Dad's Tweet Gets Family Kicked Off Southwest Airlines Flight

Duff Watson says he paid an unreasonable price for criticizing customer service


You are now free to move about the country, but only if you delete that nasty Tweet.

A Twin Cities man is hopping mad at Southwest Airlines after he and his two children were temporarily removed from a flight on Sunday after he criticized the airline’s customer service on Twitter – although Southwest says there’s more to the story.

As an “A list” passenger on Southwest, Duff Watson is entitled to priority boarding. But after being told that his 9-year-old and 6-year-old wouldn’t be able to board with him, he vented his frustrations on Twitter.

He wrote “something to the effect of, ‘Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy @SWA,’ ” Watson tells WCCO in Minneapolis.

Soon after the family of three boarded, they were asked to leave the plane. The Southwest employee said “her safety feels threatened at this point because of what I Tweeted,” Watson said.

The family was eventually allowed to reboard and fly from Denver to Minneapolis, but only after Watson deleted the Tweet. “I was left, you know, very upset, very embarrassed, very humiliated,” Watson says.

Southwest, however, says it wasn’t just about the Tweet. The airline says the argument between Watson and the employee escalated aboard the aircraft, and that the airline removed Watson to resolve the dispute away from the other passengers.

“We are thoroughly investigating the situation,” Southwest wrote in a public statement online. “We have reached out to the Customer and offered vouchers as a gesture of goodwill.”

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