A Southwest Airlines passenger said he was deplaned and then forced by the airline to delete a Twitter post critical of Southwest’s customer service before he and his two children were allowed back on their flight.
Duff Watson, an “A-List” passenger — meaning he gets priority boarding — was readying to board a flight from Denver to Minneapolis on Sunday with his two children, aged 6 and 9, when the gate agent wouldn’t let Watson board with his kids, reported WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. They’d have to wait until later.
“In leaving I said, you know, ‘Real nice way to treat an A-list. I’ll be sure to tweet about it,’” he told WCCO.
Watson, a Twin Cities resident, said he tweeted “something to the effect of, ‘Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy @SWA.’”
Apparently negative Twitter posts make the rounds quickly at Southwest, because Watson said he and his two children were asked to leave the plane shortly after getting to their seats.
“[She said] her safety feels threatened at this point because of what I tweeted,” Watson told WCCO.
Watson’s daughter, Lucy, said she heard the police were about to get involved.
“She said ‘I’m going to call the cops,’” Lucy told WCCO. “I like thought something bad was going to happen, like my dad being in jail.”
By this point Watson said his two kids started crying.
“There was no use of profanity, there were no threats made,” Watson told the station. “There was nothing other than, you know, a terse exchange between a customer service agent and a customer.”
But it gets more bizarre. “She said, ‘You can’t board the plane unless you delete that tweet,’” Watson told WCCO.
Southwest Airlines noted in a statement that a customer was removed for a short time and continued to Minneapolis, adding that the incident is under review.
Southwest also emailed an apology to Watson — and gave him three $50 vouchers. But the airline wouldn’t disclose any disciplinary action taken because of confidentiality concerns.
Watson told WCCO he’s unsatisfied with Southwest’s response and won’t fly the airline again: “I was left, you know, very upset, very embarrassed, very humiliated.”
(H/T: Washington Times)