Southwest Airlines employee mocks and laughs at five-year-old with epilepsy for her unique name, Abcde
Traci Redford says her five-year-old epileptic daughter Abcde was mocked by a gate agent for Southwest Airlines
A mother who was traveling back home via Southwest Airlines with her five-year-old epileptic daughter claims a gate agent for the airline mocked her daughter's unique name and then snapped a photo of her boarding pass before posting it on social media.
According to ABC, the incident unfolded a few weeks ago when Traci Redford was catching a flight home to El Paso, Texas, via the John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California. Redford says the mean-spirited gate agent saw her daughter's name, Abcde Redford — pronounced "ab-city" — and made fun of it before uploading the boarding pass on social media so others could mock her as well.
Name shaming? This Texas woman claims a @SouthwestAir agent made fun of her 5-year-old daughter's name as they were preparing to board their flight at @JohnWayneAir in Orange County.— Veronica Miracle (@ABC7Veronica) 28 November 2018
Her daughter's name is Abcde (pronounced Ab-city). @ABC7 pic.twitter.com/iHpBPoakYI
Recollecting the day, Traci said, "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 said the altercation took place while she was preboarding the flight, something she does normally because her daughter happens to suffer from epilepsy. She continued, "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," she revealed. "And after two weeks of doing a formal complaint, Southwest hadn't done anything."
The Metro reported that when the five-year-old asked Traci why she was being laughed at, the mom tried to make the incident into a life lesson. "(Abcde) said, 'Mom, why is she laughing at my name?' And I said not everyone is nice and not everyone is going to be nice. It's unfortunate."
While Southwest Airlines did not initially respond to Traci's complaints, they immediately released a statement once the story went viral on social media, apologizing for her treatment at the airport and claiming they had spoken to the employee in question.
"We extend our sincere apology to the family," the statement read. "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."