Southwest tweet controversy: Duff Watson says he was asked to leave a flight due to a critical tweet

(KARE/NBC NEWSCHANNEL) A Minnesota man and his two children were asked to leave a Southwest Airlines flight in Denver after he tweeted about a boarding disagreement.

Duff Watson says he has priority boarding because of his "A-List" customer status, but a gate agent didn't allow his two children, ages 6 and 9, to board with him Sunday on a flight to Minneapolis.

He says the agent "rudely and dismissively" told him he couldn't do that because it was against policy and they would all have to wait.

"I said, 'is this a new policy? I'm not clear,'" said Watson. He says the gate agent replied, "No, that's the policy and we can stand here and argue about it all day, but I'm not going to change my mind."

Watson says he said in parting, "Real nice way to treat an A-List. I'll be sure to tweet about it." And that's what he did.


Once Watson and his children boarded the plane and had taken their seats, they heard an announcement on the loudspeaker asking the Watson family to gather their belongings and exit the aircraft.

Watson said that was when the same ticket agent approached and said "she owns the boarding process for the plane and feels threatened because he used her name on social media, and that unless he deleted his post, she was calling the cops and the family would not be allowed back on the plane."

Watson said his children were in hysterics because they thought they were going to be arrested. A supervisor was called, and the family was allowed back on the plane, but only after Watson agreed to delete his tweet.
He said he doesn't believe the airline had a right to demand he delete his tweet, but he did so because "I frankly was so shaken and so upset, I just want to kind of get home."

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