Family kicked off Southwest flight after negative tweet

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By, Heather Warner

A Minneapolis man is kicked off a Southwest Airlines flight after he used social media to complain about a boarding agent.  “I was left very upset, very embarrassed, very humiliated,” said Duff Watson.

It started when Duff Watson tried to board a Southwest Airlines flight with his kids. He’s an A-list passenger, meaning he gets priority boarding.  But a gate agent wouldn’t let his 6 and 9 year old board with him, so they’d all have to wait to board later.  “In leaving I said, real nice way to treat an A-list, i’ll be sure to tweet about it.” And that’s exactly what Watson did.

He says his tweet was something to the effect of, “Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly s, gate c39, not happy, @swa.”

Soon after getting to their seats, the family of three was asked to get off the plane. “She said her safety feels threatened because of what i tweeted,” says Watson. “She said I’m going to call the cops. I thought something bad was going to happen, like my dad was going to jail.” That from Watson’s daughter. Watson says that’s when his children started crying.

Watson says he doesn’t understand why his family was targeted. He insists there was no use of profanity, there were no threats made–nothing other than a terse exchange between a customer service agent and a customer.

Watson says he was forced to delete the tweet. “She said you can’t board the plane unless you delete that tweet.”

Southwest Airlines sent this statement, saying: “A customer was removed for a short time and continued on to Minneapolis. And the incident is currently under review.”

Southwest apologized to Watson in an email, and sent three 50-dollar vouchers. But, Watson says he won’t fly the airline again.



  • Kerri

    Let's punish the customer (and his children) – and look like fools more than we already do…instead of expecting a little more from our employees!!! Hey Southwest Airlines, you stuck up for the wrong person!!!

    • MyViewpoint

      From this story, I do not read that the airline stuck up for the employee. They apologized and offered vouchers.

    • Ed Laucks

      I read this story a few times. Just what did the gate agent do wrong? She was doing her job. Let's hear from her about what happened. Southwest apologized and sent 3 $50 vouchers. And snot brat Watson says he will never fly Southwest again. You want to bet? He's not going to waste $150 in vouchers! But, if he doesn't fly Southwest again, It won't upset Southwest!

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