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.
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.”
“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.
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.