A mother who gave her daughter the name “Abcde” is upset because a Southwest Airlines gate agent at John Wayne Airport in California mocked the girl’s name, not only in person but also on social media. Abcde Redford is an epileptic, so she and her mother Traci always board before others, and a few weeks ago that triggered the incident.
Traci Redford said the agent not only mocked her five-year-old daughter’s name, which is pronounced “Ab-city,” in front of the young girl but also took a picture of her boarding pass and posted it on social media so others could make fun of it, too.
Redford claimed, "The gate agent started laughing, pointing at me and my daughter, talking to other employees. So I turned around and said, 'Hey if I can hear you, my daughter can hear you, so I'd appreciate if you'd just stop.'"
Traci and Abcde Redford and her daughter were bound for El Paso, Texas, where they make their home. Traci Redford filed a complaint with the airline.
Traci Redford recalled, "While I was sitting there, she took a picture of my boarding pass and chose to post it on social media, mocking my daughter. It was actually brought to my attention by somebody who had seen it on Facebook and reported it to Southwest Airlines. And after two weeks of doing a formal complaint, Southwest hadn't done anything.”
Southwest Airlines stated to ABC7:
We extend our sincere apology to the family. We take great pride in extending our Southwest Hospitality to all of our Customers, which includes living by the Golden Rule and treating every individual with respect, in person or online. The post is not indicative of the care, respect, and civility we expect from all of our Employees. We have followed up with the Employee involved, and while we do not disclose personnel actions publicly, we are using this as an opportunity to reinforce our policies and emphasize our expectations for all Employees.
One might think that naming a child “Abcde” would be unique, but as Vocativ reports, “According to the Social Security Administration database, 328 babies, all girls, have been named Abcde in the United States. Since 1990, we’ve had Abcdes born every year except 1991, 1993, 1994, 1995 and 1996. The name was given to an all-time high of 32 babies in 2009, though the number has slightly declined each year since then. The median age of Abcdes is 7.5, and all but 11 of them are minors.”
In 2014, a 7-year-old autistic girl named Abcde and her service dog, a pit bull named Pup-Cake, wanted to meet a mall Santa and waited for 30 minutes, but the Santa wouldn’t meet the girl because he feared the dog.
Traci Redford decided to make the experience educational for her daughter. She told ABC7, "She said 'Mom, why is she laughing at my name? And I said not everyone is nice and not everyone is going to be nice and it's unfortunate.'"