5/6/2022 We were flying back from Long Beach, California. We caught an earlier flight so my son could make his football game. We had to stop and change planes in Phoenix. We approached the counter, got a pre-board boarding pass for my son (even though it was listed on his reservation, we still get a hard copy). As we were lining up to board the plane, we ran into an old neighbor that we haven’t seen for a while. We were chatting away with him. He was talking about my son, how he has gotten so tall. We talked football for a while then the boarding process began.
As my son scanned his ticket, a gentleman (or not so much a “gentleman”) began yelling, “Why, Why does he get to pre-board?” I glared at him and he continued yelling, “this makes no sense, it’s not fair”. I had scanned my ticket by this point and turned around and told him, “My son’s medical conditions are NONE of your business.” He mouthed something else rude back and I began to turn back around to ‘talk’ to him more, but there was an off duty pilot behind me that kept me walking down the jet way. I was so mad! How dare this man call my son out in front of all these people. He embarrassed him and made him, us, feel like we were doing something wrong.
I got on the plane, still fuming, and told the flight attendant we were just verbally harassed for pre-boarding. I told her my son has life threatening food allergies and the guy coming on was yelling at us, just in case he came on the plane and continued to say something. I told her not all conditions are visible and we have every right to pre-board and clean our zone to keep him safe. This type of harassment is unacceptable and is partially part of the reason people try to hide their allergies. I would have loved to have the opportunity to inform this man just how wrong he was.
I did tweet from the plane that night, as I was so mad. Southwest did reply with something about how they apologize for this mans behavior and we are correct, not all disabilities are visible.
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