Airline apologizes for questioning white woman about her biracial son

Lindsay Gottlieb, the head coach for the University of California Women’s Basketball team, says Southwest Airlines didn’t think it was good enough when she showed her son’s passport to the gate agent in Denver. Her son is biracial.

In an Aug. 30, 2017, photo, California women’s basketball coach Lindsay Gottlieb holds her then-6-month-old son, Jordan, during NCAA college basketball practice on the campus. Southwest Airlines recently apologized to Gottlieb after she claimed an airline employee stopped her from boarding because the worker didn’t believe her 1-year-old biracial son was hers. Marcio Jose Sanchez | AP

So, remember, when traveling, always carry your passport, a birth certificate, and Facebook.

“It isn’t racism it’s Southwest Airlines policy to have the birth certificate they do the same thing to white women with white babies with different last names happened to my daughter we didn’t complain nationally about it,” one commenter said.

That will comes as news to Southwest Airlines, which tells the Boston Globe “although some international travel requires additional paperwork for leaving the country with a minor, domestic travel does not require airlines to match the last name of a child and guardian.”

“While it was upsetting and emotional, I realize that this was just one day of my life where I was uncomfortable and our family was made to feel ‘less than’ whereas others face similar situations on a daily basis,” Gottlieb said. “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.”

I do feel like as a white female, with a position of privilege, and a platform where someone is going to listen, it is my responsibility to say, ‘Hey, this happened, this isn’t OK,” she told KPIX 5. “And maybe somewhere down the line that helps my son, who is biracial and will be for his entire life.”

Southwest apologized and said it’s “a coaching opportunity” for the employee.

Related: ‘I’m not aware of that’: Starbucks employees receive racial bias training (NPR)