pet policy requires pets to remain in an appropriate carrier during the entire flight[. While there are no specific restrictions against petting pets during the flight, the incident highlighted the potential misunderstandings that can arise in the application of these policies.
This incident isn’t the first of its kind; passengers have been removed from flights before due to issues related to their pets, reports Insider. In some cases emotional support animals have caused distress to cabin crews and passengers, resulting in removal from flights, reports the New York Post.
See the incident in the video below.
@_sara_price_ Met this lady in the boarding line today @Southwest Airlines She flew out to Colorado Springs to pick up her new little puppy and fly her back home to CA. The puppy was whining a little and the flight attendant boarding everyone walked up to her and said, if your dogs doesn’t be quiet, you may not be able to fly. She sticks her hand in the soft carrier and pets the puppy. It stopped whining. We board the plane and she has the carrier in her lap still petting the puppy when the same flight attendant came up and said the carrier needed to be zipped completely and put under the seat. Everyone around us was like, what’s going on here!? Another flight attendant, dressed as a cat comes up and says “are we going to have a problem here!?” The lady does as she is told and we start to taxi to the runway. The dog gave a very soft whine, so she leaned over and started petting it from the outside of the carrier but right at mesh. All the attendants got in a group at the front of the plane and decided we needed to return to the gate and that she should be removed from the flight. #southwestairlines #southwest #southwestair ♬ original sound – Sara Price
As the outrage on TikTok continues to grow, and as Southwest Airlines stands by its decision, the incident serves as a thought-provoking case study in the nuances of pet-friendly travel and the unexpected consequences it may bring.