Southwest Airlines passenger kicked from flight for petting a puppy

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A Southwest Airlines passenger and her puppy were kicked off a flight after she reached under her seat to pet her dog.

A user named Sara Price shared a video of a woman in a Oregon State Beavers sweatshirt being asked to leave a flight heading from Colorado to California.

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According to Price, the woman and her eight-week-old pup Sitka were boarding and “the puppy was whining a little.”

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“The flight attendant boarding everyone walked up to her and said ‘if your [dog] 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,” Price said in the caption.

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Once everyone was seated and the flight was preparing to take off, a flight attendant “dressed as a cat” warned the woman to keep Sitka under her seat in a carrier, according to Price. The woman did as she was told, but the dog let off a “soft whine” as the plane accelerated down the runway, so the woman leaned down and began to pet the dog through the mesh of the “fully zipped carrier,” Price wrote.

“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.”

Price’s fear was confirmed when the plane circled back to the gate and the woman and her dog were told to leave.

A video posted by Price shows the woman calling a flight attendant a “mean person” and saying she will “never fly Southwest again.”

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Price and her husband, who were sitting on the same row, then speak up for the lady.

“We wish you the best of luck, honey… this is ridiculous,” her husband says off camera.

“It’s not like you even had the dog out, you were petting it,” he adds, telling a member of the crew “you should be ashamed of yourself.”

passenger asked to leave flight
Woman who was kicked off the flight called the incident ‘insane.’ Photo by @_sara_price_

Price said she and her husband were also asked to leave because of their “attitude.”

The video has been viewed more than a million times on social media.

In a followup post, Price said all three of the passengers were able to return to California on a United flight, which she deemed “fantastic.”

In a statement to the NY Post, Southwest Airlines defended the decision, calling the woman’s actions disruptive.

“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 spokesperson told the newspaper. “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.”

Judging by the reaction on social media, most users were not on board with the decision.

“I would want to pet my dog to check on them and make sure they are doing OK,” one comment read.

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Originally posted 2023-10-24 15:35:44.