Wednesday, July 23, 2014

Is your free speech worth $50? Southwest Airlines Thinks So

I see now where Southwest Airlines is apparently routinely violating the first amendment rights of passengers. 

 Southwest Airlines

Apparently an A-list Southwest Customer and his kids got removed from a flight because he tweeted his dissatisfaction about the way a gate agent treated him. HE is (was) an A-lister, but his kids weren't, so the gate agent wouldn't let him board with the A group (and his kids, age 6 and 12). He told the gate agent that he was going to Tweet his dissatisfaction, and apparently he did.

Anyway, after he boarded, the "jack-booted thugs" came and yanked him and his kids off the flight (I imagine the father could handle that, but imagine a 6-year-old facing this). 

Off the plane, the gate agent said she wouldn't let him and his kids back on unless he deleted the tweet (which he refused to do, and in fact, tweeted again, letting the world know).  Southwest later "apologized" (without any suggestion that the gate agent was wrong, or would be replaced with a bobblehead or a potted plant or something else more likely to provide good customer service and respect customers First Amendment free speech rights).  They also offered this guy and his kids $50 each in make-good coupons.  He turned them down, and said he'd never, not ever, fly Southwest again. 

Apparently, he won't sell his freedom for $50 a head.

I'm going to remember this the next time (and every time) that I think about flying.

I usually do fly Southwest because of cost and convenience, but I'm not one to trade my freedom for a pocket full of marbles (as Paul Simon sang).  I used to think Southwest was all about customer service ... apparently not.

Here's the story:

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