MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities man is upset about the way his family was treated on a Southwest Airlines flight because of a tweet.
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.
Watson and the agent had a disagreement before boarding initially.
“I was left, you know, very upset, very embarrassed, very humiliated,” Watson said.
He’s an “A-List” passenger, which means he gets priority boarding. But a gate agent wouldn’t let his 6-year-old and 9-year-old board with him — so they’d all have to wait to board later.
“In leaving I said, you know, ‘Real nice way to treat an A-list. I’ll be sure to tweet about it,'” he said.
And that’s just what Watson did.
“Something to the effect of, ‘Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy @SWA,'” he said.
Soon after getting to their seats, the family of three was asked to leave the plane.
“[She said] her safety feels threatened at this point because of what I tweeted,” Watson said.
Watson’s daughter, Lucy, said she feared for her father.
“She said ‘I’m going to call the cops,'” Lucy said. “I like thought something bad was going to happen, like my dad being in jail.”
Watson says at that point, his children started to cry. He doesn’t understand why his family was targeted.
“There was no use of profanity, there were no threats made. There was nothing other than, you know, a terse exchange between a customer service agent and a customer,” he said.
Watson says he was forced to delete the tweet.
“She said, ‘You can’t board the plane unless you delete that tweet,'” Watson said.
Southwest Airlines sent a statement which confirmed that a customer was removed for a short time and continued on to Minneapolis. They also said the incident is under review.
In an email to Watson, Southwest apologized for the incident. Because of confidentiality concerns, they could not disclose any disciplinary actions taken.
Watson says he’s not satisfied with their response. All three received $50 vouchers, but Watson says he won’t fly Southwest Airlines again.