California Southwest Airlines agent mocks 5-year-old girl's 'Abcde' name

ORANGE COUNTY, California -- A Southwest Airlines gate agent at a California airport is accused of being rude to a 5-year-old girl both in person and on social media because of her name.

Five-year-old Abcde Redford pronounces her name "ab-city."

Her mother says the agent made fun of the name and even posted a photo of her boarding pass on social media for others to chime in.

"The gate agent started laughing, pointing at me and my daughter, talking to other employees," Traci Redford said. "So I turned around and said, 'Hey if I can hear you, my daughter can hear you, so I'd appreciate if you'd just stop.'"

Redford and her daughter were catching a flight home to El Paso, Texas, from John Wayne Airport in Orange County a few weeks ago.

Abcde lives with epilepsy, so the Redfords always pre-board.
"While I was sitting there, she took a picture of my boarding pass and chose to post it on social media, mocking my daughter," Traci Redford said. "It was actually brought to my attention by somebody who had seen it on Facebook and reported it to Southwest Airlines. And after two weeks of doing a formal complaint, Southwest hadn't done anything."

Southwest Airlines issued the following statement:

"We extend our sincere apology to the family. We take great pride in extending our Southwest Hospitality to all of our Customers, 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. We have followed up with the Employee involved, and while we do not disclose personnel actions publicly, we are using this as an opportunity to reinforce our policies and emphasize our expectations for all Employees."

The employee in question didn't answer a request for comment from our sister station KABC.
Redford said she's using this experience as a lesson for her daughter.

"She said 'Mom, why is she laughing at my name?'' Traci Redford said. "And I said, 'Not everyone is nice, and not everyone is going to be nice. And it's unfortunate.'"

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