Southwest passenger in Denver asked to deplane after criticizing agent on Twitter

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Photos courtesy of WCCO-TV in Minneapolis. More images, tweets and a video below.
In a recent airline quality survey that hammered Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines finished in the middle of the pack. But Minnesota's Duff Watson would no doubt rank the carrier much lower. He says he was asked to deplane prior to a flight home from Denver because he criticized a Southwest agent on Twitter.

See also: Frontier gets hammered in latest airline quality study, finishes last in customer complaints

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Duff Watson.
The story comes to us from WCCO-TV in Minneapolis, which reports that Watson has A-list priority boarding status with Southwest. But at DIA, he was prevented from getting onto his flight early because he wanted to take his two kids, ages six and nine, with him.

What followed was a testy exchange with the agent. "In leaving I said, you know, 'Real nice way to treat an A-list. I'll be sure to tweet about it,'" Watson told the station.

He was as good as his word. He remembers the tweet saying something to the effect of "Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy @SWA."

Watson and the kids subsequently took their seats, boarding at the same time as regular passengers. But shortly thereafter, Southwest personnel told him they'd have to deplane unless he deleted the tweet, which allegedly made the agent in question feel threatened.

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Watson and his kids.
He did so under duress (and to quiet his kids, who were freaked out and began crying), but vented his spleen on Twitter afterward. Here's one tweet....

...and its sequel:

That followup was an e-mailed apology and $50 Southwest vouchers for each member of the trio. Not that they're likely to be used: As you can see by the hashtag above, Watson has no plans to fly Southwest again.

Here's the WCCO-TV report.

Send your story tips to the author, Michael Roberts.

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110 comments
שרי אורדאז
שרי אורדאז

Yes, he had the right to post whatever on Twitter, but he strikes me as a total d-bag, and I'm sure he's conveniently leaving some details out of his story. Besides, he had no reason to give out other people's name like that (I find it a bit threatening for her, too). He could've just act like a grown-up and ask to speak to a manager... idiot.

Vincent Powell
Vincent Powell

Sounds like a power struggle that leaves the passengers and kids as the true victims. They both suck!

Sunset Sam
Sunset Sam

Violated his 1st Admendment Rights, and communicated a Threat . Attendant needs to be fired !

Josh Kennedy
Josh Kennedy

let me jump on social media and cry instead of asking for a manager.

Evelyn Maria
Evelyn Maria

Not good pr for Southwest. Imagine not letting kids board with parents ridiculous. If it had been a mother asking would they have said yes.

Maxwell Messier
Maxwell Messier

Was the agent being rude? Sounds like to me this guy was being a douche.

Lynn Stiles
Lynn Stiles

Way over the line, such an abuse of authority. Did that plane get a fine for holding up all those people? She should have to pay that fine personally.

Robert Hack
Robert Hack

He's a dick (he's a dick). Fuck him (fuck him).

Kirstie Nelson
Kirstie Nelson

Way over the line. He has the right to tweet whatever he thinks or feels. This doesn't mean doing so is necessarily smart.

Betty Miller
Betty Miller

No, not really understandable. Why should he have to delete his Tweet ?

Todd Jordan
Todd Jordan

If that's wrong, I don't wanna be right...

Jimmy Hersh
Jimmy Hersh

Another example of a rude, asshole, being a jerk and abusing employees in the service agency. Anyone who has worked in this field sees these kind of self entitled buttholes daily. Get your rude ass off the plane!!

Kathee Murphy Powloka
Kathee Murphy Powloka

Hope that agent is fired but we will never hear about it. Over over reaction

John Mccall
John Mccall

As long as he didn't make any threats on TWITTER, I think the agent over reacted.

Tanya Cavner
Tanya Cavner

WAY over the line. They don't have the right to do that. He has a right to his opinion. If the attendant didn't like it too bad. Everyone is on blast these days, be good at what you do and you won't have to worry about being called out. If he used a little bit of common sense and just waited until they could all board together then there wouldn't have been a problem to begin with. Just because they call your seat number doesn't mean you have to go right then. JS

Steve Bozich
Steve Bozich

Should not have been an issue of the under aged kids boarding w/ him in the first place. All airlines allow early boarding for the whole family if one of the parents has premiere status.

Nyssa Kill
Nyssa Kill

Seriously..... twitter? How about we grow up and get over it? When did we become 14 year Olds? If this were my employee I would fire them.

Matty Durgin
Matty Durgin

he complained yes, but threat? overreaction to the max by the airline.

Kenny Garcia
Kenny Garcia

How did she see the tweet? Did he show her?

Greg Turner
Greg Turner

Over the line... give a bit of power to powerless people and they become Barney F-ing Fife... and reason # 1,876,532 to NOT fly on Greyhound of the Air... (surprised they aren't cooking chickens in the aisles)

Paul Anderson
Paul Anderson

No, the customer is not always right. There are times when customers are in the wrong. HOWEVER, returning a wrong for a wrong isn't professional or acceptable either. As someone who has worked retail and service jobs, you just don't pull the power trip and make the jerk get off the plane, delay all the other customers and ask the jerk to delete his tweet. Twitter is a public forum, and what he posts is his business as long as it's not blatantly threatening, which this one was not even close to being. He was definitely a jerk, but unfortunately the gate agent responded by being just as much a jerk in return. No one wins, and SWA gets a PR black eye. If she had handled it correctly, he would be the only one looking like a jerk.

Ryan Dearth
Ryan Dearth

They do family boarding immediately after A-list boarding...what's the big deal?

Debra Lopez
Debra Lopez

You want your kids to board early, then pay up like everyone else. Just because it worked in the past doesn't mean you won't get caught at some point.

Jimmy Hersh
Jimmy Hersh

Mark, you are a peon! You obviously don't know how to read between the lines. I'll let you get going to TGI a Fridays so you can order $40-50 dollars worth of food and drinks, treat the server like trash and leave a $5 dollar tip... Now go fuck yourself!

Robert Hack
Robert Hack

I wonder what those kids thought watching their father throw such a spoiled rotten temper tantrum. But I wanna board on the A list!

R Carter Arnest
R Carter Arnest

I fly SW many times a year. Always the kindest agents andhhhhh

Brooke Klinker
Brooke Klinker

No 1st amendment for you, motherfucker. No seriously, what a joke. So long as he's not a security threat he should be able to fly. Yeah, he was being an asshole...ok, assholes are assholes. Personally I find his attitude funny. It's amusing when an adult acts like a spoiled brat.

Jimmy Hersh
Jimmy Hersh

Full of hot air and clueless section!!

Jimmy Hersh
Jimmy Hersh

No Mark, I certainly do not. But I would enjoy punching you on your big fat mouth. I'll restrain myself; no please return back to your seat in the

Brian Slanovich
Brian Slanovich

I've been in the service industry (in one form or another) my whole adult life and I have a two year-old daughter. I can see both sides but there was no reason to pull him off the plane. Assholes are assholes. They aren't a threat to security and the rest of us get to laugh at their inept social skills. That said, who in their right mind would pride themselves on being "A" list on southwest? That's like being the CEO of Stoplight-Windshield-Washers, inc.

muhutdafuga
muhutdafuga topcommenter

That only applies to corporate money.

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