Southwest Airlines’ CEO apologized to Kyla Ebbert after a flight attendant tried to kick her off a flight because of her outfit, but she’s having none of it.
Why? Because she doesn’t like the obvious marketing tie-in. Southwest’s apology to Kyla came in the form of a press release touting their new “mini-skirt” fares.
“They are exploiting me again by using my traumatic experience as a marketing ploy,” Ebbert told ABC News.
Well, yes. That is exactly what they are doing, and they’re not really being shy about it. Southwest’s so-called apology was littered with cute phrases such as “great legs” and “hot flashes.”
Interestingly, ABC news didn’t quote the part of the “apology” that offended Kyla, instead choosing to paraphrase it to make it sound more heartfelt.
Ebbert did get an apology on Thursday from Gary Kelly, CEO of Southwest, who issued this statement: “Kyla, you are a valued customer, and you did not get an adequate apology. We could have handled this better, and on behalf of Southwest Airlines, I am truly sorry. Our company is based on freedom even if our actions may not have appeared that way.”
Southwest offered Ebbert two free round-trip tickets. But Ebbert said she felt the apology was “back-handed” and “two months late.”
Here’s the real apology:
“From a Company who really loves PR, touche to you Kyla! Some have said we’ve gone from wearing our famous hot pants to having hot flashes at Southwest, but nothing could be further from the truth. As we both know, this story has great legs, but the true issue here is that you are a valued Customer, and you did not get an adequate apology. Kyla, we could have handled this better, and on behalf of Southwest Airlines, I am truly sorry. We hope you continue to fly Southwest Airlines. Our Company is based on freedom even if our actions may have not appeared that way. It was never our intention to treat you unfairly and again, we apologize.”
The quote was followed by Southwest’s announcement that they were launching radio ads for their new “mini-skirt” fares. ABC also reported that Ms. Ebbert told them she was flying to Tuscon for a post-op check because she’d had breast enlargement surgery. Way work that in there, ABC. We really needed to know why she was going to the doctor.
Southwest ‘Cover’ Girl Is Still Angry [ABC News]