Southwest Airlines apologizes over mocking of girl’s name Abcde
SALT LAKE CITY — A Southwest Airlines gate agent has been criticized for how she reportedly treated a 5-year-old girl at the gate at John Wayne Airport in California, KABC-TV reports.
What happened: The girl’s mother said the agent made fun of her daughter’s name, which is Abcde Redford (pronounced “ab-city”), according to KABC-TV.
The gate agent even reportedly posted a picture of the girl’s boarding pass on Facebook.
“The gate agent started laughing, pointing at me and my daughter, talking to other employees. So I turned around and said, ‘Hey, if I can hear you, my daughter can hear you, so I’d appreciate if you’d just stop,'” Traci Redford said.
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Her mother said the family was traveling to El Paso, Texas, from Orange County, California, according to KSLA-12. Her mother said Abcde has epilepsy, so they always pre-board.
“While I was sitting there, she took a picture of my boarding pass and chose to post it on social media, mocking my daughter. It was actually brought to my attention by somebody who had seen it on Facebook and reported it to Southwest Airlines. And after two weeks of doing a formal complaint, Southwest hadn’t done anything,” said Redford.
Southwest: The airline responded to the story with a statement, according to Newsweek.
“We extend our sincere apology to the family. We take great pride in extending our Southwest Hospitality to all of our Customers, which includes living by the Golden Rule and treating every individual with respect, in person or online. The post is not indicative of the care, respect, and civility we expect from all of our Employees. We have followed up with the Employee involved, and while we do not disclose personnel actions publicly, we are using this as an opportunity to reinforce our policies and emphasize our expectations for all Employees.”
Lessons learned: Redford said the moment gave her an opportunity to teach her daughter a lesson, according to KABC.
“She said ‘Mom, why is she laughing at my name?’ And I said not everyone is nice and not everyone is going to be nice and it’s unfortunate.’