Man Kicked Off Flight With His 2 Young Daughters Because of a Tweet He Sent

southwestSometimes practicing freedom of speech can get you in a lot of hot water -- particularly if you decide to publicly rage against a person who says she is just doing her job. A father in Denver was flying on Southwest Airlines to Minneapolis with his daughters, ages 6 and 9, when he and his family were reportedly kicked off the flight because he tweeted about a ticket agent who he said was very rude and disrespectful to him.

Duff Watson says he was an A-list member of the airline and, as such, should have been able to board the plane before other passengers. But when an agent gave him a difficult time about it, he took to Twitter and expressed his anger -- by including the agent's first name, last initial, and the gate number where she was working in his post. His tweet prompted the airline to pull him and his daughters off the flight, saying he was posing a "safety threat."

Watson, who says he has been traveling with Southwest for several years, claims an agent wouldn't allow him to board the plane with his children and that he didn't want to leave his young girls to board alone. When he questioned her about whether this was a "new policy," he says the agent wouldn't answer him and instead told him to step aside so she could help other A-list members.

Watson says he wanted to complain to customer service about the agent, but that she refused to give him her last name. Instead, he says, he resorted to Twitter, where he posted the following: "Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy @SWA."

Well, dad and his daughters were ultimately allowed to board the plane, but not long after they did, Watson heard his name called upon the loudspeaker. A flight attendant reportedly instructed him and his girls to get off the plane immediately. The agent claimed Watson was a "safety threat," and he says he and his family were not allowed back on the plane until he deleted his tweet.

I can understand why this dad was upset -- traveling with kids can be stressful enough. He says his daughters were crying after the incident. Since we weren't there, it's a case of Watson's word versus the agent's word. We aren't sure exactly what he said or what she said, so there's no way of telling whether she was treating him in an unfair way. It's also unclear why he wasn't allowed to board early.

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But here's what is clear: dad shouldn't have tweeted this agent's name and where she works. I wouldn't go as far as to say that he was posing a security threat, but it wasn't fair of him to expose her in such a way. How would he feel if someone tweeted to the universe a rant against one of his daughters and included her name and where she can be found? It's not okay.

Southwest reportedly issued a formal apology to the man and included a $50 voucher, which Watson says he plans to donate to a charity.

Do you think this dad was treated unfairly being kicked off a flight because of an angry tweet he posted?


Image via Kevin Dooley/Flickr



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nonmember avatar Nicole

Sounds like someone who is mad that his "A-List" position couldn't get him what he wanted.


As a rule, I believe that most parents want their children with them when they fly. SWA has been getting nastier and nastier it seems.

youth... youthfulsoul

That tweet seems harmless. Safety threat? please. How did they even know is what I'd like know. Awfully fast for them to see the tweet and reply. I'd have deleted it and re-tweeted it the minute I landed. A holes.

Elizabeth Coshatt

@Nicole it doesn't sound like he was mad because he couldn't get what he wanted. He complied by the sounds of it. He just didn't like the woman's rudeness.

Einyn Einyn

He sounds like an entitled twat.

For people that aren't southwest a list passengers I can explain why he wasn't allowed to board - everyone in your party must be A list if they wish to priority board. Obviously his daughters weren't. They would've gone in the next priority board. I'm A list but stay with friends who aren't so we can sit together. It's how it works. He's being an entitled twat and tweeting someone's name and gate number is ridiculous. Handle it in a mature way, especially if you're a parent. Why not just calmly wait it out like normal people do? As for the agent, who knows if she was rude. He sounds like an entitled twat so maybe she snapped.

nonmember avatar Blush

Actually it was the employee who retaliated and had him pulled off the plane. It was her way of trying to fix a PR issue by annoying an already vocal customer. She was trying to think above her pay grade and now it is national news, back fired on her completely.


What an idiot. Why would you put that information on the internet?

00NoW... 00NoWay00

I recently had a very rude ticket person at SWA in BWI. My husband and I both were in shock at what a bitch the woman was. We had a simple question about a delayed flight and she treated us both like we were complete morons.

IKnow... IKnow0101

I don't see how he felt he was entitled. That's every one favorite word. For all we know he asked a simple question and the agent was rude. I have experience terrible customer service lately that you are almost afraid to ask anyone a question. Now I wouldn't tweet about because I don't see the point but I would definitely call and make a complaint. These airlines feel they can treat you any type of a way and you can't question them because they will label you a threat. It's a power control issue.

TinyT... TinyTootiePie

So many rude stupid people scattered everywhere. Ugh. I deal with people like this often. Like when you call the handiman's office and the secretary doesn't even let you finish your last sentence before she cuts you off saying "ok, thanks, bye!" and then when you ask not to be hung up on they act like you just cussed them out! WTF?!?! Or when you go throw your trash and recycling out in your designated bins and realize they're FULL...with the neighbors' trash?!?!?! And they try to blame it on someone else after obviously trying to avoid you?!? Or when you go to a place of business and ask questions/for info and they look you up and down like you just asked them when was the last time they exercised, and instead of helping and informing you, they say whatever to get you out of their hair and suck at their job..... The list is long. Ugh.

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