White mother blasts Southwest Airlines for asking her to prove biracial son is hers

Claudine Varela
May 30, 2018
10:09 A.M.

An irate mother calls the attention of the airline company for the unnecessary scrutiny she was subjected to due to racial reasons. She claims she almost missed her flight if it wasn't delayed.


A coach from the University of California’s women’s basketball team is furious at Southwest Airlines for going to great lengths in asking her to prove she was the mother of her biracial son.

40-year-old Lindsay Gottlieb recently called the airline’s attention on Twitter after she was subjected to a great amount of scrutiny prior to boarding her flight with her one-year-old son Jordan. The basketball coach was taking a Southwest Airlines flight from Denver to Oakland on Sunday when she was asked to further prove she was her son’s mother despite the fact that she already had his passport with her. In addition to Jordan’s passport, the airline employee requested for a copy of Jordan’s birth certificate as well as a Facebook post proving he was Lindsay’s child.


According to the airline personnel, she was requesting for proof because her son was carrying a different last name from her but that's not how Gottlieb saw it. She believed the employee was giving her a hard time because she and her son don’t share the same skin color and not just due to their last names.

Another mother who witnessed the scene supported Gottlieb’s case by saying she didn’t have to provide other documentation when she traveled with her child who carried a different name. It was only then that Gottlieb was finally allowed to board her flight.

In the series of tweets the irate coach posted, she directed her anger at the airline while recounting what happened.

“@SouthwestAir I’m appalled that after approx 50 times flying with my 1 year old son, ticket counter personnel told me I had to “prove” that he was my son, despite having his passport. She said because we have different last name. My guess is because he has a different skin color.”


She continued,

@SouthwestAir she 1st asked for proof with birth certificate. She then said it’s a “federal law” (not true) but asked me to prove I’m mother with Facebook post.What??Mother next to me said she’s never been asked for proof despite diff last name..not shockingly, not mixed face fam”


“@SouthwestAir it was demeaning and insensitive, not to mention inefficient. Would have missed flight if it was not delayed. I would advise better training for employees to avoid this happening to others”

Meanwhile, a spokesman for Southwest Airlines has since released a statement to CBS News claiming an investigation is already underway.

“We’re looking into this specific interaction, and we have engaged with the customer directly to address her concerns.

"Our employees are well regarded for their hospitality and we always strive for the best experience for anyone who entrusts us with their travel."

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