It started when the passenger, who has been identified as 46-year-old Anila Daulatzai, told the flight crew that she had a "life-threatening pet allergy,"
Daulatzai brought this to their attention because there was an emotional-support dog and a pet on the flight.
The airline said that for Daulatzai to remain on the flight, she would need to show a medical certificate.
"Our policy states that a Customer (without a medical certificate) may be denied boarding if they report a life-threatening allergic reaction and cannot travel safely with an animal onboard," a Southwest representative said.
"Our Flight Crew made repeated attempts to explain the situation to the Customer, however, she refused to deplane and law enforcement became involved," the airline said.
After Daulatzai was removed from the plane, she was taken into custody and charged with failure to obey a reasonable and lawful order, disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, obstructing and hindering a police officer, and resisting arrest.
The Maryland Transportation Authority said in its statement that Daulatzai was taken to Anne Arundel County District Court and that she was later released on her own recognizance.
"When the Maryland Transportation Authority (MDTA) Police receive a request from the captain of a Southwest plane to remove a disorderly person, we respond accordingly," the department said in the statement.
Southwest Airlines on Wednesday apologized for the incident.
"We are disheartened by the way this situation unfolded and the Customer's removal by local law enforcement officers," a Southwest spokesman 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."
I can sympathize with airplane passengers who are annoyed by the new wave of "emotional support" pigs, ponies, turkeys and dogs now crowding the cabins: the animals are there mostly courtesy of on-line phoney certificates and $50 psychologist letters of attestation (Sarah ...), but that's the game. Plus, this flight had a pet dog, for whom a fee had been paid. The passenger could have come up with her own phoney letter from a doctor, and she could have succeeded in having the canines decabined, but she didn't.
So pay the price for being an A- hole prima donna.
UPDATE: It seems that the woman is Muslim and her "deadly allergy" may be related to her belief that dogs are spiritually, rather than physically filthy. If accurate, perhaps she should have carried a letter from her Iman.