kids

Airline employee caught 'mocking' the name of a five-year-old passenger on a flight.​

A Texas mum was horrified to realise airline staff were laughing at her five-year-old daughter’s name as she handed over her boarding pass.

While boarding a Southwest Airlines flight in California to their home in El Paso earlier this month, Traci Redford and her daughter Abcde (pronounced ab-si-dee) were mocked by the gate attendant.

“The gate agent started laughing, pointing at me and my daughter, talking to other employees,” Traci told ABC7 News.

“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 said.

Traci says her daughter, who has epilepsy, did notice the mocking.

“She asked me ‘Mum, why is she laughing at my name?’ And I said ‘You know honey, not everyone is nice and not everyone is going to be nice and it’s unfortunate’.”

The unnamed staff member then took a photo of the boarding pass, which she later posted to Facebook, where another person saw it and reported it to the airline.

traci-redford-abcde-name
The staff member posted a photo of the little girl's boarding pass to Facebook. Image: ABC7
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Traci told ABC7 that she made a formal complaint with Southwest Airlines - which after two weeks hadn't been dealt with. However, as with many similar disputes brought to the public's attention by news coverage, the company have now apologised.

"We extend our sincere apology to the family," the company said in a statement.

"The [Facebook] post is not indicative of the care, respect, and civility we expect from all of our employees."

Southwest said it had "followed up" with the employee, but did not say if she had been fired or faced other disciplinary action.

"We are using this as an opportunity to reinforce our policies and emphasise our expectations for all employees."

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