Hat tip to Lucky over at One Mile at a Time, with the original article at CBS Minnesota:
Duff Watson says he was asked to de-board a flight from Denver to Minneapolis with his two kids on Sunday after an agent didn’t like a tweet he wrote about her service.
And after I just wrote the other day about Southwest’s boarding procedures!!! So let’s break this down:
- The man is an A-List passenger, which means he gets to board at the beginning (A1-15) with those who have booked the more expensive “Business” fares. But in this case, he was traveling with his 2 young kids (ages 6 and 9)
- His kids are NOT A-List passengers (I assume), so they would have to board with their regular group (depending on when they printed their boarding passes)
- Because they are not under the age of 4, they wouldn’t even get to board with the special “family” boarding that is between the A and B groups
- So the gate agent would not let his kids basically “cut the line” and board with him, instead telling him that he would have to either wait and board with them or have them board by themselves.
- He got angry 🙂
Was the gate agent right?
This seems like clearly one of those cases where yes, the gate agent was following the rules but I’m not sure it would have been the end of the world had the kids been allowed to go with their dad.
Though reading some of the comments on Lucky’s blog (linked above), many of the frequent Southwest travelers were if not defending the gate agent, at least pointing out that trying to “sneak” people ahead of where they are “supposed” to board is common and formally and informally frowned upon
But then it escalated
Of course it did :-). The passenger was upset and Tweeted out to @SouthwestAir, referencing the gate agent and his displeasure. Somehow the gate agent found out about it and made him de-plane, saying “her safety feels threatened at this point because of what [he] tweeted.
This then freaked out the kids and eventually he was allowed to board but was forced to delete the tweet.
Here’s a CBS This morning clip on it.
Personally I haven’t flown much Southwest, so I don’t have a ton of experience on this – what about those of you who have – what do you think?
Join the PWaC newsletter filled with credit card and travel tips
You have Successfully Subscribed!
Points With a Crew has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Points With a Crew and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers. Responses are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser's responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered. Other links on this page may also pay me a commission - as always, thanks for your support if you use them
Just sounds like a rouge gate agent to me. Southwest employees on the whole are friendlier than at other airlines, but there are bad apples in every bunch, even at Southwest. He was probably a jerk and the the gate agent then went totally overboard. Bad behavior by all. I always make it my mission to be nice when I travel – you catch more flies with honey than with vinegar.
Also, those of us who are Southwest loyal are pretty much sticklers for the rules. No seat saving, no jumping the line. As an A-lister, he should have known better. If he wanted early boarding, he should have paid for it for his kids. But I think Southwest should consider extending A list benefits to family members traveling on the same reservation (like kids). Otherwise, A-listers really can get bumped to the back of the bus unless they are traveling alone. Not the point of the program.