Southwest Sorry After Girl's Unusual Name Causes a Fuss

Abcde Redford's mom says gate agent 'mocked' 5-year-old's name
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 29, 2018 1:57 PM CST

(Newser) – Southwest Airlines was forced to apologize this week after a mom accused one of its employees of mocking her 5-year-old daughter's name a few weeks ago. Traci Redford was traveling home to El Paso, Texas, with daughter Abcde (pronounced Ab-city) when she heard the gate agent at John Wayne Airport in Orange County, Calif., start talking to other employees about the little girl's name. Redford tells ABC 7 the agent pointed at the mom and daughter and laughed, and Redford asked her to stop because her daughter could hear everything. Redford says the agent even took a photo of the girl's boarding pass and posted it on social media, where a friend saw it and alerted Redford to it.

The post was "mocking my daughter," Redford says, but after bringing the matter to Southwest's attention, Redford says two weeks went by and no apology was issued. The airline did, however, give a statement when contacted by ABC 7. "We extend our sincere apology to the family. ... 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 Washington Post notes that, apparently, more than 300 children have been named Abcde in the past three decades. (A woman with a 36-character last name won her fight with Hawaii.)

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