Barred from flying until tweet removed

By | Category: Travel rumblings
Southwest airline logo

claiming to come “from the heart” says an old Southwest logo

The American TV channel, ABC, has reported the story of a man who, on criticising an airline and one of its employees on Twitter, was barred from the flight until he retracted the tweet.

Apparently, last Sunday, a man was flying with his two young children from Denver to Minneapolis. Because he was classed as the equivalent of a premium flyer oon the airline he was in a priority boarding line as were his children. He could have boarded by the gate agent refused his children the same right so he stayed with his children and tweeted her name and called her the rudest agent. On reaching the front of the second queue, he boarded only to hear his name over the plane’s sound system asking him to identify himself. A member of cabin crew asked him to get off the fight. On exiting he was told by the same gate agent that he was a flight safety threat – his claim which the airline has not countered – and that he must delete the tweet or she would call the police. If he did so he would be allowed to re-board. With crying children he did as he was asked. The airline has said that “our decision was not based solely on a Customer’s tweet.” but says little else.

The airline was Southwest which actually has a very good record for customer service. Except in this case. It strikes me that this was an over-officious gate agent but I have to go on only what was reported so there may be another side to this story. It could have been defused by some common sense but nobody at Southwest seems to have tried at the time.

This – if true – is unacceptable and the airline should reprimand the gate agent particularly about the allegation that he was a flight safety threat. Everyone has a pretty solid idea of what a fkight safety threat might be and a father unwilling to leave his children alone is not one of them. Needless to see comment boxes in the media have been full of airline criticism although one person on the ABC comment area said that the gate agent shouldn’t have been named as that was an attack on her privacy. What twaddle.

Naming and shaming has become part of modern social media and all power to it whilst officious people fail to use their common sense.

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