Back in December Spirit Airlines defended themselves for kicking off a woman who breastfed her two year crying old child. That same month a mother was forced to ditch her breast milk when American insisted she pay $150 if she wanted to bring it with her.
It wasn’t that long ago that United sent a woman to the pet relief area to pump breast milk and scolded another woman inflight.
So while it’s true that airlines have tens of thousands of employees, and some make mistakes,
- Issues around breastfeeding aren’t new.
- There’s no reason to dig in when making a mistake, humiliating customers. If there’s a disagreement, check out and see who is right. Especially for a supervisor. Too many employees just blindly back up other employees.
American Airlines allows you to bring “[d]iaper bags (1 per child), soft-sided cooler bags with breast milk, child safety seats, strollers and medical or mobility devices” on board the aircraft and these do not count against your carry on or personal item limit. That’s black letter on the website.
So when a woman flying Los Angeles to Chicago on Sunday on AA1243 was told she couldn’t bring her breast pump (a medical device) or her cooler with milk on the plane because she was over the carry on limit — that she’d have to check a bag — American was wrong.
And when the supervisor condescended to her about the amount of milk, “how many boobs do you have?” that was beyond the pale.
While American says “It’s difficult enough to travel as a breastfeeding mom.We want it to be easier, not more difficult” they reportedly initially offered the woman a $75 voucher as compensation for failing to abide by their own carry on rules. That might have been appropriate for forcing her to gate check a bag she shouldn’t have had to check, but is nowhere close to making good on the behavior of the gate agent.
(HT: Live and Let’s Fly)