A Minnesota dad frustrated with a Southwest gate attendant in Denver whom he thought was rude decided to let the world know about his experience by tweeting about it.
He’s flies Southwest frequently, and as such he has status to board early.
So on Sunday, he says he wanted his kids, ages 9 and 6, to board early with him–something he told ABC News is normally a non issue.
But this time was different. The gate agent would not hear of it.
“I am not trying to game the system,” Watson, a marketing executive, told ABC News. “I’m not going to leave my kids alone to board. That doesn’t make sense.”
When the gate agent told Watson she can’t let his children board with him, Watson said he asked the agent: “Is this a new policy?”
Watson said the agent responded: “I am not going to change my mind.”
He says the gate agent asked him and his two children to wait until the rest of the A-list members boarded.
“We waited, which was fine,” Watson said. “I thought she was very rude and wanted to complain to customer service, so I asked her: ‘Can I get your last name?’”
“She told me: ‘You don’t need my last name for anything,’” Watson said. “I told her: ‘Real nice way to treat an A-list member.’”
He told ABC News: “I tweeted something like, ‘Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy @SWA,’” he said.
As he and his children settled in, he heard his name over the loud speaker that he needed to get off the plane.
So the three of them did.
“She [the agent] said I was a safety threat,” Watson said. “I was shocked. There was no use of profanity, there were no threats made. How was I a safety threat?”
Then he says he was told by that same gate agent that he needed to delete his tweet. He says the agent threatened to call police if he didn’t.
“I was taken aback by the situation. My two kids were crying,” Watson said. “She watched me as I deleted the tweet.”
Only then he says was he allowed to go back on the plane.
“I was left, you know, very upset, very embarrassed, very humiliated,” Watson told WCCO in Minneapolis.
“I have been loyal to Southwest,” Watson told ABC. “I was really upset that Southwest has such rude front-line staff members.”
Southwest has offered Watson a $50 voucher for his trouble, he said, but he plans to donate it to charity.