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Southwest Airlines Apologizes After Employee Mocks Child Named ‘Abcde’

By Sharelle Burt

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Southwest Airlines apologized after an employee made fun of a five-year-old passenger’s name.

The staff member mispronounced Abcde Redford’s name as she boarded the plane at Fort Wayne Airport in California. Her name is pronounced ‘Ab-city.’ Her mother, Traci, said the agent checked her daughter’s boarding pass and started to mock the girl’s name. She claims the employee laughed and pointed at her and her daughter, talking about her to other employees. Traci approached the agent after Abcde, who has epilepsy, questioned why they were talking about her.

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“Mom, why is she laughing at my name?’” Traci said. “I said ‘you know honey, not everybody is nice. And not everyone’s gonna be nice and it’s unfortunate’.” Making things worse, Traci found out the agent had taken a picture of her daughter’s boarding pass and shared it on Facebook. In a statement, Southwest said: “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.”

It seems like the airline’s employees need a lesson in sensitivity and being careful. Earlier this month, passenger Loudin Krueg shared a video of a handler carelessly tossing a box labeled ‘living fish’ at Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport. The box didn’t belong to Krueg but he was concerned since his luggage has expensive camera equipment as well as delicate Christmas gifts. “When I saw him throwing a live animal around, I was like this is more serious than my camera,” Krueg said. “This is something that’s supposed to be someone’s pet, so that’s what got me.”

Krueg said he was glad his package was properly wrapped but was still concerned for its wellbeing. “Luckily, we packed them in some pretty hefty stuff, but you get worried, when you have $100,000 of stuff sitting under a plane and this guy’s throwing it 15 feet in the air.”


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Sharelle Burt

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