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Southwest Apologizes After Mother Says Gate Agent Made Fun Of Her Daughter’s Name

Southwest Airlines issued an apology to a Texas mother who claimed a gate agent made fun of her five-year-old daughter’s name, Abcde.

Traci Redford told Los Angeles television station, KABC, that she and her daughter ( whose name is pronounced “ab city”) were preparing to board a flight to El Paso, Texas from Orange County a few weeks ago. Redford and her Abcde always pre-board because the child has epilepsy.

“The gate agent started laughing, pointing at me and my daughter, talking to other employees,” Redford told KABC. “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.”

Photo Credit: 123rf

But the agent apparently did not stop there. Redford said she took a picture of her daughter’s boarding pass and posted it on social media.

“The gate agent started laughing , pointing at me and 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,” said Redford.

‘Hey if I can hear you, my daughter can hear you, so I’d appreciate if you’d just stop.’

Since this incident, Southwest Airlines has followed up with Redford and issued the following 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.”

Redford has used incident as a teaching moment about people for Abcde.

“She said ‘Mom, why is she laughing at my name?’ And I said not everyone is nice and not everyone is going to be nice and it’s unfortunate,” she told KABC.


The reactions on social media have been offhandedly aggreeable to the gate agent’s actions. No you shouldn’t bully a child but with a name like A-B-C-D-E, sadly it has be expected.

One woman tweeted, “I can’t believe she opened herself up to be mocked by going national with media. Please change that child’s name! They’ll be bullied for life otherwise.”


Another person tweeted, “Totally agree. Give the child a decent name and don’t spell it weird. When people can’t pronounce a name. It makes them feel stupid. If you make someone feel stupid they feel frustrated. A whole generation will need therapy because of this mother thought it would be fun.”

And another commented, “Imagine that poor child applying for a job some day…this should be considered psychological abuse. That child deserves a name.”

According to a search on the Social Security Adminstration website, the name; Abcde is not in the top 1000 names.

Popular Baby Names for 2017 are listed below:

Rank Male name Female name
1 Liam Emma
2 Noah Olivia
3 William Ava
4 James Isabella
5 Logan Sophia
6 Benjamin Mia
7 Mason Charlotte
8 Elijah Amelia
9 Oliver Evelyn
10 Jacob Abig




By Alexia McKay
Twitter: @alexiamckayprod