Southwest Airlines apologizes after an agent mocked a 5-year-old girl with epilepsy whose name is Abcde

  • A Southwest Airlines boarding agent mocked the name of a five-year-old girl with epilepsy.
  • According to Newsweek, a Southwest Airlines staff member at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, singled out 5-year-old Abcde (pronounced ab-city) Redford during the pre-flight boarding process.
  • The girl’s mother, Traci Redford, said the agent “mocked” her daughter’s unusual name as he checked her boarding pass, pointing and laughing and talking about her name to other employees.
  • The gate agent also took a picture of Abcde’s boarding pass and later posted it on social media, presumably to draw attention to her name.
  • In a statement to Business Insider, Southwest Airlines apologised to the family.

A Southwest Airlines boarding agent mocked the name of a 5-year-old girl with epilepsy, multiple sources have reported.

According to Newsweek, a Southwest Airlines staff member at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, singled out five-year-old Abcde (pronounced ab-city) Redford during the pre-flight boarding process.

Newsweek reports the girl’s mother, Traci Redford, said the agent “mocked” her daughter’s unusual name as he checked her boarding pass, pointing and laughing and talking about her name to other employees.

“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, according to ABC 7.

Abcde has epilepsy, so the Redfords always board early, ABC 7 reported. During the boarding, the gate agent took a picture of Abcde’s boarding pass and later posted it on social media, presumably to draw attention to her name.


Read More:
A Southwest Airlines baggage handler was caught on camera recklessly throwing luggage around

“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,” Redford said, according to ABC 7.

In a statement to Business Insider, Southwest Airlines apologised to the family and 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 emphasise our expectations for all Employees.”

Traci Redford’s experience was posted on social media by ABC 7 reporter Veronica Miracle:

NOW WATCH: Briefing videos

Business Insider Emails & Alerts

Site highlights each day to your inbox.

Follow Business Insider Australia on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.