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Racist gate agent

New Arrival

I was recently on a flight from Denver to Ontario, Ca last weekend, and my family and I, including my husband when I told him, as well as several people that I spoke to on the plane, felt that the boarding agent was very racist towards my family and I. First off I was traveling with my two daughters as well as my elderly mother. Normally my husband accompanies us on trips, and deals with checking in our luggage and tickets etc, but due to work, he had to meet us out a day later. So being that this was my first time doing this by myself, I got a little confused. The Plane next to us was boarding at the same time as we were, so It was a little bit difficult for me to differentiate between our flight and the flight directly next to us, as both planes were also traveling to the same area. The gate agent that was boarding the other flight had said that anyone with a FB  which stood for family boarding could board, so we lined up. The agent at our gate was very rude, and told us that we could not board because we were not FB. I showed him my ticket that clearly had FB on it, and he replied with that FB boarding was for the flight next to us. So I said ok no worries, not a big deal, and we waited on the side until it was our turn to board. A few minutes later another gate agent who was definitely at our gate, because I was standing right next to her by the counter, announced that our flight was not full, and so If you are a family member, or traveling with someone that has a different boarding pass number than you, such as they are in group B, and you are in group C, that it was ok to board together as long as no one had a problem with it. This was a relief for my elderly mother and I to hear, because she checked into the flight later then us, and while we were in group B, she was supposed to be one of the first to board in group C, but that did not happen. She was also very stressed out about putting her luggage up on the rack, or possibly having low blood sugars as she is a diabetic. She was also stressed about not being able to sit next to or near us so that I could retrieve a snack from her bag for her, in the event that she did have a low. She also has trouble walking as she broke her neck last Spring. So when It came time for our group to board, one of the gentlemen that was ahead of us in our boarding group, which was now apparently group B according to our tickets, told us we could go ahead of him. The rude boarding agent told him that no we could not board, and that we had to wait for our exact number. He then got racist when he told me that my white privilege does not give me the right to board before everyone else. I was stunned, seriously wow! I may look white, red hair, and hazel eyes, but I am very much Hispanic, and my children very much look and are also Hispanic. So while this is not the point, and I should not have to explain myself, just wow!  I nor my family was not attempting to board in front of anyone or cut them off, that is just bad manners, and rude. The boarding agent that was racist and very rude towards us is a heavy set African American man. With everything going on in the world recently, this broke my heart, as well as I had to explain to my daughters who have unfortunately experienced their share of raciest behavior before, that this was very unprofessional of him to do, as well as should not have said that. On top of all of this, as my younger daughter and I were boarding the plane, my older daughter went ahead of us as we were staying in line order as he told to do, when this man, the boarding agent, accused my daughter and I of having the same name and boarding pass, and that he had to double check everything before we were able to get on the plane, really! How was this possible! My daughter and I have very different names that do not even start with the same letter. We would have also not have been able to print out our tickets, or get through security if this was the case. This also freaked out my older daughter as she was on the plane at this point and did not know if we were going to be able to board the plane on or not. Upon us finally getting on, the gate agent proceeded to make my elderly mom who also looks white, not only go into the last boarding group, but he made sure that she went last, even though she did not have the last boarding number, and once again, a few people offered to let her go ahead of them, however the boarding agent was not having it. What happened to we had to line up in order? I guess that only applied to my family. My family and I fly often, and have flown on several different airlines over the past few years, and we have never been treated like this. SW used to be one of our favorite airlines however after this incident, however, now I am not sure if we will ever fly on this airline again. Also with cameras being everywhere in the airport, especially near the boarding area of the plane, I am sure that SW airlines will have no problem verifying this unfortunate situation. Several people on our flight told me that I should report this incident to the media, and blast this employee who also refused to give me his name, but I am waiting a couple of days to see if SW ignores this incident and sweeps it under the rug, before I let my social influencer daughter, and my news reporter brother- in-law unleash on them or not.

10 REPLIES 10
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Re: Racist gate agent

Top Contributor
Solution

I'm sorry to hear of your recent experience with the gate agent when boarding your recent flight. 

 

Because this is primarily a customer to customer forum I would Contact Customer Relations so they can investigate the issue and see what happened and take appropriate actions where needed. 

 

-Blake

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Re: Racist gate agent

Active Member

This happens for two reasons. 

There are no consequences. Gate agents, flight attendants, etc., can treat people as badly as they like and SWA does nothing to correct this behavior. 

And, people in general lack the courage to stand up against this kind of behavior. God forbid you miss your flight for trying to defend an elderly person against this abuse. 

SWA, and all other businesses will continue to do nothing. It’s up to each of us to put a stop to this kind of thing. Speak up. Stand up. Don’t be afraid. 

Yeah you might get kicked off the flight. And maybe, hopefully one day soon, when that happens, everyone else on the flight will get and walk off as well. 

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Re: Racist gate agent

Top Contributor

@ffflyer wrote:

 

There are no consequences. Gate agents, flight attendants, etc., can treat people as badly as they like and SWA does nothing to correct this behavior. 

1) You have no way of knowing that. Why? Because companies (including Southwest) do not advertise disciplinary actions, if any, that occur.

 

 2) Southwest prides itself on it's highly regarded customer relations - which includes airport interactions. It has the highest customer satisfaction score of any airline in America. It wants to keep that distinction. I can assure you that there are consequences for inappropriate behavior. You just won't hear about them - just as you don't hear about employee disciplinary actions at Apple, IBM or Google

 

 

 

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Re: Racist gate agent

Active Member

Totally agree with DFWSkier in response to ffflyer?  You would have no access to if, how, and how many SWA employee has or haven't been disciplined, or even fired for their actions.  Heck, I've worked for the same organization for over 25 years and I have no idea within my own employment any of this information or access to that data, and I'm pretty nosey.  I'm not implying to the original poster that this didn't happen,  nor am I taking it lightly.  If you have feelings enough to join a forum, come on here and post this, then you should feel strong enough to follow through with a complaint.  If what you say is true, I wouldn't want to encounter this employee down the road somewhere.   

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Re: Racist gate agent

New Arrival

You can add Southwest Gate handlers in Orlando & Phoenix to the racist list as well.

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Re: Racist gate agent

Top Contributor

@SM7 wrote:

You can add Southwest Gate handlers in Orlando & Phoenix to the racist list as well.


And why is that?

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Racist gate agent

Active Member

@SM7 between this profile name and the others you use, you really have an axe to grind with SWA.  I don't know how they wronged you, but I know this happens in life.  There are places I will never do business with ever again, but I've said what I've had to say and have moved on.  I do have better things to do than create multiple user sign-in names on a forum to grinding that axe.  

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Re: Racist gate agent

New Arrival

@SWFlyer007 why truth hurts you? I have only one username & I will continue to post here repeatedly to expose the deceptive companion pass boarding policy from Southwest corporate, bad attitude & racist attitude of the gate attendants. I know when they abuse their authority and ppower (who is going to argue with them when they can literally kick you off the flight for anything) in the name of so called "selectively applicable Rules" , and this is not the first time they did this. 

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Re: Racist gate agent

Top Contributor

@SM7 wrote:

@SWFlyer007why truth hurts you? I have only one username & I will continue to post here repeatedly to expose the deceptive companion pass boarding policy from Southwest corporate, bad attitude & racist attitude of the gate attendants. I know when they abuse their authority and ppower (who is going to argue with them when they can literally kick you off the flight for anything) in the name of so called "selectively applicable Rules" , and this is not the first time they did this. 


 

While I can't speak to any claims of racist behavior, I'll point out -- again -- that the "selectively applied rules" worked, apparently, to your benefit most of the time, and that -- to be clear -- you were breaking the rules. It does however seem doubtful that the cause of the agent enforcing the rules (the situation that has caused your anger) was because of "racism."