- drama July 24
A $50 travel voucher won't fix this mess: A Minneapolis man says he was kicked off a Southwest Airlines plane with his children after tweeting about a bad experience he had with a gate agent.
On Sunday, Duff Watson was headed back to Minneapolis from Denver with his two daughters, ages 9 and 6. Watson told ABC News that as an A-List member, he is given priority boarding with the airline. Every other flight his daughters have been able to board with him, Watson says, but on Sunday afternoon he was stopped by a gate agent who told him they were not permitted.
Watson felt she was being unnecessarily rude, and decided to complain to customer service. He asked for her last name, but she refused to share it. Watson says he "tweeted something like: 'Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy @SWA.'" The drama didn't stop once Watson was on board. His name was called over the intercom, and he was asked to get off the plane. The reason? The gate agent "said I was a safety threat," he says. "I was shocked. There was no use of profanity, there were no threats made." Watson said the agent also told him if he didn't delete the tweet, she would call the cops. As soon as he deleted it — with the agent watching — he was allowed to re-board with his crying daughters.
The airline confirmed that Watson was asked to leave the plane, and said the incident is under review. A representative also called Watson and told him A-list privileges can't be transferred to family members. Watson said he had always been loyal to Southwest but will never fly the airline again, and plans on donating a $50 voucher he was sent as a "goodwill gesture" to a charity.- - Catherine Garcia
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