Since my blog posted (shortly after Ebbert appeared on NBC’s “Today” show wearing the same controversial outfit she did on the Southwest flight in question) the college co-ed has made the rounds on various other talk shows, including “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and Fox News. During those interviews Ebbert complained that she had yet to receive an apology from the airline and specifically from the customer-service representative who told her earlier this summer that she’d have to “cover up” for her flight from San Diego to Tucson. (By the way, ABC News is now reporting that Ebbert was apparently was headed to Tucson for a post-operation check-up for breast-enlargement surgery that she had days before the micro-miniskirt brouhaha erupted.)
After the latest round of Ebbert publicly bashing the Southwest employee’s conduct the airlines came out swinging. In an effort to turn around the publicity over the Ebbert incident the carrier introduced a “miniskirt fare sale.”
Oh no they didn’t!
Oh yes they did!
Southwest’s PR guys kicked into overtime and announced it was lowering its already “skimpy fares to ‘mini-skirt’ size of $49 to $109 one-way.” (Fares must be bought no later than September 24th and only apply to flights on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Saturdays.)
And it didn’t stop there.
As I mentioned earlier, Southwest executives had retained a stiff upper-lip regarding the Ebbert incident since the 23-year-old was admonished on her flight. However, doing so only prompted some critics to turn on the carrier calling them hypocritical, especially since at one time Southwest mandated their flight attendants wear hot pants on flights. Not wanting to appear as though it had strayed from its roots and become “too corporate” the airline issued this release late last week:
“From a company who really loves PR, touche to you Kyla!” Southwest CEO Gary Kelly wrote in a press release along with an apology to Ebbert. “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.”
Kelly also added that it was never the carrier’s intention to treat Ebbert “unfairly.”
One might think that would be the end of Ebbert vs. Southwest, but it’s not.
Today, the college coed and current Hooters girl was back on ABC News griping that the airlines apology rang hollow.
“They are exploiting me again by using my traumatic experience as a marketing ploy,” Ebbert told ABC News after learning about the mini-skirt sale.
Southwest begged to differ and revealed that it also offered Ebbert two free round-trip tickets.
Regardless, Ebbert maintains that Southwest issued a “back-handed” apology that came “two months late.”
Wonder if that means she won’t be using the free tickets?
Whose side are you on?