The internet lost its mind after learning that a woman named her actual daughter “Abcde.”
The furious mother complained that her child had been mocked by an airline employee who couldn’t believe the name on the boarding pass.
Now, Southwest Airlines is apologizing profusely.
Traci Redford says that her 5-year-old daughter, whose actual name is Abcde, was insulted and mocked by an airline employee.
The girl’s name is pronounced ab-city.
And yes, it is objectively funny on every level.
However, Traci was not amused when a Southwest Airlines employee at John Wayne Airport in California laughed at the name on her daughter’s boarding pass.
She was even less amused that the employee apparently photographed the girl’s name on the boarding pass in order to share it on social media.
Now, Southwest has issued an apology.
In a statement to People, Southwest Airlines profusely apologized for their employee’s very human reaction.
“We extend our sincere apology to the family,” the statement begins.
“We take great pride in extending our Southwest Hospitality to all of our Customers,” Southwest continues.
The statement continues: “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,” the airline says.
“We have followed up with the Employee involved,” Southwest’s apology continues.
That sounds … unpleasant for everyone involved.
“And,” Southwest says. “While we do not disclose personnel actions publicly.”
The statement continues: “we are using this as an opportunity to reinforce our policies.”
Hopefully, that means making it a teaching moment, rather than making an example of those involved.
“And,” Southwest concludes, they are working to “emphasize our expectations for all Employees.”
Traci Redford spoke about the ordeal that her daughter experienced at the airport.
“The gate agent started mocking my child’s name, laughing” Traci described.
Traci said that the employee was “pointing at me and my daughter and talking to other employees.”
“So,” Traci described. “I turned around and just said, ‘Hey, I can hear you, so if I can hear you, my daughter can, too. I’d appreciate it if you’d just stop.'”
Apparently her daughter was puzzled: “She asked me, ‘Mom, why is she laughing at my name?’”
“And,” Traci continued. “I said, ‘You know, honey, not everybody is nice, and not everyone is going to be nice, and it’s unfortunate.'”
“While I was sitting there,” Traci accused. “She took a picture of my boarding pass and chose to post it on social media.”
Traci clearly resents the employee apparently “mocking my daughter,”
“It was actually brought to my attention by somebody who had seen it on Facebook,” Traci reveals.
Yeah, we do have to say that, laughter may be involuntary, but uploading to social media? That’s a choice.
(The “thirst” equivalent of this situation would be, like, the Alex From Target incident)
“And,” Traci concluded, she “reported it to Southwest Airlines.”
Children cannot help their names.
Even adults have to go to court in order to get their names legally changed, and it takes time and money.
As funny as a name like Abcde may be, it is totally inappropriate for anyone — especially an employee in the service industry — to mock a child to her face.
Children can be very sensitive to these things.
Instead, people should focus their ire on the mother, who cursed her with that name — which looks like a joke or a typo — in the first place.
Someone who is not a Southwest employee should have explained to her that she was setting up her daughter for decades of ridicule.
From elementary school classrooms to job applications, her daughter is going to face challenges that she does not deserve because of that name.