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Family Removed from Southwest Flight After Father Tweets About Rude Service

Daniel Bean
Editorial Assistant
July 24, 2014

We’ve all heard of unhinged tweeters getting fired for something they’ve posted. And on more than one occasion, threatening tweets have even resulted in arrests.

But how about getting thrown off a commercial airline flight for tweeting a complaint about service?

A Minnesota man claims he and his family were removed from a Southwest Airlines flight before takeoff on Sunday because of a critical tweet he posted after they took seats, CBS Minnesota reports.

The “A-list” customer was disappointed that his two young children, not “A-list” customers, weren’t allowed to board with him, and instead had to wait for general boarding. Upset at the Southwest agent’s unwillingness to allow the entire family to “A-list” board, the man tweeted “something to effect of” this:

“Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy @SWA,” he told CBS.

The father/social media enthusiast let the agent know he would “be sure to tweet about” the poor service. After he did, Southwest’s social media team informed the crew, who found the tweet to be “threatening to its safety.” That’s when the family was removed from the plane; the man says he was forced to delete his tweet before being allowed back on board.

According to a statement received by CBS, Southwest Airlines did confirm that the customer was removed for a short time but was allowed to continue on to Minneapolis. The incident is under review by the airline, but the “A-list” father and his son and daughter were each given an official apology, as well as $50 vouchers — vouchers the family has told CBS they will not use, as they will not be flying Southwest again. 

Our friends at Yahoo Travel last month ranked the major airlines in terms of their speediness in replying to customer complaint tweets. Alaska Air was the winner in that piece. The loser was –– yep! –– Southwest. We, however, want to suggest that Southwest’s customer care rating be reconsidered. After-all, the in-person response our Minnesota family received to a tweet, before their plane even left the runway, was something really special.

Have questions, comments, or just want to tell me something funny? Email me at danbean@yahoo-inc.com.