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‘Why Is She Laughing at My Name?’: Mom Calls Out Southwest Agent for Shaming Child’s Name on Social Media

Screenshot/KABC

A mother preboarding a Southwest Airlines flight with her daughter who suffers from epilepsy said she’s angry at a gate agent for mocking her 5-year-old’s name on social media.

Traci Redford spoke about her experience on Wednesday. She told KABC that a boarding agent at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, laughed at her daughter’s name, Abcde Redford.

The mom said the agent then proceeded to point it out to a co-worker. Later, however, Traci found a social media post shaming Abcde’s unique name.

Screenshot/KABC

Pronounced “Ab-City,” the Texas mom said she was flying home to Texas when the incident occurred. Traci explained.

“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.”

She added:

“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.”

According to Traci, Abcde was confused by the incident and asked her mother:

“‘Why is she laughing at my name?'”

Traci replied back:

“‘Not everyone is nice and not everyone is going to be nice and it’s unfortunate.'”

The mother filed a formal complaint and reported the employee to Southwest Airlines, which responded to the incident that took place on November 4 two weeks later.

The airline issued an apology to the family but did not reveal whether disciplinary actions were taken against the agent.

Screenshot/KABC

In a statement the company said:

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.

The agent in question did not respond to KABC’s request for comment.

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  1. I bet every teacher she has in life, every boss, future husband, will get a big laugh from her name. Not because they are making fun of her, but at the uniqueness of it. You named her, decided on the spelling, (which is cute) but you had to know what would happen in the future. I doubt seriously that the ticket agent was being sarcastic, she was just sharing the unusual name. I would have done the same thing in her place.

  2. OK I’m sorry but this name DESERVES to be laughed at. Did her mother think that was pretty? It’s just a pathetic and ridiculous bid for attention. Well, you got the attention. Idiot.You signed your kid up for a lifetime of being made fun of until she gets old enough to legally change it.

  3. OK, like this is the first time thats happened …OK,maybe on an airline?
    What is a shame is naming your child an unspeakable “name” that will leave her wondering for years why people are wierd towards her…..*Until*, the one magical day she is old enough to know the reason she wasnt given a normal name…and that the response is normal human curiosity…The attendant shouldnt have posted publicly… simple as that. my mother met bff who changed thier names to peanut-butter and jelly…
    That happened over 15 years ago.
    Good luck little alphabet girl, i hope your parents explain the simple truth its unusual and hopefully teach u why 7 to be proud to be different …
    Opposed to the meal-ticket it looks like….just waiting for the day someone offends you into court

  4. Sorry, the mother is an idiot. You want to give your kid a unique name? Fine, but then you have no right to complain when people can’t pronounce it or laugh at it. Same goes for odd spellings. Your kid is no more special than anyone else and giving them an odd name doesn’t change that. I feel sorry for the kid as she will be laughed at and will have to explain her name for the rest of her life or until she legally changes it. And of course, for having idiot parents.

  5. Mine are all MMMs. Michaela, McKenna and Montana – all with M middle names and an M last name. They love their names and although they are triple M’s – nobody has made fun.

  6. The child does have health problems we don’t know maybe it makes it easier to spell for the little girl. Besides now a days parents name their kids non traditional names. River, Winter, Summer, April, Bentley, Atlas, Paisley, London, Willow, and many others.

  7. Abcde is a beautiful sounding name . If you love you’re daughter just change the spelling to maybe Abcity or Abcity . People can be cruel so unless you want her to deal with this her whole life change it. I’d be curious to know how this name came to be .

  8. It’s a shame that grown assed people choose to be so rude and callous about a name.. This is a child and if I had been the Mother of Abcde that ticket agent would have been picking her teeth up off the floor. At least her mother has creativity and isn’t a Tom, dick Harry or Harriet, Melissa plain Jane… It’s her name and she should never have to defend it…

  9. I giggled at the name myself, it IS amusing, BUT…. I don’t think it was very nice of them to do it in plain sight of the child. They’re at their place of work and should act accordingly when dealing with their customers. Joke about it later with friends like everyone else.

  10. All right I’m reading the other replies. Listen a name is so important, I don’t care if your working for fast food, even if the name is unique, you have no right to laugh at anyone’s name. Your job is to be polite, courteous, and respectful. No one, including a business has time for your stupidness. If you must laugh you do it in the bathroom, or somewhere away from the person in private. No one needs to have their day torn down because you can’t keep your act together no matter how unique their name is.

    • David Brandon, You are 100 percent right. The airline employee should be reprimanded and educated. My first thought was they should be fired. Hopefully, the employee was not being mean but was just amazed at the unusual name. I had a two different patients with unusual names. I have told the story about their names, never mocking or making fun of them just talking about their unusual names. I will never forget either one.
      Unfortunately, the child has been set up for teasing with her name. I feel sorry for the child and hope she develops a thick skin.

  11. I loved the name. I like odd names. The pronouciation is beautiful. Spelling is why people are making fun of it, but the name is genius.

  12. I think that the pronunciation of Abcde is beautiful. Yes, the spelling is ridiculous and almost setting the poor child up for this kind of teasing, but that doesn’t excuse said teasing- especially from someone who works such a people-centered job as a gate agent at an airport! I work in a *library* and I’d most likely get fired for that, and the number of people she sees and greets in a *day* is likely more than the number I see and greet in a *month*, maybe even a *year*! It’s plain rude, and it’s horrible customer service.

  13. I am agreeing with most of the people made comment regarding this name. I dont want to call out the mother but I would like to say one thing that, our kids are growing up in a volnerable environmemt any way so why leave more room to get picked on? If u wanna be unique than u have to suffer the consequences!

  14. I adopted my granddaughter and her birth name is Abcde! After the adoption I named her Abbey!
    Just for this very reason. People can be such Assholes! Poor baby girl, I hope she grows up to be very successful.

  15. At the very least the family should get a sincere apology from the offending employees and there should be some type of recompense or voucher from the airline as well; as a conciliatory gesture!

  16. Reading some of the statements here clearly indicate why stories like this are important. We attack one another, the mother, and what do we gain? The purpose is to simply show the growing ignorance in America, not to stoke its fire.

  17. People can be mean and kids even meaner. Bullying and teasing is real. And although the agent shouldn’t have made fun of her name, the mother should change the spelling now before it causes her child a lot of grief and heartache in the future. Right now the child only knows what the mother calls her but when other kids see the spelling, oh yes! she will be teased relentlessly.

  18. I am not justifying the agents behavior by any means. But on the other hand when you choose a idiotic name as Abcde and put it on a child what do you expect. I don’t believe that she was mocking your child as much as she was in disbelief of the stupidity of the parent naming the child.

  19. WTF? Who names a child ABCDE? Why do that to a human being, knowing that she will be a victim of bullying? What a crazy mother…must be on DOPE

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