Mom says Southwest agent mocked daughter's name

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A wobbly tower of building blocks with the letters of the alphabet on them. Marlon House. (Chaloner Woods/Getty Images)

A woman says a Southwest Airlines agent in Southern California mocked her 5-year-old daughter's 'Abcde' name when they were preparing to board a flight home to Texas.

KABC reported Wednesday that Traci Redford accused a gate agent at Orange County's John Wayne Airport of laughing at her daughter's name and posting a photo of her boarding pass on social media.

The girl's name is spelled with the first five letters of the alphabet and is pronounced "AHB-sih-dee." Redford says the family was pre-boarding because her daughter has epilepsy.

"Agents started mocking my child's name, laughing, pointing at me and my daughter and talking to other employees.  So I turned around and just said, 'Hey, I can hear you, so if I can hear you, my daughter can too.  Like, I'd appreciate if you'd just stop.'"

She says someone saw the social media post and notified Southwest.

Southwest issued a statement to Fox 5 NY with an apology to the family.

It states:  "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."

The airline says it has followed up with the employee.


The Associated Press contributed to this report.