Statement Regarding Customer Situation on Flight 4620

Flight 4620 from Los Angeles (LAX) to Oakland (OAK) on April 6:

A passenger onboard flight 4620 requested that our Crew investigate what were perceived to be threatening comments made by another passenger onboard. Both passengers involved in the situation spoke a shared language, Arabic. Our Crew responded by following protocol, as required by federal law, to investigate and report to law enforcement agencies any potential threat to civil aviation. It was the content of the passenger's conversation, not the language used, that prompted the report leading to our investigation. Once the report was made, an Arabic-speaking Southwest Manager at LAX participated in the decision to request the passenger leave the aircraft and continue the conversation in the gate area. Federal law enforcement agents became involved and conducted their own investigation.

We provided the passenger an immediate refund of his unused ticket and regret any less than positive experience a Customer has onboard our aircraft. We welcome onboard more than a hundred million Customers each year; and we aim to safely transport each, while maintaining the comfort of all. Safety is our primary focus, and our Employees are trained to make decisions to safeguard the security of our Crews and Customers on every flight. We would not remove a passenger from a flight without a collaborative decision rooted in established procedures. Southwest neither condones nor tolerates discrimination of any kind. Our Company could not survive if we practiced or believed otherwise. In fact, a cursory view of our workforce, as well as our expansive, multi-cultural Customer base is a reliable indicator that we exalt and appreciate diversity.

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