Duff Watson and his two children, ages 6 and 9, were scheduled to fly from Denver to Minneapolis on Sunday on a Southwest Airlines flight, but had an unexpected delay.
Watson has been an “A-List” frequent flyer for three years, which means he has priority boarding. The New York Daily News notes that Watson's kids are not in the Southwest "A-List" program, but Watson says his children are normally allowed to board with him.
However, the Southwest gate agent would not allow his two children to board with him on Sunday, and insisted they would have to board later.
“In leaving I said [to the gate agent], 'You know, real nice way to treat an A-list. I’ll be sure to tweet about it,’” Watson told CBS Minnesota.
Watson said that he followed up on his tweeting promise: "Something to the effect of, ‘Wow, rudest agent in Denver. Kimberly S, gate C39, not happy @SouthwestAir.'"
However, after Watson and his kids were seated in the plane, they were told to de-board because of his tweet.
“[The gate agent said] her safety feels threatened at this point because of what I tweeted,” stated Watson.
“There was no use of profanity, there were no threats made," added Watson. "There was nothing other than, you know, a terse exchange between a customer service agent and a customer. [The gate agent] said, ‘You can’t board the plane unless you delete that tweet.'"
Watson deleted the tweet, and he and his kids were allowed to fly home to Minneapolis.
Southwest Airlines confirmed to CBS Minnesota that Watson and his children were delayed a short time, and said the incident is being reviewed internally.
The company did send an apology and three $50 vouchers to Watson, who says he will never fly Southwest Airlines again.
“I was left, you know, very upset, very embarrassed, very humiliated,” said Watson.