A Texas mother is calling out a Southwest Airlines employee who she said mocked her 5-year-old daughter’s name and then posted a picture of the small child’s boarding pass on social media.
Traci Redford told ABC affiliate KABC her daughter’s name is Abcde, which is pronounced “ab-si-dee.”
Redford said the incident occurred several weeks ago when she and her daughter were preparing to board a flight from Santa Ana, Calif., home to El Paso, Tex. Redford told the station that a gate agent at California’s John Wayne Airport saw Abcde’s name and started pointing, laughing and talking to other employees about Redford and her child.
“So I turned around and just said, ‘Hey, I can hear you, so if I can hear you, my daughter can, too. I’d appreciate if you’d just stop,’” she told the station.
She added: “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.”
Redford could not immediately be found for comment Thursday morning by The Washington Post.
Southwest Airlines has since apologized, saying that the social media post is “not indicative of the care, respect, and civility” that the airline requires from its employees.
“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,” a spokesman for the airline said in a statement. “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.”
Although Abcde is an unusual name, it’s not unheard of. In 2014, Vocativ reported that over the past three decades, 328 baby girls have been given that name, 32 of whom were born in 2009. But when the name is entered into the Social Security Administration’s database of popular baby names, it states that “Abcde is not in the top 1000 names for any year of birth beginning with 2000."
Nicknames include Ce-Ce, Sidy, Abby, Xyzzie, Aebi and Seedy, according to BabyNameWizard.com.
For what it’s worth, the name Abcde seems to be a primarily Hawaiian phenomenon. SSA data indicates that all five of the Abcdes named in 1990 were born there, which is especially interesting, considering that the modern Hawaiian alphabet doesn’t include the consonants b, c or d. A little googling reveals that an Abcde Zoller plays soccer for the University of Hawaii at Hilo, and an Abcde de Coito teaches Zumba classes in the Aloha state. NameCandy’s Name Lady blogger suggests the name may also be relatively common in New Mexico and among Latino families.