Gottlieb, who is white, said she was stopped in Denver from boarding a flight to Oakland and asked to prove the boy was her child despite having his passport.
Gottlieb shared her experience in a series of tweets, calling the experience "demeaning and insensitive," adding that they would have missed their flight if it was not delayed.
"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 tweeted.
@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) May 28, 2018
She was told she was stopped because the two have different last names, but Gottlieb believes the incident happened because of their different skin colors.
@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— Lindsay Gottlieb (@CalCoachG) May 28, 2018
@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— Lindsay Gottlieb (@CalCoachG) May 28, 2018
The agent eventually let Gottlieb check in with her baby.
Southwest later apologized in a statement, and Gottlieb accepted.