Southwest Airlines PR Takes Another Hit On Social Media

Duff Watson says Southwest deplaned his family after he tweeted criticism of a gate agent.
Posted at 12:31 PM, Jul 23, 2014

Here's yet another example of how — deserved or not — what you say on social media can definitely cause you some grief. 

This is Duff Watson, who on Twitter vented about a recent experience with a Southwest Airlines gate agent who wouldn't let his kids board priority with him.

WATSON: "Something to the effect of: 'Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy @SWA.'" (Via WCCO)

If you look on Watson's Twitter now, you won't see that tweet anymore because, he says, that agent forced him to delete the tweet. Minneapolis CBS affiliate WCCO is the only outlet so far that's actually talked to him.

But you can kind of follow the fallout from his tweets that are still there. The most recent one references an emailed apology from Southwest to Watson.

Which — it appears — isn't good enough for Watson, who called it a "double insult." (Via Twitter / @DuffWatson)

We reached out to Watson on Twitter for more on Southwest's response but haven't heard back. Still, although Watson did eventually get to continue on to his final destination, Southwest has been the subject of similar headlines before. We were reminded of a couple other high-profile incidents.

In 2007, Kyla Ebbert got kicked off for this outfit, which a Southwest employee said was too skimpy. (Via NBC)

In 2011, there was Green Day lead singer Billie Joe Armstrong, who says he was kicked off a flight for sagging his pants. (Via ABC)

In 2012, a woman told the blog Jezebel Southwest staff told her she had to cover her cleavage or she wouldn't get to fly. 

Granted, those are all clothing-related incidents — and we should add Southwest apologized to each of those customers. 

But it nonetheless has been called the "airline industry's version of the Soup Nazi." (Via The Week)

Then again, it's also been praised for its responses to negative publicity on social media. (Via Ragan Communications)

The airline operates 3,600 flights a day and was listed at No. 8 on Forbes' list of America's best airlines.