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Family Asked To Leave Southwest Flight After Tweet

The TSA agent felt "her safety feels threatened" due to a tweet reading: " ‘Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy @SWA,’”".


MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities man is upset about the way his family was treated on a Southwest Airlines flight because of a tweet.

Duff Watson says he was asked to de-board a flight from Denver to Minneapolis with his two kids on Sunday after an agent didn’t like a tweet he wrote about her service.

Watson and the agent had a disagreement before boarding initially.

“I was left, you know, very upset, very embarrassed, very humiliated,” Watson said.

He’s an “A-List” passenger, which means he gets priority boarding. But a gate agent wouldn’t let his 6-year-old and 9-year-old board with him — so they’d all have to wait to board later.

“In leaving I said, you know, ‘Real nice way to treat an A-list. I’ll be sure to tweet about it,’” he said.

And that’s just what Watson did.

“Something to the effect of, ‘Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy @SWA,’” he said.

Soon after getting to their seats, the family of three was asked to leave the plane.

“[She said] her safety feels threatened at this point because of what I tweeted,” Watson said.

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A pompous ass gets one-upped by over-zealous bureaucrat

Don't know what's worse, his sense of entitlement or the typical drama queen act a low level bureaucrat has when someone won't fully submit to their authority.

Kids must be scarred for life, TSA agent needs counseling from the implied threats, such exaggerations that I can't help but feel contempt for both parties.

This is news? Next!

It's a private company

It's a private company choosing not to offer service to an individual they don't want to offer service to.

Floydius's picture

again, the TSA was not

again, the TSA was not involved in this one at all. the summary at the top mentions TSA but it's clear from the article they weren't involved at all.

The TSA is involved

Airlines socialize the cost of (really crappy and expensive) security onto taxpayers, most of whom do not fly, and less of whom fly now than before.

If airlines and their customers had to pay for their own security and underwrite their own risk to third parties, we'd be a lot safer in the air and on the ground.

In any case this sort of thing never happened before the government created this police state culture in airports and this 'see something say something' sheep on sheep mentality.

What annoys Me the most is

What annoys Me the most is how they made him delete it in order to board the plane. But I would have to board the plane then when I got home repost it and add some more, too.

I bet southwest will do some pandering and whatnot now that it's national news.

They should fire that agent

If they for some reason have to allow agents to have this discretion (and it's probably a government mandate) then this person has clearly not the mental capacity to have that responsibility.

Beyond that if you are in customer service and can't handle an understandably, if incorrectly, annoyed customer you need to find a new line of work.

She could have just said "I agree you should be able to pre-board with your kids, but SW policy is that only you can do so, and that's what I am bound to. Here's the email address you can write to suggest a policy change and here's my email address so you can copy me"

South West is probably getting way more tweets than wanted

By free speech lovers who resent how they were mistreated, especially the daughters they scared to tears.

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. - Frederick Douglass

Airline agent, not TSA agent.

Can you make an update?

He said customer service agent in the article

“There was no use of profanity, there were no threats made. There was nothing other than, you know, a terse exchange between a customer service agent and a customer,” he said.

South West ought to change their priority rating name to, Eh List, eh?

Find out just what any people will quietly submit to and you have the exact measure of the injustice and wrong which will be imposed on them. - Frederick Douglass

Sounds like she dropped a

Sounds like she dropped a little authoritTAY on his butt, 'cause he Ped her off, and 'cause she could. She's probably the type who beats her kids for talking back too. Gotta love that she'll take a well deserved beating herself on Twitter over this.

I must be willing to give up what I am in order to become what I will be. Albert Einstein

I don't always fly

but when I do I fly Northeast. Stay traveling my friends.

It wasn't a TSA agent as far as I can tell

It was an SWA agent. The man felt entitled enough to be indignant that he couldn't bestow his privileges on anyone he wished and then felt tweeting someone's name and location was the best way to handle his feelings. Safety's a silly concern for that location, maybe if she was in Times Square, but I wouldn't want to do business with him unless he showed some sign he could get along with the airline's employees.

Defend Liberty!

And I suppose you have some proof

That he wasn't completely civil with her or that she was more than civil and he was being a pompus asshole. Please, I'd really like to see that.

From the story it simply sounds like a dad wanted to take advantage of a promised perk (as usual) but couldn't leave his kids behind. The agent decided to follow company proceedure than to offer a one time exception to the dad. The father got frustrated and tweeted about it. The agent over reacted and had the father removed due to the tweet.

What their attitudes were, how they spoke with each other, and the level of civility are all in question but I'd wager the events played out as I described them. It isn't a real stretch of the imagination.

PS Removing the father for a non-threatening tweet is the definition of over reacting. However, given that he was let back on after the tweet was deleted I'd say more abuse of position.

How did she know what was in the tweet?

Just because he tells her he is going to tweet about it doesn't mean he was really going to do it.

So did they go look for it online?

The tweet itself isn't egregious. Although, as a private business, airlines have a right to refuse service to anyone they want. So, while I think the airline jerks for kicking the family off, I think they have a right to do so.

But as I said before: How did they go find his tweet? That's creepy

Floydius's picture

He directly addressed SWA's

He directly addressed SWA's twitter account in the tweet; his intent was to contact them directly by tweeting, which is why he did it in the first place.

Floydius's picture

just for accuracy

Even though I'm no fan of the TSA, it doesn't appear that they were involved in this at all as stated in the article summary above.



True, its likely the boarding agent. But bullying is epidemic

True, its likely the boarding agent. But bullying is epidemic in the airports and if the TSA are as bright as smoldering candlewicks, the folks handling the tickets are C7 christmas bulbs. They have no right to tie up airport operations because their ego is aching with anxiety over some angry customer.

"Cowards & idiots can come along for the ride but they gotta sit in the back seat!"

"Real nice way to treat an A-list. " An open response.

Your Royal Magesty,

It chagrins me greatly to hear that the TSA goons don't recognize nobility as an inherited right and confer upon your 6 year old the special exemption your royal person enjoys. It is unconscionable that your highness would be forced to wait along with the commoners. I find it heroic that your magesty so selflessfly stands and fights for his rights; the right to be held superior to these "coach cowboys".

This outrage is only slightly offset by the fact that Southwest gave you a nice bag of salted nuts to suck on as you made your way to another flight.

Long Live The Empire,

Smudge Pot

There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.

Smudge - you are misinterpreting

The term "A List" was created by Southwest Airlines. So in short, the guy wasn't being snobby by calling himself "A List".



I'd correct it but I had too much fun writing it.

There is nothing strange about having a bar of soap in your right pocket, it's just what's happening.

Heh, okay :)

I have to admit your comment was pretty funny!

he probably paid extra to get on that list

and apparently having a 6-year old disqualified him from reaping the benefits. that fine print obviously wasn't presented to him at the sign of his contract. the airline is committing fraud.

You don't pay extra. You

You don't pay extra. You qualify by points and number of flights booked with their card. I believe you need a number of points to extend your A list benefits to companions. Their seating is done by A + list first then family with small children then regular A seating then B then C. I'm thinking there is more to the story.

no such thing as a free lunch

those points didn't come free.

Right but I'm thinking that

Right but I'm thinking that his perk didn't extend to the companions and the dad threw a fit after not getting his way. He would have been next to board the plane though because the seating arrangements for saw is A+ Members then family with small children then the rest.

Tweet this: "Kimberly S., Denver Airport, STILL aTOTAL BYOTCH!"

Tweet this: "Kimberly S., Denver Airport, STILL A TOTAL power-crazed abusive BYOTCH!"

Here's another classic case of some brain-dead lowlife who can barely empty trash cans, being given a badge and power to interrupt airport operations. How the F is this even possible??

You know, I'd remove that tweet. It was lame anyway. I'd comply, let the flight commence, and then go freakin bananas on her, her supervisor, her employer, her airport, and the airliner for playing along in this circle-jerk of glad-handing and butt-protecting. This is just plain sick!!

"Cowards & idiots can come along for the ride but they gotta sit in the back seat!"

You are a psycho.

You are a psycho.

I am an infrequent passenger, you mean.

I am an infrequent passenger, you mean. Why the name-calling?

"Cowards & idiots can come along for the ride but they gotta sit in the back seat!"