Southwest Airlines has attracted controversy again after one of their gate agents at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, mocked a passenger's five-year-old daughter's unusual name. As the pair pre-boarded (due to the little girl's epilepsy), the gate agent reportedly laughed and pointed at the little girl before jokingly talking about her name to other employees.
The girl's name is ABCDE (pronounced ab-city). She asked her mother what was going on:
"She asked me: 'mom why is she laughing at my name?' I said 'you know honey, not everybody is nice. And not everyone's gonna be nice and it's unfortunate.'"
Name shaming? This Texas woman claims a @SouthwestAir agent made fun of her 5-year-old daughter's name as they were… https://t.co/WzwryOrS51— Veronica Miracle (@Veronica Miracle)1543447763.0
The mother, Traci, later found out the agent had taken a photo of ABCDE's boarding pass to use in a Facebook post.
This story is...interesting. But the correction is amazing. "This version corrects that the girl’s name is Abcde, n… https://t.co/xBSQVbWICY— Mark Iype (@Mark Iype)1543513639.0
'Mom, why is she laughing at my name?' Abcde Redford's mother says the airline agent even made jokes within earshot… https://t.co/cptJNP12vF— ABC13 Houston (@ABC13 Houston)1543459510.0
This happened just days after a Southwest baggage handler was caught on film throwing boxes labelled "live fish" through the air carelessly.
The airline has issued yet another apology:
"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."
Southwest Airlines gave us this statement: "We extend our sincere apology to the family. We take great pride in ext… https://t.co/m1fQOw2kqq— T-Bear🐻 Your as Human, as I am (@T-Bear🐻 Your as Human, as I am)1543486532.0
Online, some are calling for the gate agent to be fired for her disrespect, but others don't think this needs to go that far.
@ABC7Veronica The agent was reprimanded, what more does she want? We have to stop calling for everyone to be fired… https://t.co/5fJ8W7lN3l— Jenifer 🔮🎀 (@Jenifer 🔮🎀)1543506468.0
Some Twitter users thought the girl's mother was asking for trouble when she gave her child such an unusual name.
You are mad someone is making fun of your girls name and you named her “Abcde”? What did you... think... was... gon… https://t.co/lPK741AVMD— Chris D'Elia (@Chris D'Elia)1543500068.0
@ABC7Veronica @SouthwestAir @JohnWayneAir @ABC7 How ironic that she is also named after the entire row of seats— Todd Kling (@Todd Kling)1543495561.0
Though her mother probably wouldn't like it, the pronunciation of ABCDE caused a fair number of jokes on Twitter.
White people have a “hard” time pronouncing Keisha then go name their kid ABCDE. Girl.— apollho creed 🖤✨ (@apollho creed 🖤✨)1543500206.0
@jordie_nassif Since her name is pronounced "Ab-City," she should open a huge chain of gyms someday and have the last laugh.— Lisa (@Lisa)1543507675.0
me taking my shirt off in front of someone: now just so you know it's pronounced "ab-city"— mary sissyswitchmas🎄 (@mary sissyswitchmas🎄)1543506669.0
@ABC7Veronica @SouthwestAir @JohnWayneAir @ABC7 Take me down to the sweet abcde where the grass is green and the gi… https://t.co/9BRWUYUb14— Summer Elizabeth (@Summer Elizabeth)1543507860.0
In fact, online, a fair number of people believed the girl's mother should be held accountable in some way.
@washingtonpost So when are they going to apologize to the other people they make fun of ? Not lettting the mothe… https://t.co/cJiVcB6aRd— Miz Val (@Miz Val)1543506790.0
@washingtonpost If I were a gate agent I would think it was a fake passport/identification papers because of the name.— TenneyBox (@TenneyBox)1543516132.0
One thing seems obvious: ABCDE should get used to jokes, because she'll most likely be dealing with them her whole life.
@Katie_Boots8 @washingtonpost What about her brother 12345?— It's me DT (@It's me DT)1543506582.0