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Inappropriate Contact Initiated by Boarding Agent

Explorer C

Also sent to SWA via email.   I hope quick and appropriate action is taken.    


While boarding flight 1505 in Las Vegas this morning, I experienced an inappropriate, unwelcome, and dangerous bodily contact initiated by the boarding agent. This agent began boarding of the flight and called for persons in boarding group A 1-30. Partially due to her failure to explain the boarding process, several people in the B group began lining up in the same space needed by those of us in A 1-30. As a result, several of us had to make our way around the people who were already lining up…even though the agent still had not started boarding the second boarding group. As I approached the podium and the A 1-30 group was still boarding, the agent picked up her microphone so I proceeded to attempt to scan my boarding pass on the scanner. The agent then aggressively slapped and pushed my hand away from the scanner. This was so aggressive and caught me so much off guard that I actually dropped my phone onto the scanner.  Fortunately, the phone was not damaged or broken, or I’d be asking SWA  for an expensive repair or replacement.   She then aggressively said “which boarding group are you”, as she picked up my personal property (without permission) and looked at the phone. When she saw my boarding number of A23, she said “Oh” and gave the phone back to me. I said to her “Yes, that’s why I was scanning my boarding pass”. She then aggressively pointed at my face and said “YOU wait for me!” She then scanned my pass with a different scanner.


As you will find out, I am an A List passenger with SWA and have been for many many years. I’m also a professional pilot and own a Federal Air Carrier. This unwelcome and inappropriate behavior puts all of us in this business at risk. While I understand this one persons behavior does not necessarily reflect everyone on this flight or in our industry, many folks in the traveling public do not understand. This overly aggressive exercise of authority is part of the increasingly aggressive incidents that have injured flight crews in recent years. This is not the first person on the SWA team that I’ve witnessed use their perceived authority to bully passengers. Some of these passengers bully back with bad consequences for all of us. While I do not condone that “bully back” behavior, I certainly feel those of us working in this industry have no business contributing to the problem. This gate agent s a poor representative of SWA, of our industry, and of the crews she works with. I hope she is corrected, closely monitored, and is invited to leave our industry if she chooses not to reform her inappropriate behavior.


Re: Inappropriate Contact Initiated by Boarding Agent

Aviator A

I mean yes sometimes they have to make an announcement during boarding I just wait for the acknowledgment from the ops agent before I scan now was she right for slapping your phone no but the best thing you can do is report using the online form as you already did and hopefully they can take the appropriate action. Did the agent possibly say hang on a second as she was picking up her microphone and maybe it was missed because it wasn’t clear? I’m not making excuses for her actions just guessing at what could have happened