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Complaint about flight attendant on Flight 1944 June 13, 2021

Explorer C

June 13, 2021, Southwest Flight 1944 Phoenix to Austin:


Many maskless customers were in the waiting room; flight was delayed 35 minutes due to bad weather on incoming flight.

My husband asked the flight attendant at the front of the plane if he should press the call button if a person next to him is maskless – she responded yes; he said nothing else and walked to a seat in the back of the plane.

We were sitting there reading quietly when another flight attendant (wearing a mask but appeared to be in her 40’s, 5’3” or so, and light brown hair not quite shoulder length) came over to us and in a very loud voice announced to us that they would not enforce mask requirements on the flight and that we had better not “shame” any maskless passengers or press the call button. We were flabbergasted, since we had done absolutely nothing to provoke this. I commented that there is a federal mandate, and we were feeling like her berating us was in fact “shaming” passengers who were the ones following the rules. She repeated her shaming comment in a very loud voice and then said that since we were from Texas we should be used to being around maskless people. She then asked if we were done with the discussion and okay with this. We replied that we were not really okay with her comments and attitude but left it at that.

About five minutes later, while we were quietly reading, she reappeared with a manager from the airport, and we were asked to leave the plane. When we asked what we had done, she replied that my husband had threatened to shame other passengers and had pressed the call button. Both comments were totally false. We had not complained about any passengers or pressed the call button. The flight attendant began making accusations as soon as she came to our seats, and very loudly.

We expressed our outrage at this treatment and left the plane with the manager, who was polite and clearly felt put in the middle. He explained that if the flight attendant made a complaint to the captain, he is going to accept her story (threats to shame passengers and pressing call button). We asked the attendant for her name before leaving, and she refused. We asked if we could record the discussion and she said no.

The manager in Phoenix would only give us the first name of all four attendants and, even though he was standing next to the FA, said he didn’t know her. He rebooked us on an early morning flight, causing us to incur the expense of a hotel for the night.

The attendant made her politics regarding masks very clear by her comments. The manager said there would be a report made, and her name would be on that. Can we be provided with this report?

The vast majority of Southwest flight attendants have been very courteous and professional; however this attendant was rude and lied about what happened. We find this behavior totally unacceptable and are wondering if she is a “one off” or having a bad day, or if this is SWA policy now.

I have been a loyal customer for 40 years and am an A List member. On several occasions in the past, I have written letters to Southwest complimenting employees for going above and beyond the call of duty. I have seen rude behavior by flight attendants on other airlines (not directed at us usually), but never on Southwest until now. I understand that during Covid tempers can fray, and flight attendants have a difficult job, but this was unconscionable conduct by an employee. If this is now accepted behavior on Southwest, we will reconsider which airlines we choose to fly on in the future.

By the way, I was on hold for two hours on the number provided for customer service, and no one ever picked up.



Re: Complaint about flight attendant on Flight 1944 June 13, 2021

Aviator A

@arodnick wrote: 





Sorry to hear of your troubles.  If what you said happened, happened, it was outrageous, and you should report it to customer relations.


Be sure to provide

1) flight number

2)date of travel

3) from airport and destination airport

4) airport where the incident occurred

5) names of the female flight attendants

6) the name of the airport manager you dealt with


Wearing a mask is a federal rule. An airline cannot waive it. Certainly a flight attendant cannot.


If Southwest does nothing about this, perhaps you should file a complaint with the Department of Transportation. That complaint should be about the announcement that the mask rule would not be enforced, you being told to not hit the call button to complain about it, and you being ejected from the plane.


Finally, if you ever need to contact the airline and the phone lines are jammed, hang up the phone, and use an alternative method to reach the airline -- see "contact us" below.

Re: Complaint about flight attendant on Flight 1944 June 13, 2021

Explorer C

Thanks for those comments - very helpful. Right after I posted the email, a customer service rep did pick up, and he said that was not their policy, but it was also kind of like - sorry that happened, here's a voucher for the hotel. I would want to see the individual receive counseling, but we're still trying to figure out who it was. The rep said it might be a while before they figure out who it was, and they plan to handle it internally and not update us any further.  

Re: Complaint about flight attendant on Flight 1944 June 13, 2021

Aviator A

Well, as I said in my first post, if you feel that the airline's response is inadequate you have the ability to file a complaint with the DOT.


FWIW, almost no company releases disciplinary information on it's employees.

Re: Complaint about flight attendant on Flight 1944 June 13, 2021

Frequent Flyer B

In life focus on nature as escape form human disappointment. 

Re: Complaint about flight attendant on Flight 1944 June 13, 2021

Aviator C

May I suggest next time you just mind your own business and not worry about other people wearing masks?   It really really has no impact on your vaccinated self. 


You could have had an uneventful flight.