Breastfeeding Policy: Are Frontier Flight Attendants Improperly Trained?

Breastfeeding Policy: Are Frontier Flight Attendants Improperly Trained?

This is a personal account written by Deanna Bratter.

Shared with permission.

meme1

Disappointed and upset at Frontier Airlines tonight. I was not asked, but told to “cover up ma’am” by a flight attendant on my flight home this evening as I nursed my child to sleep. When I calmly and clearly told her it was my right to feed my child on the plane as per the airlines own policy – she replied, “yes, but with a cover”. I explained to her to use or not use a cover is my personal choice, she disagreed and said, “I will get my manual and show you”. I said, “Please do”. 15 minutes later, a different flight attendant came over asking my husband, Adam, if he “had a problem”. He was most definitely upset and looking back for the flight attendant who said she would return with the manual and did not. This woman said he was making her uncomfortable (oh the irony!!). I diffused that situation, told her what happened, her response. “She is new, she was doing what she believed she was trained to do.” I told her this was concerning as she was obviously trained wrong; I know my rights. (And if she was trained wrong on that, who knows what else she could have misunderstood!) She then tells me, “If someone complains they are to provide a blanket for the mother to cover and relocate her seat.” I replied that is incorrect and they could offer her a cover and it is the mothers choice to use it or not and that the “offended person” would be the one to be relocated if desired, not the innocent mom! (see I do know my rights!) I also asked her if anyone complained, she said no. So, I again asked how this was relevant. No reply. I asked for the other attendants name and she said, “No, I refuse to give you names or information for any of the other workers.” (Strange, Adam asked, “don’t you wear name tags” she replied that they announced names at the beginning of the flight and if we missed it, too bad!) I asked her to get the manual.

She returned with the manual and told me I was correct (well, yeah) and the “other person” would be the one to be moved if the flight was able to accommodate it. Let me stop right there – there was a half empty plane (75 open seats!), with a bunch of sleeping passengers, dim cabin lights, my half-sleeping nursing toddler, my movie watching 5 year old and my husband in the aisle seat across. There was NO ONE offended, no complaint. We continued the conversation. I expressed my concerns multiple times that another mother, maybe not as aware of her rights, would be a victim of their misunderstanding and comments. She said she would speak to the original attendant, asked us “has the situation been diffused”, and is there anything else I need. I replied “an apology from the flight attendant would be great as I’d love to ensure she understands the rules clearly so this doesn’t happen again”. Sure she said.

Several minutes later the original comment maker returned. Hands Adam a card with her name on it “here is my name and the contact info, however I refuse to apologize as I was following the rules, what I was taught just a month ago in class.” We were flabbergasted! Did she just come over and say she refused to apologize? The situation is no longer diffused!!!! I handed my husband the phone and he began recording. I feel I was calm, clear, direct, and stated facts. I expressed my concern that she was not acknowledging her error even after revisiting the manual (!). She tried to say she asked me to cover, when she did not, she told me to cover. She tried to say she said please. She did not. I kept going back to the fact that she did not follow procedure, there was no complaint about my breastfeeding. I repeated my concern that I don’t want another mother to face the same issue and does she understand that what she was taught (she said: to tell a mother to cover to prevent a potential, future complaint is within her rights) is incorrect. She then admits “what the manual says and what she was taught are two different things.”  I asked, “so the next time you see a mother nursing your response would be to….” the other more senior attendant came over. She then said, “I didn’t give him permission to record” she saw the bright light recording for 2 minutes and did not say not too until then. Then my phone ran out of space and the video ended.

I am a strong and confident nursing mother. I was well within my rights. I have never been ashamed or harassed in my several years of nursing (between both my children) but am a passionate advocate for mothers, breastfeeding support, and breastfeeding rights. Had the woman been even remotely open to having made a mistake, making an apology, or even remotely believing as I suggested this was a great learning opportunity to ensure it doesn’t happen again – I wouldn’t be here typing like a mad woman, genuinely upset and frustrated. I was meeting my child’s needs, feeding my son the way nature intended, doing absolutely nothing to be ashamed of. I will not be ashamed. It is Frontier Airlines and that woman who should be ashamed for poor training, poorly handling the situation, refusing to apologize, being condescending and rude and not following the their own rules!

What I don’t want is for people to believe I am doing this for a free flight. I wouldn’t accept it. What I want from this is to see a written apology from Frontier Corporate,  I would love to hear that they are handling training and retraining on this issue, and most of all, I would love to see them implement a policy in support of breastfeeding (as opposed to one related solely to handling a breastfeeding “issue”).

 

**Update March 14, 2014**

I do not feel like this harassment issues is being taken as seriously as it should be by Frontier…I’m feeling more emotional about it than I have been, genuienly upset by the lack of customer service and insensitive remarks. So in an effort not to create a jumbled mess of a post here are the high points

1. The most senior person who I have spoken to is a customer relations social media rep (who is very nice) but is talking to me and passing information back to “management.”

2. They have zero urgency 1. issue happened Tuesday night 2. complained in person to Sr. FA on flight, to pilot after flight and filed formal complaint via their 800# as soon as I got out of the airport and into my car. (I left email and phone #.)

3. I took to social media. Social media FB responded “sorry to hear that our FA failed to provide an apology for being confused about tour policy…” later on twitter, said they replied to Jamie Grumet (I am not the babysitter) that they had already apologized to me and pointed to FB post (below). Where NO such apology other than the above quote was written. That doesn’t sound like an appropriate apology, does it?

meme1meme2
4. Again, they did not tweet directly to me for some reason but responded to @msamieLynne that “the family is being well taken care of :-)” when we had NOT received a word directly, no email, no phone call, no messages directly on FB or Twitter. I don’t know that I have ever been “shaking mad” but that did it. To me it felt like they were insinuating I had received some sort of compensation and was placated. I will not accept a free flight. Furthermore to state publicly that I was being taken care of, however they meant it, when they had no so much as called is a LIE.

meme1
5. The next tweet to me was saying they didn’t have my phone # because the one on my reservation was incorrect (?) Regardless my contact info was left on their formal complaint line and again, how are they tweeting how well I am being taken care of when they don’t even have my phone number?

meme4meme5
6. We finally spoke on the phone Thursday morning at 11am. I expressed my desire for a formal apology (written or public their decision), a revised policy and enhanced training for all staff. The social media rep was kind. She did verbally offer an apology that this happened. She said she was taking notes and would relay my requests to management. I asked when I could expect to hear back from them on their plan and she said end of day (Thursday) or the following morning (Friday). At 1pm I tweeted, at 3pm I got a phone call from the same person. Where is their customer service? Where is the care and response in following thourhg and managing expectations you agreed to?
meme2

7. Todays phone call highlights.
- sorry I misunderstood the response conversation. I was planning on getting back to you when I had something to report.
- these things take a lot of time, involve a lot of people in management in different departments
- a policy change needs to be reviewed by the FAA and that will take a lot of time
- while they are working on it they have no timeframes, no deadlines
- even an apology has to get a lot of approvals so it’s not going to be quick, these things take time.
- GOOD NEWS: they will be updating the policy BAD NEWS: so far the changes don’t seem proactive, or like they would even prevent the same kind of confusion and issue that happened to me. Current: “Breastfeeding an infant is not prohibited” Proposed: “Change Not Prohibited to Permitted” Issue: Not all breastfeeding children are infants. Stating it is permitted isn’t good enough, of course it is permitted, it IS THE LAW! Current “should a passenger complain, the FA should offer to find the mother…a cover, OR move the passengers who are uncomfortable” Proposed: remove the part about offering a cover, focus on relocating the passenger if possible Issue: this only addresses the cover policy in the event of a complaint. In my case THERE WAS NO COMPLAINT, the FA took it upon herself to tell me it was the manual that said I should be covered if breastfeedling on the plane. Even after reading the manual, she said she was trained she had the right to pre-emtively tell me to cover to avoid a potential complaint from occurring. Frontier has said this is not per their policy. But I do not see how the changes below address that. At a minimum a statement about legal rights covered or uncovered and that no staff may ask a mother to cover under any circumstance. GOOD NEWS: they are also revisiting the policy regarding breast pumps not being considered “medical devices” yet requiring a doctors note to justify needing to pump in flight …this mama had a run in yesterday. The commentary is eye opening. You can read it HERE.
meme4

8. And one of the most upsetting parts. The social media rep told me (not sure why?!) that the FA in her written account said “her perception was that people were uncomfortable” This not only made me cry but got me to that shaking mad place again. This is a LIE. My husband was an aisle seat with nobody in either seat next to him. I was across the aisle with the middle seat for my son and the window seat with my 5 year old. The person behind me spoke up in support after the harassment. The gentlemen in front of me were not only asleep or resting but NEVER turned around until the incident. The flight attendant was walking down the aisle peddling credit card applications, sarcastically saying “anybody? anybody at all?” in a dimly light cabin. She wasn’t called over, she wasn’t standing around watching people grimacing in discomfort. That “perception” is her trying to cover her tail with a completely FALSE statement which I imagine is also illegal. That hurts. If she would’ve just apologized in the first place and learned from her mistake, I wouldn’t be sitting here typing this.

9. To close the call I reiterated I was upset and not feeling satisfied with the way they were handling this, specifically in terms of urgency, and taking this seriously. I asked specifically when when I can expect to hear back again? The response: Maybe Tuesday since they “are closed for the weekend and will need Monday to work on it more.” So a week past when I was harassed I can expect to hear an update, but not likely any action. I think this only reinforced my concern that they aren’t taking this seriously.

Overall, I’m feeling really disappointed. I hope all of you ladies and supporters will speak up and speak loudly so they take this seriously and make prompt and real changes! I am not trying to bash this airline, I very much would like to fly with them in the future – but to continue doing that I need them to step up and make this right, not in a week, not in a month but at least to show us they are taking action NOW.
-Deanna Bratter


Related Articles

My Issues with Mrs. Hall’s Letter

Oh man, the Mrs. Hall letter…I remember first reading it and feeling annoyed, but then the firestorm of criticism hit

Family Travel To Dubrovnik

Family Travel To Dubrovnik With its superb location on the coast of the gorgeous Adriatic Sea, Dubrovnik should be at

When to Be Proud of Our Children

A story was told to me a few nights ago about two brothers and their love for each other. This

51 comments

Write a comment
  1. Drea 13 March, 2014, 04:12

    Hopefully they learn from this. Way to go sticking up for other mothers!!! :)

    Reply this comment
  2. Kendra 13 March, 2014, 08:42

    Shame on Frontier and Victoria’s Secret. I’ll go out of my way to avoid them.

    Reply this comment
  3. Jen Day 13 March, 2014, 09:13

    Thank you for sharing your story. I had a similar situation at a Chik-fil-a last year, in which, they too, were not properly trained. They didn’t believe me, but researched the laws, and told me that they would make sure their staff was properly informed. The news stations all reported that they apologized, but I never received one.
    And of course, everyone who saw the story thought I had set it up or was taking advantage of the situation to get money from it. Nope, I didn’t even get a coupon, and wouldn’t have wanted one anyway. What I wanted was awareness and education so that it wouldn’t happen to other mothers in the future.

    Reply this comment
    • Adam Bratter (@AdamB108) 13 March, 2014, 11:42

      Amen Jen! Sorry you had to experience that yourself. It’s not fun. Hoping Frontier will take the opp to revise their policy and at least apologize.

      Reply this comment
  4. Adrianne 13 March, 2014, 14:57

    Go Mama go!

    Reply this comment
  5. Susan Mooney 13 March, 2014, 16:32

    Brava, mama!

    Reply this comment
  6. crystal caccamo 13 March, 2014, 21:24

    i was on delta about 2 yrs ago. I was nursing with my cover on. the airline attendant told me I had to take it off. I responded by letting her know it was a cover bc I was breastfeeding. she hurriedly said she didn’t care and the baby carrier needed to come off bc it was against policy.
    we ran the same song and dance about 3 more times with me forcefully stating that it was not a baby CARRIER it was a breastfeeding cover and I had my boob out underneath that was feeding my baby…. that I was covering for everyone else to feel comfortable.
    she looked at me and said, im not going to tell you again. take it off or we cant take off from the ground.
    ok. but get your tip cup out bc these babies are GOLD!
    she looked perplexed.
    I started taking off my cover. top of breast, (baby pulled off), areola, nipp……….
    OH MY GOSH!!! YOU HAVE YOUR BREAST EXPOSED! as she hurriedly pulled it back over my boob.
    I smiled ear to ear.
    as I tried to tell you. im feeding my baby.
    she could not apologize enough saying she never sees nursing women anymore.
    the nerdy guy next to me smiled bc im sure that was the first set of hooters hed seen in years.
    I laughed and said well I hope you learned a lesson here today as an airline stewardess.
    ignorance is rampant and the sad thing is that we encourage it as a society.
    nursing is EEEEEEEVIL. but victorias secret is great. nursing is EEEEEEEVIL. but sex on every channel during daylight hours is great.
    our society is jacked. I want to move to Europe.

    Reply this comment
    • Tracie Rathsack 11 August, 2014, 20:05

      best. Comment EVER.

      “…nursing is EEEEEEEVIL. but victorias secret is great. nursing is EEEEEEEVIL. but sex on every channel during daylight hours is great.”

      Reply this comment
  7. Ana Gessman 14 March, 2014, 00:46

    I am grateful you stood up for our rights, but am sad that there was even drama surrounding meeting your baby’s basic needs. World never ceases to blow my mind. Thank you!

    Reply this comment
  8. MollyIBCLC 14 March, 2014, 08:23

    So proud of you. I do applaud Frontier for having a supportive policy (which is more that many other airlines). It’s too bad that the frontline staff misinterpreted it or just didn’t follow it. I hope that you wrote a letter to the management about the situation with their names so that appropriate counseling and disciplinary actions have potential to follow their actions.

    Reply this comment
  9. Lori Woods 14 March, 2014, 09:46

    I think a lot of breast feeding mothers want to shove their “rights” in people’s faces. Not everyone is comfortable seeing a woman’s boob hanging out. If a baby wasn’t sucking on it would it be ok? Putting a cover up isn’t a big deal & doesn’t hurt the baby. The baby could care less. I did it with twins!! Sounds like this couple was looking to pick a fight.

    Reply this comment
    • Ms M 14 March, 2014, 20:38

      We are mammals, our breasts are for nursing. If someone is uncomfortable with that, they are the problem and should cover their head with a blanket.

      Reply this comment
    • deanna 14 March, 2014, 21:02

      Hi Lori, First I want to say that I think it’s awesome you breastfed twins – I can’t imagine more than one nursling at a time!

      On the rest of your comment, I respect your choice to cover, and would hope you could respect my choice not to. I in no way am “shoving” anything, anywhere! I am a lover of peace and in no way was trying to pick a fight. What I was trying to do was comfort and nourish my tired child. I was picked on. What did not happen? Most certainly my “boob was not hanging out”. Mothers feeding their children without covers are not seeking attention, flaunting or any other ridiculous assumption of the like. I was quietly meeting my child’s needs. Meeting my child’s needs and ensuring they are comfortable is my priority. The comfort of strangers who can easily look away is up to them to maintain as capable adults. However, in this case, there was no complaint, no one uncomfortable except maybe the flight attendant herself. Some mothers prefer covers, some babies don’t mind them. Many do. I choose not to wear a cover because I believe wholeheartedly that feeding my child as nature intended is nothing to hide, nothing to cover. I believe nursing is normal and natural and by acting consistently to that I am helping in that normalization. Yes, I’ll admit as this process continues my husband and I are getting riled up – but I’m willing to standup for something I believe in and I am willing to fight for change to ensure Frontier has a better policy that protects mothers and that they commit to training their staff to a new and improved policy.

      Reply this comment
      • Michelle Spina 20 March, 2014, 21:56

        Lori- your assumption is completely false. Some babies do care if they are covered. Try it. Cover your face with a cloth that hangs closely to your nose and mouth and see how comfortable you are eating and/or drinking… It gets hot and makes you feel claustrophobic, etc…
        I, too, have chosen to cover up because I grew up with the sexualized version of boobs. Before I had my first child, I was uncomfortable seeing a woman openly breast feeding her child. Luckily, I knew my discomfort was mine and kept my mouth shut. I didn’t successfully BF my first child but so far I am successfully bf’ing my second. He is now 5 mos. old and has recently shown a strong dislike to my covering up and I have one that is light cotton fabric and is open at the top so “mother & baby can continue to bond”… I’m tired of sacrificing my baby’s most critical and natural need because someone else grew up misled like I was…

        Reply this comment
    • Anna Christie 15 March, 2014, 04:07

      Well done you, I’m waiting for the day I get harassed, I hope it doesn’t happen but if it does, I have read so many sad articles like this, I have a whole lotta stuff to say on behalf of all the breastfeeding mamas out there, someone will feel my wrath lol! I hope you get the genuine apology you deserve. This flight attendant sounds like an immature idiot with a sky high ego, she definatley does not need to be in a job like that involved with people and it will benefit that airline to not have people like that representing them.
      @Lori I think its so sad that even as a breastfeeding mother you feel that women feeding their babies is shoving their rights in peoples faces…My son will not feed covered up. If people have a problem because our culture has sexualised womens boobs to the point that people feel uncomfortable seeing a baby feed from them-the purpose they are there for, maybe those people need to stick a cover over their head. Its ridiculous and pure unkindness to believe breastfeeding mums sticking up for themselves and their right to nurse children as being some kind of attention seeking act. These women are taking these opportunities to share their experiences with the world, so that other feeding mamas feel brave enough to stand up for their rights. Its sad that breastfeeding needs to be normalised, without sounding cliche it is literally THE MOST NATURAL THING IN THE WORLD and NOT A SINGLE ONE OF US WOULD BE HERE had our ancestors not done this. Look at old painintngs of nursing mothers, royalty etc, Im not religious but the virgin mary? Are they just attention seeking? Ridiculous comment. I personally think mothers should not have to feel the need to cover up, as how can we show our children its normal if we feel the need to cover up, its like the veil of shame. The more children and people see mothers nursing the sooner it will become ‘normal’ again.

      Reply this comment
    • Mama G 15 March, 2014, 13:26

      Lori, my son wouldn’t nurse with a cover once he was about five months old. He pulled it up and away from his face. Not once have I met a breastfeeding mom who seemed intent on shoving their “rights” or boobs in people’s faces. Fortunately, I’ve also never known anyone who was harassed for feeding their child. If seeing someone nurse makes you uncomfortable, don’t watch! Moms are not breastfeeding their children for anyone’s benefit other than the child’s.

      Reply this comment
    • Jennifer 16 March, 2014, 12:11

      Lori, actually some babies DO care. Mine sure did, and would not nurse like that. And nursing a toddler is very different than nursing a baby. What if you were forced to eat with a blanket on your head?

      Reply this comment
    • Nfldmv 14 July, 2014, 11:11

      Hey Lori – Mother’s are not out ‘shoving’ their rights, nor their breasts in other people’s faces. They are just trying to feed their kids. And yes, eating with a blanket over your head is a big deal and a I would say rather uncomfortable as well.

      Reply this comment
  10. Delia Camp 14 March, 2014, 11:17

    I’m so pleased it was YOU she confronted. Definitely what I call “an opportunity for education”, and you are qualified to do the teaching. It’s a shame when you read about Moms being made to cry. I always think “CRY?”, are you kidding me? Feeding a baby breastmilk which comes out of breasts is natural and normal. Ducking for cover is not. Feeding your baby to me is not a “right”, it is an obligation and responsibility as a Mother. Maybe it’s time to move away from the militant “right” perspective to a “doing what a responsible Mother does” perspective. No duck in cover expected or necessary.

    Reply this comment
  11. Mary Cant We All Just Get Along 14 March, 2014, 12:05

    I would be concerned if someone demanded my name too. Sorry but you dont need to use names when complaining. The manual is for the eyes of certain personnel who have gone through several background checks, not for any customer who demands it. Also recording a flight member in the action of performing their job is a federal offense. It doesnt sound like the flight attendant was the only one flaming this fire and creating an offensive situation. Perhaps if you wanted to diffuse the situation as you said you did you might not go around demanding information.
    It almost sounds as if the situation was more about making a statement then feeding a person.

    Reply this comment
    • deanna 14 March, 2014, 21:20

      Hi Mary, You certainly inferred a lot from my tale. Frontier themselves has said their only restriction is not posting the video on their Facebook page and has no policy on filming on the plane. The manual was offered by the FA completely unsolicited, as I quoted in my story above. I only asked for it after it was offered and not brought over, but never did I demand it. I took a picture when it was shown to me, the more senior FA did not object or ask me not to. I also didn’t “demand” a name. I asked for her name, even said please. I remained in my seat. I calmly explained my rights. When someone comes back and says “I refuse to apologize” after acknowledging her actions did not match the written manual I would say she flamed her own fire. She could have not returned, she could have said obviously there is some confusion and I am going to check with management and will ensure I am properly educated. She didn’t. She told me the law was my perspective. I was not nursing my child to sleep to make a statement! I make lots of statements on line, I support moms in peer to peer breastfeeding groups, I offer lots of encouragement and personal experience. I have read lots of these stories. I have nursed two children many places with out covers over the years and have never had an issue. I wasn’t looking for trouble. I definitely was nursing to make a statement! I was indeed feeding a person, my child, comforting him as he fell asleep on an evening flight. But when I was told to do something (cover up) that I am legally protected from based on my personal choice – I am most certainly going to speak up, make a statement and stand up for myself…..and while I’m at it – I am absolutely going to work to ensure the rights of other mothers who might not be as confident in standing up are protected the best that I can.

      Reply this comment
    • Charz 16 March, 2014, 10:31

      Everyone has the right to be informed! Know one has the right to be an idiot tho! Of course you can ask for name! That’s why they have name tags! And the only reason you would be scared to give your name if you’ve done something wrong!

      Reply this comment
  12. emily s. 14 March, 2014, 12:06

    That’s not always the case @ Lori Woods. My son never cared one way or the other if I had him covered while nursing or not. My daughter on the other hand is the complete opposite. I end up showing off way more breast trying to keep her covered while she is fighting it tooth and nail than if I just don’t use a cover at all. It is not even the same as just having a boob hanging out. That just brings back peoples silly argument about breastfeeding making it ok for men to just hang their penises out :( It all depends on the mother and the baby (babies) and nobody should have a right to tell you which way is right. End of story..

    Reply this comment
  13. Yolanda 14 March, 2014, 12:20

    We’ll now you have your boob hanging out on the internet. give me a break. I breast fed both my boys for a year. Covered up. I don’t want some person getting off on feeding my child. It’s no ones business. Because now a days there are sickos out there. And then we would be discussing how someone was staring at you the whole time while you are nursing your child.And that would make me uncomfortable. And, I don’t to see your boob hanging out in the isle while every one walks up and down. Checking you out.

    Reply this comment
    • Jamie Lynne Author 14 March, 2014, 20:26

      A lot of people “get off” by looking at feet? Are you okay wearing sandals? Are you okay allowing your child to have his or her feet exposed in public?

      How is her boob hanging out? Would you also say that about sexualized forms of “partial breast exposure?” For instance, human epidermis in the form of cleavage, “side boob” or any other sort of partial breast “hanging” all over the internet, or are you just appalled by viewing some skin belonging to a mammary gland when it is being used for its biological purpose? People’s disgust with breastfeeding is derived from a cultural sexualization of breasts and children…Unfortunately, most people are unable to reconcile that because of cultural taboos.

      Reply this comment
  14. Deanna 14 March, 2014, 19:48

    Hi Lori, first I want to say that it’s awesome you breastfed twins! I can’t imagine more than one myself! Double blessing! I wanted to personally respond to your comment as I shoved nothing in anyone’s face. I went about my business and certainly within my ‘rights’ chose to feed my son how he and I are most comfortable – without a cover. With no “boob hanging out” as you put it. Some children are uncomfortable with covers. In my case personally I believe breastfeeding is normal and natural and nothing that needs to be hidden by a cover. I don’t believe any mother breastfeeding her child is doing so for alterior (ridiculous) reasons like attention, flaunting or to make anyone uncomfortable. They are just meeting their child’s needs….as I was doing in this moment. I am a lover of peace, was not in the least looking to pick a fight! Now I’ll admit the way this has been poorly handled is getting my husband and I riled up. But normalizing breastfeeding is something I believe in and am passionate about. As well as supporting other mothers by raising awareness and leveraging the power of social media in an effort to help Frontier see the serious need for a new proactive policy.

    Reply this comment
  15. Deanna 14 March, 2014, 20:00

    Did my response get eaten? Lol.

    Reply this comment
  16. Ms M 14 March, 2014, 20:36

    Moral of the story: Don’t f*ck with breastfeeding mamas!

    Reply this comment
  17. Meggs 14 March, 2014, 22:52

    I am really disappointed by some of these hateful comments. Up until she just wouldn’t let me anymore I would somewhat cover up when I nursed but I never cared what another woman chose to do. Why should you care? They are feeding a child!! It isn’t like they are exposing themselves for pleasure.
    Good for you for standing up for yourself, she should have apologized and moved on. Sounds to me like she was just being stubborn and not all that concerned with how well she performers her new job. These airlines need to sort something out and fast.

    Reply this comment
  18. Anna Christie 15 March, 2014, 03:52

    Well done you, I’m waiting for the day I get harassed, have read so many sad articles like this, I have a whole lotta stuff to say on behalf of all the breastfeeding mamas out there, someone will feel my wrath lol! I hope you get the genuine apology you deserve. This flight attendant sounds like an immature idiot with a sky high ego, she definatley does not need to be in a job like that involved with people and it will benefit that airline to not have people like that representing them.

    Reply this comment
  19. Amber 15 March, 2014, 03:58

    I would just like to say thank you. As a new nursing mother this attendant would have made me feel ashamed of nursing. Even more so since I probably would have interpreted that other people on the plane had a problem with it. With emotions still all over the place because of hormones leveling out from pregnancy they could do a lot of damage to a new nursing mother. How many is that attendant still doing it to?

    Reply this comment
  20. Amber 15 March, 2014, 04:09

    I want to say thank you for pursuing this. I’m a new nursing mother and this attendant would have made me feel ashamed of breast feeding, even more so since she had implied that other people on the plane had a problem with it. This is even more of a concern with hormones still out of balance with new mothers and creating a negative emotional situation to breast feeding. How many other people is she doing this to? And how many of them are taking this to heart and associating the feeling of shameful with breast feeding?

    Reply this comment
  21. That’s Dr Amy to you 15 March, 2014, 04:32

    Thank you for sharing your story, well done you for standing up for your rights and following through. I am so angry for you right now, WTF is wrong with people that they think they can harass and assault mothers with their young children, and think they can get away with it. What is wrong with society that those who are most vulnerable and should be nurtured and protected are the ones that get abused. Are you able to take this to the Human Rights Commission?
    Re Mary’s comment above about the name – I would expect that frontline personnel in industries such as airlines HAVE to provide their name or identification when requested by a customer. This is generally part of the company’s business policy, I guessing she also didn’t pay much attention during that part of the training either.
    I hope you get a really good apology and some big fat compensation from them.

    Reply this comment
  22. Love The Boob (@lovetheboob) 15 March, 2014, 05:11

    I dont understand why they are scared another customer (not breastfeeding) would be offended and complain and possibly make the company look bad (on social media or whatever) when we all know in every situation I’ve heard of, its been the nursing families are won’t let the employee complaints go and eventually make the company look bad. I just don’t understand the employee goals asking you to cover up and not letting it go. Its just dumb. do they want to hear a crying baby?

    Reply this comment
  23. Mark 15 March, 2014, 08:02

    Disgusted with this story, I think you should take legal action. The airline should offer paper bags for people like Lori to place over their head. I strongly feel the airline has violated your human rights!
    Mark
    Ireland

    Reply this comment
  24. Rainbow Warrior Woman 15 March, 2014, 15:25

    What a frustrating world we live in where Mothers are having to advocate for their children’s right to feed.

    It’s not always easy to find out accurate information on airline breastfeeding policies, as this article highlights… http://m.huffpost.com/us/entry/4833470

    Reply this comment
  25. Rebecca Barrett-Fox 15 March, 2014, 15:25

    Thank you!

    Reply this comment
  26. ekc 16 March, 2014, 09:56

    If I am legally allowed to nurse my child, their only response to a complaint would he that I am protected by law and they will not ask me to cover or stop and that they can find a new seat for the offended person. End of story.

    Reply this comment
  27. Jennifer 16 March, 2014, 12:05

    Tweeted for you! I really hope this is resolved. A proper apology is needed, and changes to their policy. These stories are so frustrating, and rogue flight attendants need immediate retraining, imo.

    Reply this comment
  28. Rob 16 March, 2014, 15:43

    I would hope that you would cover feeding as it does make people uncomfortable… I respect the choice not to, but why put others in an uncomfortable place? Flights are usually very short at least cover for the 4 hours max you’d be on the plane in close proximity to others.

    As for the flight attendant SHAME! Could have just apologized and let the issue die instead of dragging it out. After the flight talk to your management and make sure you (the employee) know your company’s policies. Being able to truly defuse a situation is good customer service. Causing and issue is not.

    Reply this comment
    • Kim 24 March, 2014, 06:51

      Your name is Rob, so I’m guessing you’re a man and never nursed a baby. First of all, a lot of babies will not tolerate a cover. Second, the way airplane seats are arranged, nobody is facing anyone else, so they don’t have to look. Third, keeping a baby quiet by nursing seems much less uncomfortable to other passengers than having to listen to them cry or scream.

      Reply this comment
  29. Jena 17 March, 2014, 11:31

    Just pictured this imaginary scene in which a man who complained about being seated next to a nursing mom was relocated to the seat across from the aisle from me–at which point I start nursing both my 3yo and my baby.

    I’ve been on several flights (American, Alaskan, United, and one other I can’t recall) and am grateful I never had any problems with other passengers or flight attendants when I nursed. In fact, when my daughter was just turning one, the flight attendant looked absolutely relieved when I started nursing her just before we took off.

    Reply this comment
  30. Amanda 18 March, 2014, 11:23

    Someone was able to respond to a FB comment I left in just a few minutes, but they can’t take the time to apologize to you. They need to apologize PUBLICLY as I stated on FB, so all nursing mamas will see it. This is totally unacceptable. So stressful to have to go through anywhere, but especially while traveling. My heart goes out to you, and GOOD FOR YOU for sticking up for yourself and all of us like you did.

    Reply this comment
  31. Evelyn Chelf 18 March, 2014, 21:04

    It’s really disgusting that a flight attendant would create such an uncomfortable situation up in the air over something so innocent. What an unprofessional attendant not only that but how can an airline trust someone that harasses people while on a flight. That’s dangerous to everyone, what if she harasses someone and they become hostile while thousands of feet in the air?!

    Reply this comment
  32. Krisanthi 19 March, 2014, 07:58

    Thank you for sticking up for breastfeeding moms! There’s few opportunities in life to really stand up for something and make a difference. Before I became a mom, I did not understand why women wouldn’t cover up. I didn’t think it was right to for everyone to see a woman’s breast for any reason. After having a child, I have completely changed my mind. Breastfeeding is hard enough as it is. I do not need anyone telling me how and where to do it. A mom should be able to choose if she wants to cover up or not. I personally have not nursed in public without a cover, but would never criticize any mom for doing so.

    Reply this comment
  33. Marie 19 March, 2014, 13:06

    Rob, I’m an Aussie mum who is currently breast feeding her third child. I wanted to share my perspective with you.

    You say that breastfeeding mothers should cover up because it makes people feel uncomfortable. I’d like to start by saying this isn’t universally true. When I see a breastfeeding mother looking after her baby unashamedly my reaction is one of gratitude and support, because the more people in society see it, the more they get used to it. I often visit Indonesia, and find everyone (men and women) so supportive and encouraging of breastfeeding wherever and whenever it that is quite a pleasant change.

    Have you ever thought about why “people find it uncomfortable”? In many parts do the world, it is not so. In your country and mine, breasts, which are actually there for babies, are believed to be for men. Our culture has sexualised them. People are happy to see they’re attached to some young actress in a movie, and many men line up to pay money to look at them in bars. But try to comfort a screaming baby, and people get all worked up.

    A few points:

    - My first two children refused any attempt to cover them. I’d flash a lot more in the attempt with them yanking away the fabric than when I gave up with number three.

    - Anyone “uncomfortable” has the choice to look away. They’re unlikely to see much, and it is a bit rude to stare. The baby’s face tends to cover the nipple.

    - I find it “uncomfortable” that men and women I don’t know take it upon themselves to have an issue with me trying to meet the needs of my baby. I find it uncomfortable that people sometimes even expect me to feed my baby in a stinky toilet. Why is some random person’s discomfort more important than mine or my baby’s?

    Thanks for taking the time to read my perspective.

    Reply this comment
  34. Cmorris987 19 March, 2014, 13:14

    Good for you! I’ve nursed 3 babies/toddlers on many flights, using for “cover” baby’s head, my shirt, hands, etc. I’d be livid if an FA talked to me like that! All the more so since only your family was even in your row. (Always fun to start nursing in a row of business-traveling strangers!–but I have done it and will again, I’m sure.) glad you’re being persistent. All nursing moms should thank you.

    Reply this comment
  35. Anna 19 June, 2014, 18:32

    I don’t agree with being told to cover up, and you were well within your rights. You acted correctly in asking her to verify in her manual the correct procedure, and it appears the wording in their manual needs to be changed (which the FAA has to approve and takes months).

    However, what YOU did was ILLEGAL when you recorded a flight crew. You could have been arrested and at the very least should have been forced to delete the video and/or fined. The airline and the flight attendant would be within their legal rights to press charges against you. Recording by photo or video any member or a crew while they are performing their duties (ie, working) is a serious security risk.

    Reply this comment

Write a Comment

Your e-mail address will not be published.
Required fields are marked*