Southwest Airlines has always been seen as an egalitarian option for air travel because of its first come, first serve open seating and refusal to curry favor for passengers who are frequent fliers or have other levels of distinction. When a Texas high school lacrosse player tried to ignore those standards, he received a rather unpleasant surprise: The player's coach and crew of the airplane forced him to make a public apology in front of the entire plane.
As reported by CBS News, Yahoo!7 News and a variety of other sources, Mac Breedlove, a rising junior at Austin (Texas) Westlake High, was forced to issue a very public apology on a Southwest Airlines flight after he was caught trying to jump the line to get a better seat on the plane while flying to a summer lacrosse tournament with his team. After Breedlove's line-cutting antics were discovered by his coach, the teen was forced to issue a full apology to the entire plane for his attempt to get a better seat than his boarding pass number would have allowed.
"During the boarding process, I took advantage of this airline's kindness," Breedlove read aloud, as captured in video from CBS News. "I hope you will all find it in your hearts to forgive me, for I am just a young man that thinks I'm smarter than I am. Enjoy your flight, and remember to fly Southwest, because they let my coach do this to me."
While the entire incident was clearly an embarrassment for the Texas teen, he later told ABC News that he understood that his coach had only been trying to teach him a life lesson, one which he insisted he would take to heart.
"My coaches taught me a valuable lesson in life in a very creative way. Just be patient."
Now that he's been very publicly shamed, it seems certain that Breedlove will be more patient both in boarding planes and with his expectations for where he gets to sit when taking a flight.