Mom Calls Out Airline For Forcing Her To ‘Prove’ Identity Of Her Biracial Son

southwest airlines

Traveling with a small child can feel like a harrowing experience. Typically as parents we're consumed with collecting all of the gear we need to ensure a safe, smooth, and (hopefully) quiet flight. The very idea of trying to get through security in a timely manner with a baby in tow can be panic-inducing. We hope that we'll fall upon a kind soul or airline employee who gets our stress, and helps to make the entire process a little less difficult.

Now imagine you go to check in to your flight, baby by your side, and the ticketing agent asks for proof that this is indeed your child. You have a different last name from your kiddo (as many modern mamas do) and while you can provide your child's passport, this simply isn't enough for the airline rep.

This is what happened to college basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb who was trying to fly from Denver to Oakland with her son, who happens to be biracial (Lindsay is white, her husband is black).

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Gottlieb tweeted about the experience with Southwest airlines, which she had never encountered before despite traveling frequently with her child.

A nearby mother who was an onlooker of the situation commented that she had never been asked to provide proof that her child was her own, despite also having different last names. Coincidentally, this mother and child pair are not, as Gottlieb pointed out, a "mixed family."

While many of Gottlieb's social media followers were appalled by the situation she encountered, others pointed out that child sex trafficking is a real problem in the United States, and more airline employees should be asking for proof of guardianship over the children with whom they are traveling.

Heck, even Chrissy Teigen, known defender of moms everywhere, admitted she has been asked the same question at the airport and is actually okay with it now.

Teigen also commented that flying in and out of London seems to be the most difficult with her daughter Luna, often forcing her to carry a "file folder of papers" with proof.

Still, if not every parent is asked this question when traveling with kids, it does appear suspect that Gottlieb was singled out. Either make everyone provide proof that a child is one's own or don't ask at all.

For their part, Southwest did reply to Gottlieb's Twitter complaint with their own concerns over the matter.

Safety should be everyone's number one priority, as should equal treatment of all travelers. Hopefully Gottlieb's case will bring the kind of attention to a very serious matter.

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