US airline apologizes after worker laughs at 5-year-old girl's unique name

OCTOBER 27, 2022

Southwest Airlines stock photo
Southwest Airlines stock photo

A United States airline issued an apology after a gate agent was accused this month of making fun of a 5-year-old’s unique name.

Traci Redford and her 5-year-old daughter Abcde (pronounced Ab-si-dee), were about to board their Southwest Airlines flight from California to El Paso, Texas, as per the ABC13 on Nov. 29. One gate agent, however, started to laugh upon seeing the young girl’s boarding pass, going as far as taking a photo of it to post on social media apart from making fun of her with fellow colleagues.

“The gate agent started laughing, pointing at me and my daughter, talking to other employees,” Traci was quoted of saying. “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.’”

As per Traci, she was informed that the photo of her daughter’’s boarding pass was posted on Facebook where it was mocked. 

“It was actually brought to my attention by somebody who had seen it on Facebook and reported it to Southwest Airlines,” she continued to say in the report. “And after two weeks of doing a formal complaint, Southwest hadn’t done anything.”

Traci has since used the unpleasant experience as a life lesson for little Abcde. After being asked by the girl why the gate agent was laughing at her, Traci told her, “‘Not everyone is nice and not everyone is going to be nice and it’s unfortunate.”

Meanwhile, Southwest Airlines issued a statement where they apologized to the family for the incident, citing that living by the Golden Rule—treating every individual with respect in person and online—is part of their signature hospitality to customers.

The post is not indicative of the care, respect, and civility we expect from all of our Employees,” the statement said. “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.”  Cody Cepeda /ra



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