Southwest Airlines gate agent mocks 5-year-old girl's 'Abcde' name, posts boarding pass on social media

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A Southwest Airlines gate agent at Orange County's John Wayne Airport posted a photo of a boarding pass on social media to mock a 5-year-old girl with a unique name, Abcde.

A Southwest Airlines gate agent at a California airport is accused of being rude to a 5-year-old girl in person and on social media because of her name.

Five-year-old Abcde Redford pronounces her name "ab-city."

Abcde's mother says the agent made fun of the name and even posted a photo of her boarding pass on social media for others to chime in.


"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,'" Traci Redford said.

Redford and her daughter were catching a flight home to El Paso, Texas, a few weeks ago from John Wayne Airport in Orange County.

Abcde lives with epilepsy, so the Redfords always pre-board.

"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. And after two weeks of doing a formal complaint, Southwest hadn't done anything," said Redford.
Southwest Airlines issued the following statement:

"We extend our sincere apology to the family. 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 employee in question didn't answer a request for comment from our sister station KABC.

Redford said she's using this experience as a lesson for her daughter.

"She said 'Mom, why is she laughing at my name? And I said not everyone is nice and not everyone is going to be nice and it's unfortunate," Redford said.

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