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Family removed from Southwest flight over tweet about rude agent, dad says

- The Washington Times - Wednesday, July 23, 2014

A Minnesota father says he and his family were asked to deplane a Southwest Airlines flight because of a negative tweet he posted online about one of the airline's agents.

Duff Watson said he and a Southwest agent had a disagreement before he and his two kids boarded a plane Sunday from Denver to Minneapolis, a local CBS affiliate reported.

Mr. Watson is an A-list passenger, but his children are not, so the agent would not let them all board together.

"I was left, you know, very upset, very embarrassed, very humiliated," Mr. Watson told a local CBS affiliate. "In leaving I said, you know, 'Real nice way to treat an A-list. I'll be sure to tweet about it.'"

Mr. Watson told the station that he tweeted, "Something to the effect of, 'Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy @SWA.'"

Soon after getting to their seats, the family of three was asked to leave the plane. The agent said her safety felt threatened, Mr. Watson said.

"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," the father told the station.

He said they were removed from the plane and he was forced to delete the tweet before re-boarding.

"She said, 'You can't board the plane unless you delete that tweet,'" Mr. Watson said.

Southwest Airlines confirmed to the station that a customer was removed briefly before continuing on to Minneapolis. The carrier said the incident is under review.

Mr. Watson said Southwest apologized to him in an email and offered his family $50 vouchers, but he said that gesture won't keep him as a customer.

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