Mum 'appalled' by airline's question about her son

A woman has hit out at an airline in the US claiming staff asked her a “demeaning and insensitive” question when travelling with her one-year-old son.

Lindsay Gottlieb, from California, was travelling on a Southwest Airlines flight recently from Denver to Oakland and claims she nearly missed her flight due to a staff member at the ticket desk.

“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,” Ms Gottlieb tweeted.

“She said (it was) because we have a different last name. My guess is because he has a different skin colour.”

Lindsay Gottlieb claims a US airline asked her to prove her son (centre) was hers as she boarded a plane, and (right) her partner. Source: Twitter/ Lindsay Gottlieb

Ms Gottlieb claims the Southwest Airlines staff member asked for a birth certificate and for her to prove the little boy is her son with a Facebook post.

“(The) mother next to me said she’s never been asked for proof despite (having) a different last name,” the mum tweeted.

“Not shockingly, not a mixed-race family.”

She added the staff member’s question was “demeaning and insensitive, not to mention inefficient”.

“Would have missed flight if it was not delayed,” she tweeted.

“I would advise better training for employees to avoid this happening to others.”

But the mum’s accusations have been slammed on Twitter, with many suggesting the airline’s staff asked for proof for safety reasons.

Southwest Airlines checklist, including one for travelling with babies and toddlers, states “a birth certificate is required to validate the age of all infants under age two”.

One Twitter user also accused Ms Gottlieb making it “a racial issue when it isn’t”.

“Human trafficking and the kidnapping of children are very real things in this world,” he tweeted.

“Having people ask questions and verify that someone is a parent of legal guardian saves lives.”

Southwest Airlines has apologised for the incident and in a statement to KPIX5 said it was speaking to Ms Gottlieb “to address her concerns”.