National News

Lawyer: Southwest targeted allergic Muslim woman on flight

Posted October 4
Updated October 5

— A woman seen on video being dragged off a Southwest Airlines flight in Maryland never claimed her allergy to dogs was life-threatening, her lawyer said Wednesday.

Anila Daulatzai did tell the crew that she was allergic to the two dogs traveling in the cabin, and they agreed that she could manage by sitting away from the dogs, near the rear of the plane, according to a statement from attorney Arjun Sethi.

Daulatzai, a 46-year-old professor, then took her seat and was grading papers when a series of Southwest representatives questioned her, he said. A Southwest representative ultimately asked her to leave the Sept. 26 flight to Los Angeles, and when she refused, they summoned the Maryland Transportation Authority Police to eject her.

Lt. Kevin Ayd, a spokesman for the police agency, said in a statement Wednesday that officers responded to a direct request from a Southwest captain to remove the passenger.

"Despite her clear attempt to resist a law enforcement officer, Ms. Daulatzai was professionally removed from the aircraft within the guidelines of the MDTA Police" the statement said.

The lawyer also says that Daulatzai, who is Muslim, was racially profiled.

"Police pulled her from her seat by her belt loop, dragged her through the aisle exposed with torn pants, and humiliated her for the world to see in a now viral video," Sethi said. Daulatzai is pregnant with her first child, her lawyer said.

Southwest spokesman Chris Mainz said the next day that Daulatzai had told them she had a life-threatening pet allergy, and lacked a medical certificate proving she could travel safely with animals on board the cross-country flight.

Daulatzai was charged with resisting arrest, disorderly conduct and other misdemeanor offenses. The police denied a request by The Associated Press for a copy of the arrest report, claiming the investigation remains open.

5 Comments

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  • Chad Burnham Oct 6, 10:00 a.m.
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    Oh please. You were targeted because of your actions and you know it. It really feels like this lady was hoping for a lawsuit.

  • Henry Davis Oct 6, 5:55 a.m.
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    Democrats ping what democrats do best.

  • Robert Miller Oct 6, 1:56 a.m.
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    'life threatening' according to her...no medical certificate...Southwest sees liability flag...she made it hard on herself....I feel for that officer because you know in this day and time he's gonna look like the bad guy....she was stupid and selfish...just get off the plane already!

  • Jeffrey Derry Oct 5, 11:46 p.m.
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    What does her religion have to do with it? If she were a Baptist or a Catholic would that be reported ? Whole story silly. When the police come for you on an airplane your gone. Don't resist. Do what the officer says. Life will be simpler then

  • William Hayes Oct 5, 10:55 p.m.
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    Well you told them you had a life threatening allergy and expected what? For them let you stay so you can have a reaction and sue them because they knowingly let you fly with the allergy. They should of broke her nose.