Girl, 5, mocked by airline staff because of her nameRuth Mabhiza
Traci Redford says her young daughter was laughed at by Southwest Airlines staff for being called Abcde.
Traci Redford and her daughter Abcde. Pic: ABC News
A mother says a Southwest Airlines employee mocked her daughter because of her unusual alphabet name.
Traci Redford was travelling from Southern California to Texas with her daughter Abcde and claims a gate agent at John Wayne Airport in Orange County laughed when he saw her daughter’s name and even took a picture of the boarding pass.
“So I turned around and said: ‘Hey, I can hear you, so if I can hear you my daughter can too, so I’d appreciate it if you’d just stop.'”
Ms Redford explained that she and Abcde always use priority boarding because her daughter has epilepsy.
“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 brought to my attention by somebody who had seen it on Facebook and reported it to Southwest Airlines,” she said.
The employee took a picture of the boarding pass
Ms Redford said Abcde quickly cottoned on to what was happening in the airport.
“She asked me ‘Mom why is she laughing at my name?,'” she said.
She said she explained to her daughter “not everyone is nice and not everyone is going to be nice”.
Ms Redford said the gate agent started mocking her daughter’s name. Pic: ABC News
Ms Redford told CNN the exposure led to negative comments about her and left her feeling vulnerable: “People were making comments about slapping the parents and things such as that.
“My house was left empty while my daughter and I were travelling, so now people know that I’m not home and they had a bunch of information that they should not have had, which made me extremely uncomfortable.”
In a statement, Southwest said: “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.
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