Question that left passenger ‘appalled’
A PASSENGER has hit out at an airline after being asked an "appalling" question.
Lindsay Gottlieb claims that a Southwest Airlines employee at Denver Airport, in the US, demanded she prove she was the mother to her bi-racial son, one-year-old Jordan.
The basketball coach says she was travelling on flight 1808 from Denver to Oakland when the incident occurred.
The shocked flyer took to Twitter to share her fury, saying she was baffled as it was the first time she'd ever been asked such a question - despite travelling with her son regularly as part of her work.
She wrote in a series of tweets: "I'm appalled that after approximately 50 times flying with my one-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 colour."
Ms Gottlieb alleges the employee asked for her son's birth certificate, before demanding she prove she's a mother "with a Facebook post".
"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."
When asked by a fellow Twitter user if she was OK, she responded: "It was wild, but, I fear, much more common for people that don't look like me."
There has been a mixed response to Ms Gottlieb's tweets, with people pointing out that the airline needs to be on guard against human trafficking and the kidnapping of children.
Others sympathised, saying the same thing has happened to them.
Stop trying to make it a racial issue when it isn’t. Human trafficking and the kidnapping of children are very real things in this world. Having people ask questions and verify that someone is a parent of legal guardian saves lives.— Drewader (@Drwdr) 29 May 2018
Southwest Airlines apologised for the incident and told local network KPIX 5 that it is looking into it.
"We're looking into this specific interaction, and we have engaged with the customer directly to address her concerns," a Southwest Airlines spokesperson said.
"Our employees are well regarded for their hospitality and we always strive for the best experience for anyone who entrusts us with their travel."
@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.— Lindsay Gottlieb (@CalCoachG) 28 May 2018
I had almost the same EXACT experience w/my daughter when she was 3months. And we have the same skin color. It was outrageous; I was livid. I ended up having to ask a friend to text me a pic of her birth announcement. Dont know if it’s a race issue. Maybe a SW/baby travel issue.— @thejuliamf (@thejuliamf) 29 May 2018