Southwest Forces Mom To ‘Prove’ Biracial Son Is Hers — And She’s Calling Them Out

Flying is certainly strenuous and bizarre enough in its own right — but, when you add the complications of having to “prove” that your own child belongs to you, you’ve officially entered a truly farcical territory.

Recently, UC Berkeley basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb was flying home from Denver with her fiancee, Patrick Martin, and their 1-year-old son. Things got uncomfortable when a Southwest Airlines employee demanded that Gottlieb show “proof” that she was actually her son’s mother.

Gottlieb tweeted about the incident, noting that the alleged reasoning for the interrogation was her son having a different last name. However, Gottlieb believes that the confrontation was racially motivated, considering the fact that her son is biracial.

The airline employee reportedly (incorrectly) cited that federal law requires a birth certificate, but that she would settle for a Facebook post.

Gottlieb advised Southwest to train their employees on a different method for handling this kind of occurrence.

Gottlieb and her family were eventually allowed to board without further incident. However, many were shocked that Gottlieb faced such a bizarre interrogation.

Chrissy Teigen actually jumped in and noted that her experience with this issue changes on a flight-to-flight basis.

Another mom claims that she occasionally has to produce the official documents, and that the request has “nothing to do with race.”

Though the policy for this kind of interaction seems inconsistent at best, Southwest nevertheless released a statement on the incident and apologized to Gottlieb.

“We have reached out to Ms. Gottlieb directly to address her concerns and will utilize the situation as a coaching opportunity for our Employee,” Southwest said in their statement. “We apologize if our interaction made this family uncomfortable — that is never our intention.”

Gottlieb accepted the apology, but adds that she hopes the codified approach to this customer interaction is significantly altered.

“I felt that in this situation it was my responsibility to say ‘Hey, this isn’t ok,’” Gottlieb responded in a statement. “I hope the coverage this has received can serve as a learning opportunity and that all families — regardless of how ‘traditional’ they may or may not look — are treated with dignity and respect.”