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Thread: Dad Calls Out SW Airlines Customer Service Rep, Tweets, and Gets Pulled Off Flight

  1. #1
    Photoballer 4Dragons's Avatar
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    Dad Calls Out SW Airlines Customer Service Rep, Tweets, and Gets Pulled Off Flight

    http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2014/0...e-after-tweet/
    MINNEAPOLIS (WCCO) — A Twin Cities man is upset about the way his family was treated on a Southwest Airlines flight because of a tweet.
    Duff Watson says he was asked to de-board a flight from Denver to Minneapolis with his two kids on Sunday after an agent didn’t like a tweet he wrote about her service.
    Watson and the agent had a disagreement before boarding initially.
    “I was left, you know, very upset, very embarrassed, very humiliated,” Watson said.
    He’s an “A-List” passenger, which means he gets priority boarding. But a gate agent wouldn’t let his 6-year-old and 9-year-old board with him — so they’d all have to wait to board later.
    “In leaving I said, you know, ‘Real nice way to treat an A-list. I’ll be sure to tweet about it,’” he said.
    And that’s just what Watson did.
    “Something to the effect of, ‘Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy @SWA,’” he said.
    Soon after getting to their seats, the family of three was asked to leave the plane.

    “[She said] her safety feels threatened at this point because of what I tweeted,” Watson said.
    Watson’s daughter, Lucy, said she feared for her father.
    “She said ‘I’m going to call the cops,’” Lucy said. “I like thought something bad was going to happen, like my dad being in jail.”
    Watson says at that point, his children started to cry. He doesn’t understand why his family was targeted.
    “There was no use of profanity, there were no threats made. There was nothing other than, you know, a terse exchange between a customer service agent and a customer,” he said.
    Watson says he was forced to delete the tweet.
    “She said, ‘You can’t board the plane unless you delete that tweet,’” Watson said.
    Southwest Airlines sent a statement which confirmed that a customer was removed for a short time and continued on to Minneapolis. They also said the incident is under review.
    In an email to Watson, Southwest apologized for the incident. Because of confidentiality concerns, they could not disclose any disciplinary actions taken.
    Watson says he’s not satisfied with their response. All three received $50 vouchers, but Watson says he won’t fly Southwest Airlines again.

  2. #2
    Lawsuit time.

    Southwest sucks anyway
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  3. #3
    Quote Originally Posted by 4Dragons View Post
    http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2014/0...e-after-tweet/
    All three received $50 vouchers, but Watson says he won’t fly Southwest Airlines again.
    You want the fiddy dollah back?
    When faced with a difficult decision, ask yourself "What would Micon do?", then do the opposite.

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  4. #4
    Quote Originally Posted by 4Dragons View Post
    Watson says he was forced to delete the tweet.
    They went full Streisand. You never go full Streisand.

  5. #5
    So youre telling me that he actually ended up taking the plane to Minnesota and was given $150 for his troubles? What is wrong with that? Sure the customer service rep was a little heavy handed, but I dont see how this is even a news story whatsoever? Does the guy deserve $300K or some shit for some slight irritation?

    * this is all with the caveat that he didnt miss his flight- which im assuming is true by the wording of the article
    It's hilarious that we as a society think everyone can be a dr, a lawyer, an engineer. Some people are just fucking stupid. Why can't we just accept that?

  6. #6
    Quote Originally Posted by jsearles22 View Post
    So youre telling me that he actually ended up taking the plane to Minnesota and was given $150 for his troubles? What is wrong with that? Sure the customer service rep was a little heavy handed, but I dont see how this is even a news story whatsoever? Does the guy deserve $300K or some shit for some slight irritation?

    * this is all with the caveat that he didnt miss his flight- which im assuming is true by the wording of the article
    If Southwest offered a deal where you get a $150 discount in exchange for getting pulled off the plane, threatened and humiliated in front of your kids, I guess you'd spring for that. More power to you I guess. Most of us would pass.

    The worst part of this story is the agent claiming that she felt a threat to her safety when any rational person wouldn't. Obviously she was just getting petty revenge. That's the same sociopathy at work as calling the police on your spouse and claiming he struck you when he didn't, or filing a false rape report. Creepy.

  7. #7
    At first I thought what the fuck.

    Then I saw he tweeted her name and location....that would really piss me the fuck off and I can understand if she legitimately felt threatened because he had to put her fucking name out there.

    I mean if I was like man, worst rapper ever Thomas K works for Bluff tweet tweet you would just be like why does my name have to be involved when I am just doing my fucking job? There is really no reason to ID you unless I feel like being a dick.

  8. #8
    Quote Originally Posted by nunbeater View Post
    At first I thought what the fuck.

    Then I saw he tweeted her name and location....that would really piss me the fuck off and I can understand if she legitimately felt threatened because he had to put her fucking name out there.

    I mean if I was like man, worst rapper ever Thomas K works for Bluff tweet tweet you would just be like why does my name have to be involved when I am just doing my fucking job? There is really no reason to ID you unless I feel like being a dick.
    The point is so that SW can identify the employee and discipline her. When you say threatened, is that what you're talking about? Because the implication is that some rando might drive to the airport and attack her because of a tweet, which is ridiculous. When they're talking about calling the cops, I doubt it's for being a tattler.

    If someone makes a complaint about Bluff videos or podcasts and mentions me by name, it makes no difference. People usually don't, but it doesn't matter because I'm the only person producing that content, so my boss still knows when I fuck up.

  9. #9
    If he wants SW to disciprine her he can just call her boss or the corporate office or some shit. It would just bug the fuck out of me that someone was bringing my name up and my exact work location. Will some rando fuck up your shit over some tweet? Chances are highly unlikely but still, just keep my name out of your twitter feed.

  10. #10
    Quote Originally Posted by nunbeater View Post
    If he wants SW to disciprine her he can just call her boss or the corporate office or some shit. It would just bug the fuck out of me that someone was bringing my name up and my exact work location. Will some rando fuck up your shit over some tweet? Chances are highly unlikely but still, just keep my name out of your twitter feed.
    He was trying to publicly shame her. If she was being an unreasonable twat for no reason then she deserves it. For her to say that felt threatened is a fucking joke and I would demote her to cleaning out the shitters on the plane for it.

  11. #11
    Of course his side of the story is he never raised his voice and was polite and cordial the entire time. More likely is this "A lister" thinks he is gods gift to the earth and when told his children couldnt board with him he went ape shit. The girl was just doing her job, simply enforcing the policy. We dont need to argue the merits of the policy. The guy very well may have been puffing up, leaning over the desk, yelling in her face. Do you really know? Have we heard any evidence to the contrary other than his story?

    And Thomas, I would not volunteer for $150 for that treatment (ok maybe i would if i knew the entire time) but nonetheless what do you feel the appropriate compensation should be? Is he really entitled to $10K now? $5K? You dont seem to think that $150 is enough. Then what, honestly?

    Also how in the fuck did she find the tweet fast enough? Did she really go searching for his name off of the passenger list and find his twitter? I definitely dont agree with tactic.
    It's hilarious that we as a society think everyone can be a dr, a lawyer, an engineer. Some people are just fucking stupid. Why can't we just accept that?

  12. #12
    Quote Originally Posted by jsearles22 View Post
    Also how in the fuck did she find the tweet fast enough? Did she really go searching for his name off of the passenger list and find his twitter? I definitely dont agree with tactic.
    No, she probably looked up the @swa mentions, which probably took less than 7 seconds.
    @CursedDiamonds on twitter

  13. #13
    Quote Originally Posted by Crowe Diddly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jsearles22 View Post
    Also how in the fuck did she find the tweet fast enough? Did she really go searching for his name off of the passenger list and find his twitter? I definitely dont agree with tactic.
    No, she probably looked up the @swa mentions, which probably took less than 7 seconds.
    It will be LoL if we find out she got fired for using Social Media while on the clock.

    Most big companies have a policy against such things.

  14. #14
    Quote Originally Posted by jsearles22 View Post
    Of course his side of the story is he never raised his voice and was polite and cordial the entire time. More likely is this "A lister" thinks he is gods gift to the earth and when told his children couldnt board with him he went ape shit. The girl was just doing her job, simply enforcing the policy.
    You don't know about the dude yet you assume the worst. You don't know about SWA policy concerning travelers with children, but assume the girl was doing her job with no issue. Neither assumption has any merit, really.
    @CursedDiamonds on twitter

  15. #15
    Master of Props Daly's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SrslySirius View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by jsearles22 View Post
    So youre telling me that he actually ended up taking the plane to Minnesota and was given $150 for his troubles? What is wrong with that? Sure the customer service rep was a little heavy handed, but I dont see how this is even a news story whatsoever? Does the guy deserve $300K or some shit for some slight irritation?

    * this is all with the caveat that he didnt miss his flight- which im assuming is true by the wording of the article
    If Southwest offered a deal where you get a $150 discount in exchange for getting pulled off the plane, threatened and humiliated in front of your kids, I guess you'd spring for that. More power to you I guess. Most of us would pass.

    The worst part of this story is the agent claiming that she felt a threat to her safety when any rational person wouldn't. Obviously she was just getting petty revenge. That's the same sociopathy at work as calling the police on your spouse and claiming he struck you when he didn't, or filing a false rape report. Creepy.
    See I dont see it that way. I see it as "take that tweet down now so I don't lose my job or I'm not letting you back on the plane".

    All this "i felt threatened" talk is all bullshit. I cant get into a terminal with a plastic fork. What angle she shooting here? Some random reads the tweet, feel a reason to get some second hand revenge against SWA and specifically this aganet, buy a ticket for a few hundo for later that day or the next day, hope she is working and sneak a weapon past homeland security? I call bullshit.

    I can totally see this guy being a dick, but at the same time if I'm a VIP customer and I got my two small kids with me do me a solid. It's not like I'm asking to board a bus full of kids.

  16. #16
    Quote Originally Posted by jsearles22 View Post
    Of course his side of the story is he never raised his voice and was polite and cordial the entire time. More likely is this "A lister" thinks he is gods gift to the earth and when told his children couldnt board with him he went ape shit. The girl was just doing her job, simply enforcing the policy. We dont need to argue the merits of the policy. The guy very well may have been puffing up, leaning over the desk, yelling in her face. Do you really know? Have we heard any evidence to the contrary other than his story?

    And Thomas, I would not volunteer for $150 for that treatment (ok maybe i would if i knew the entire time) but nonetheless what do you feel the appropriate compensation should be? Is he really entitled to $10K now? $5K? You dont seem to think that $150 is enough. Then what, honestly?

    Also how in the fuck did she find the tweet fast enough? Did she really go searching for his name off of the passenger list and find his twitter? I definitely dont agree with tactic.

  17. #17
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Daly View Post
    Quote Originally Posted by SrslySirius View Post

    If Southwest offered a deal where you get a $150 discount in exchange for getting pulled off the plane, threatened and humiliated in front of your kids, I guess you'd spring for that. More power to you I guess. Most of us would pass.

    The worst part of this story is the agent claiming that she felt a threat to her safety when any rational person wouldn't. Obviously she was just getting petty revenge. That's the same sociopathy at work as calling the police on your spouse and claiming he struck you when he didn't, or filing a false rape report. Creepy.
    See I dont see it that way. I see it as "take that tweet down now so I don't lose my job or I'm not letting you back on the plane".

    All this "i felt threatened" talk is all bullshit. I cant get into a terminal with a plastic fork. What angle she shooting here? Some random reads the tweet, feel a reason to get some second hand revenge against SWA and specifically this aganet, buy a ticket for a few hundo for later that day or the next day, hope she is working and sneak a weapon past homeland security? I call bullshit.

    I can totally see this guy being a dick, but at the same time if I'm a VIP customer and I got my two small kids with me do me a solid. It's not like I'm asking to board a bus full of kids.


    BTW, most airlines will let you board in the first group if you have young children. It's not in the official policy, but it is a form of "passengers needing special assistance" that they generally allow. (His kids might have been a bit old for that, being 6 and 9, but definitely if he was a first-boarder VIP himself, it was a bitch move to make him wait because the kids weren't.)

    This is just another example of Southwest being shitty to people, which they have become somewhat infamous for.

    They also booted off a girl for having a skirt that was "too short": http://www.today.com/id/20638479/ns/.../#.U9FEdfldV7s

    They also kicked off Kevin Smith for being too fat and taking up too much room (though I see some merit in that one): http://www.people.com/people/article...344142,00.html

    In this case, removing him from the plane didn't even make sense. Even if that gate agent wanted to insist that she was in danger (she wasn't), the tweet wasn't going to cause ANY safety hazards for those on the plane. So at best he was removed for punitive/extortionary reasons. If Southwest really had an issue, they should have warned him that they would take legal action against him and/or call law enforcement, but not remove him from the plane, as he clearly wasn't a danger to anyone or the flight.

    The reality is that Southwest is just a shitty company. I experienced this firsthand when they outright cheated me out of $100.



    Even worse, when they got tired of dealing with me about it, rather than just telling me "no", they circulated an internal memo simply not to return my calls about it, while still promising me a call back from the department that would ultimately decide this refund's fate. It's not like I couldn't accept their decision and kept calling. They were promising me returned phone calls about it, and then secretly circulating instructions never to call me. Really shitty.

    When I finally got through by submitting a call back request under a phony name, one of their VPs actually got on the phone and yelled at me. Seriously. He yelled. He also wouldn't listen to reason and just shouted over me every time I raised a point he couldn't answer.

    Just amazingly unprofessional and awful.

    This was after THREE of their own customer service reps had promised me that I wouldn't get charged this $100 and gave me wrong instructions that ultimately ended up costing me that money.

    Even the VP himself admitted "That department doesn't always have the right info", yet wouldn't make it right.

    I have boycotted Southwest ever since, and these stories just further cement my belief that they are the most arrogant and obnoxious of US airlines -- and that's saying a lot.

    Now, I'm not a huge fan of the other US airlines. They all have problems. There are plenty of horror stories about them. But notice that "XXXX kicked off the plane for YYYYY" always seems to be about Southwest. The few times it doesn't involve Southwest, it's a super-obvious example of someone being threatening/drunk/belligerent/refusing to follow directions where they are actually committing a crime by their behavior. But you don't see United or American kicking people off for having a short skirt or for tweeting something critical of the airline employees.

    Hell, when I was on American during the pilots' strike in 2012, my flight got canceled due to a phony mechanical problem (I knew it was phony because it proceeded EXACTLY in the manner of so many others at the time, according to blogs all over the net), and I tweeted out exactly what was happening, accusing the pilots and maintenance staff of making it all up. If it was Southwest, I bet they would have kicked me off for that.

  18. #18
    Owner Dan Druff's Avatar
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    Regarding what his compensation should be, first off, he had 3 passengers, so the compensation was only $50 per person, not $150.

    Even when people VOLUNTARILY get off the plane, they get far more than that in most cases.

    But voluntarily is very different. Being unable to fly as expected often has severe financial/personal consequences, which can either run in the thousands of dollars or wreak havoc upon personal plans. It is reasonable that the airline shouldn't be responsible for that in the event of mechanical failures or weather issues, but when they forcibly remove someone out of spite, YES they should be responsible for every penny of inconvenience they caused, PLUS punitive damages.

    The airlines actually have a legal duty to provide transportation as promised, except in situations beyond their control, or where the passenger is committing a crime on board and/or not cooperating with a flight attendant's instructions. (Alec Baldwin's ejection, which was correct, was a good example. He wouldn't turn off his phone when instructed, and was properly removed for doing that.)

    When flights overbook and ask for volunteers to get off, they're doing it because of a legal requirement to make good on all tickets they sell. They can't simply say, "Tough luck, we overbooked, you don't get to fly." They have to either book the passenger on a similar flight (leaving within a very short time of the original flight), or incentivize passengers to voluntarily get off in exchange for compensation.

    I flew on December 21, and I saw Delta pull something very manipulative. They oversold and had like 5 people they needed to get off. Rather than offer a few hundred bucks to 5 volunteers and be done with it, they tried to pull at people's heart strings by saying, "We have 5 passengers who really need to see their family for the holidays, and we are looking for a few big-hearted people to get off and fly in a few hours, plus get $50 Delta credit."

    And I was like, "$50? LOL!"

    Delta wasn't doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. They were doing it because they had to, and they would have offered an increasing amount (up to several hundred) if everyone held firm on this. However, I think 5 well-meaning but naive people actually got off for that lame $50. This was atypical, as most airlines just offer $200-$300 up front, but Delta tried for the $50 with the holidays/family sob story, and it worked.

    Sonny actually told a story where they had to bump a passenger, and no one would go for it. He ended up getting $1200 by volunteering to get off. This was an international flight, though.

  19. #19
    Quote Originally Posted by Dan Druff View Post
    Regarding what his compensation should be, first off, he had 3 passengers, so the compensation was only $50 per person, not $150.

    Even when people VOLUNTARILY get off the plane, they get far more than that in most cases.

    But voluntarily is very different. Being unable to fly as expected often has severe financial/personal consequences, which can either run in the thousands of dollars or wreak havoc upon personal plans. It is reasonable that the airline shouldn't be responsible for that in the event of mechanical failures or weather issues, but when they forcibly remove someone out of spite, YES they should be responsible for every penny of inconvenience they caused, PLUS punitive damages.

    The airlines actually have a legal duty to provide transportation as promised, except in situations beyond their control, or where the passenger is committing a crime on board and/or not cooperating with a flight attendant's instructions. (Alec Baldwin's ejection, which was correct, was a good example. He wouldn't turn off his phone when instructed, and was properly removed for doing that.)

    When flights overbook and ask for volunteers to get off, they're doing it because of a legal requirement to make good on all tickets they sell. They can't simply say, "Tough luck, we overbooked, you don't get to fly." They have to either book the passenger on a similar flight (leaving within a very short time of the original flight), or incentivize passengers to voluntarily get off in exchange for compensation.

    I flew on December 21, and I saw Delta pull something very manipulative. They oversold and had like 5 people they needed to get off. Rather than offer a few hundred bucks to 5 volunteers and be done with it, they tried to pull at people's heart strings by saying, "We have 5 passengers who really need to see their family for the holidays, and we are looking for a few big-hearted people to get off and fly in a few hours, plus get $50 Delta credit."

    And I was like, "$50? LOL!"

    Delta wasn't doing this out of the goodness of their hearts. They were doing it because they had to, and they would have offered an increasing amount (up to several hundred) if everyone held firm on this. However, I think 5 well-meaning but naive people actually got off for that lame $50. This was atypical, as most airlines just offer $200-$300 up front, but Delta tried for the $50 with the holidays/family sob story, and it worked.

    Sonny actually told a story where they had to bump a passenger, and no one would go for it. He ended up getting $1200 by volunteering to get off. This was an international flight, though.
    The part everyone ITT is missing is that the guy got back on the plane and went about his merry way after deleting the tweet. He wasnt detained, nothing. He didnt miss his flight. So what is the dollar sum he should expect for this harrassment? And again everyone is assuming the guy was a peach which i find very hard to believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by TODD is God
    But notice that "XXXX kicked off the plane for YYYYY" always seems to be about Southwest. The few times it doesn't involve Southwest, it's a super-obvious example of someone being threatening/drunk/belligerent/refusing to follow directions where they are actually committing a crime by their behavior. But you don't see United or American kicking people off for having a short skirt or for tweeting something critical of the airline employees.
    And Druff I think your SW bias is showing up hard here. All airlines do have problems, just like any other business in which you have to service people as your primary revenue.
    http://www.shortlist.com/shortlists/...culous-reasons 1/8 is SW so that kind of flies in the face of your "stats" that says only SW has problems with this type of issue
    Last edited by jsearles22; 07-24-2014 at 10:38 AM.
    It's hilarious that we as a society think everyone can be a dr, a lawyer, an engineer. Some people are just fucking stupid. Why can't we just accept that?

  20. #20
    Quote Originally Posted by jsearles22 View Post
    The part everyone ITT is missing is that the guy got back on the plane and went about his merry way after deleting the tweet. He wasnt detained, nothing. He didnt miss his flight. So what is the dollar sum he should expect for this harrassment? And again everyone is assuming the guy was a peach which i find very hard to believe.

    Quote Originally Posted by TODD is God
    But notice that "XXXX kicked off the plane for YYYYY" always seems to be about Southwest. The few times it doesn't involve Southwest, it's a super-obvious example of someone being threatening/drunk/belligerent/refusing to follow directions where they are actually committing a crime by their behavior. But you don't see United or American kicking people off for having a short skirt or for tweeting something critical of the airline employees.
    And Druff I think your SW bias is showing up hard here. All airlines do have problems, just like any other business in which you have to service people as your primary revenue.
    http://www.shortlist.com/shortlists/...culous-reasons 1/8 is SW so that kind of flies in the face of your "stats" that says only SW has problems with this type of issue
    Doesn't matter if he was a peach or not, the agent has zero authority to pull him and his kids off the plane without a legit reason, zero authority to force him to delete tweets or threaten him, and for SW's sake should not act like a fucking cunt. SW should have to pay I'd say mid-5 figures as punishment.
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