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Passenger removed from flight after petting her own puppy

Woman described the altercation as ‘insane’

Benjamin Parker
Monday 23 October 2023 11:17 BST
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Related video: Moment allegedly drunk passenger removed from Southwest flight

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A woman flying with her puppy was kicked off a plane by cabin crew – after she reached down and stroked the dog.

Footage of the passenger as she was being removed from the Southwest Airlines flight has been viewed almost one million times online.

According to Sara Price, who uploaded a series of clips of the incident to TikTok, the woman was travelling on the flight from Colorado back home to California after picking up Sitka, an eight-week-old puppy.

“The puppy was whining a little and 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,” she wrote on the video’s caption.

“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!?’.”

Ms Price claims that after the dog’s owner, who was not named, did as she was told, the dog gave a “soft whine” as the plane moved to the runway, so the woman “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.”

The dog’s owner can be heard calling the flight attendant “a mean person” and she claims she will “never fly Southwest again”.

A man’s voice, who Ms Price confirmed was her husband, says off-camera, “we wish you the best of luck, honey… this is ridiculous” to which the ejected passenger replies: “It’s insane”.

“It’s not like you even had the dog out, you were petting it,” adds Ms Price’s husband, before he tells the member of cabin crew in the clip: “You should be ashamed of yourself.”

In a further twist, the couple filming the incident – Ms Price and her husband – were then themselves removed from the flight, apparently due to their “attitude”.

All three passengers managed to get to California on a later flight with United Airlines, which Ms Price described as “fantastic”.

The Independent has contacted Southwest Airlines for comment.

The reaction to the videos on TikTok was overwhelmingly supportive of the puppy’s owner.

“So sad this happened to that poor lady. I hope Southwest makes a statement and apologises and compensates,” wrote one user, while another said: “This is disgusting.”

Someone else described their previous experience: “This happened to us in Nantucket [because] of exact same reason, dog was inside his carrier entire time and stewardess had police meet us at arrival.”

Many were shocked by the incident as they’d never had a problem travelling with animals, with one viewer commenting: “I flew my bulldog puppy from Dallas to PA. They had me take her out and she was carried around by flight attendants.”

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