An airline company in America has been forced to apologise after a staff member mocked a five-year-old girl because her name is Abcde.
The girl’s mother, Traci Redford, says a Southwest Airlines employee at John Wayne International Airport in California laughed after reading her daughter’s boarding pass, then posted a picture of it on social media.
Due to the fact that she has epilepsy, Abcde — pronounced “Ahb-sih-dee” — and her mother were pre-boarding the plane home to El Paso, Texas, when the incident occurred.
“The gate agent started laughing, pointing at me and my daughter, talking to other employees,” Ms Redford said. “So I turned around and said, ‘Hey if I can hear you, my daughter can hear you, so I’d appreciate if you’d just stop.
“Then while I was sitting there, she took a picture of my boarding pass and chose to post it on social media, mocking my daughter.” “She asked me, ‘Mom, why is she laughing at my name? And I said, ‘You know, honey, not everybody is nice, and not everyone is going to be nice, and it’s unfortunate.'”
Airline spokesman Chris Maniz said the employee's social media post "is not indicative of the care, respect, and civility" Southwest Airlines expects.
He added: "We take great pride in extending our Southwest hospitality to all of our customers.
"We have followed up with the employee involved, and while we do not disclose personnel actions publicly, we are using this as an opportunity to reinforce our policies and emphasise our expectations for all employees."
While the incident has made headlines around the world, the little girl may not be alone in her experience. According to data, 328 children in the U.S were named Abcde between 1990 and 2013.