Mom Of Teenager Traveling Alone Calls Out Southwest Airlines For Abrasive Treatment

A mother took to Twitter to call out Southwest Airlines for their treatment of her young teenager traveling solo for the first time. She claims a Southwest gate agent yelled at her 13 year old son because he wasn’t following proper boarding procedure – that he was yelled at for queueing up during ‘family boarding’.

On Southwest the order in which you board determines when you’ll be able to choose your seat. It’s catch as catch can, rather than assigned seating. So boarding early – earlier than the number on your boarding pass – is a real benefit if you want an aisle, a window, or a seat closer to the front.

In the video the mother posts she can be heard complaining to the agent that he yelled at her (rather than at her son). And the video doesn’t show any actual yelling.

@SouthwestAir shame on you. My 13 y o son was flying alone for his first time due the holidays and gate agent Samuel @ @FlyTPA flt 2675 to DC refused to let him on during family boarding and yelled at my son to get back in line. Here’s a video when i asked his last name

— Tanya Kara (@TanyaKara) November 20, 2022

Southwest Airlines family boarding is for families with children 6 or younger. Unaccompanied minor service is only available up to age 11, unlike some airlines it isn’t optional for children older than that. A 13 year old is treated as any other passenger on Southwest.

She says another agents helped the child onto the plane early, even though that wasn’t proper procedure. So they got something they weren’t entitled to.

The lady at the counter at c31 @FlyTPA @SouthwestAir couldn't believe he wouldn't let me 13 year old on so she took my son’s pass and personally walked him on and made sure Samuel let him on. Samuel didn't even look at us and just let him on.

— Tanya Kara (@TanyaKara) November 20, 2022

The mother says she was being laughed at by employees, which isn’t great customer service if true. But she was standing far away based on the photos, so she may not know what was actually being said, and the employees might reasonably have been uncomfortable over the whole situation, too.

@SouthwestAir employee suggested I speak to a supervisor. When supervisor Adrien came I told him what happened. I stayed behind crying calling my husband & i saw them talking & LAUGHING about my situation because they didn’t know I was there! Shame on you @FlyTPA @SouthwestAir

— Tanya Kara (@TanyaKara) November 20, 2022

The woman’s twitter account identifies herself as ‘building a social media business’ and what better way than going to social media to complain about an airline’s treatment of a child?

If an airline gate agent yelled at a 13 year old in the absence of appalling behavior, or threat to safety, I’d be concerned. Here the child was accompanied by their mother. Taking a firm tone with her, when not following boarding instructions, doesn’t seem nearly as out of line.

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