University of California women’s basketball team head coach Lindsay Gottlieb was recently asked by a Southwest employee to “prove” that her biracial son was hers.
Gottlieb described the incident saying that a “ticket counter personnel told (her) that she had to “prove” that he was (her) son, despite having his passport.” She questioned if this was an issue of having a different skin color as her son’s.
@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.
@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
Chrissy Teigen, who also has a biracial child, tweeted Gottlieb explaining that she too has gone through similar experiences but, that there also may be other reasons why such things happen.
@CalCoachG @SouthwestAir but yeah, it’s definitely a situational thing, though. depends on the day, depends on the agent, you never know! going to London is the most difficult with her in my experience. I have to bring a file folder of papers.
@CalCoachG @SouthwestAir airlines have asked this of me, too, with my daughter. once I learned it’s a precaution for the very real threat of child trafficking, I stopped being exasperated with it. Now I’m kind of worried when they don’t ask.
Southwest Airlines issued a statement in which they apologized to Gottlieb, describing it as a “coaching opportunity.”
“We have reached out to Ms. Gottlieb directly to address her concerns and will utilize the situation as a coaching opportunity for our Employee.” said the airline in a statement.
“We apologize if our interaction made this family uncomfortable that is never our intention.”