Traci Redford and her five-year-old daughter were traveling home to El Paso, Texas when a member of the Southwest Airlines made fun of her daughter’s unusual name.
They were at John Wayne International Airport in Florida and were given priority boarding since Traci’s daughter suffers from epilepsy. But before boarding the plane, one of the gate agents saw her name on the boarding pass and started laughing, according to Traci.
Her daughter’s name is Abcde, pronounced ‘Ab-city.’
The staff member even took a picture of the boarding pass, later sharing it on Facebook.
— Veronica Miracle (@ABC7Veronica) November 28, 2018
Traci spoke for ABC7, recalling the experience:
The gate agent started mocking my child’s name, 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.’ While I was sitting there, she took a picture of my boarding pass and chose to post it on social media, mocking my daughter.
Obviously, Traci’s daughter was left upset after the being mocked by the staff member, asking her mother why they were laughing at her, Traci explains.
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.
The Southwest Airlines has issued an apology for their staff member’s actions, but they refused to declare whether they’ve taken disciplinary action toward the employee. The statement read:
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.
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 emphasise our expectations for all employees.
The company then added the Facebook post is not an indication of the behavior they expect from their employees. Hopefully, incidents like this won’t happen again.