A Southwest Airlines gate agent shared a photo on social media mocking a 5-year-old girl’s unusual name.
Traci Redford and her daughter, who’s named Abcde, were flying home to El Paso, Texas, from John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, when airline employees began whispering and laughing, reported KABC-TV.
“The gate agent started laughing, pointing at me and my daughter, talking to other employees,” Redford said. “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.'”
Abcde — pronounced “Ab-city” — has epilepsy, so she and her family always pre-board fights.
“While I was sitting there, she took a picture of my boarding pass and chose to post it on social media, mocking my daughter,” Redford said. “It was actually brought to my attention by somebody who had seen it on Facebook and reported it to Southwest Airlines, and after two weeks of doing a formal complaint, Southwest hadn’t done anything.”
The airline issued an apology after reporters asked for comment but declined to say whether disciplinary action was taken against the gate agent.
“We extend our sincere apology to the family,” the airline 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,” the statement continued. “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 employee did not respond to request for comment.