Southwest Deplanes Family Over Dad's Critical Tweet

Gate agent didn't like that tweet mentioned her name

By Shelley Hazen,  Newser Staff

Posted Jul 24, 2014 11:58 AM CDT

(Newser) – Think twice before you tweet—it could get you kicked off a plane. After Duff Watson used Twitter to complain about a Southwest gate agent, he was deemed a safety threat, deplaned with his two young daughters, then threatened with police action unless he deleted the tweet. It all started when Watson and his nine- and six-year-old daughters tried to board a Southwest Airlines flight from Denver to Minneapolis Sunday, ABC News reports. As an A-List member, Watson is allowed to board early and says he has previously been allowed to take his girls with him, but the gate agent wouldn't let him this time. “I’m not going to leave my kids alone to board," Watson tells ABC News. After a "terse exchange" with the agent, the family waited to board, together, CBS News reports.

When they got to their seats, Watson sent out the tweet, which he recalls as: “Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy @SWA.” That’s when he was ordered to get off the plane, and learned that the gate agent "said I was a safety threat," though Watson says he made no threats and didn’t swear. She told him to delete the tweet or she'd call the police; he obeyed, and the family was allowed back on the plane. Southwest apologized and offered Watson a $50 voucher, but also backed up the agent’s decision not to let Watson’s kids board early. So, of course, he tweeted again: “The follow-up from the incident on Sun. with @SouthwestAir is now a double insult. Choose a kinder airline. #neveragain Family deplaned?”

  (Shutterstock)
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