Last updated: 03:46 PM ET, Tue October 06 2015

Airline Apologizes to Passenger Who Was Scolded For Using Breast Pump

Impacting Travel | Patrick Clarke | October 06, 2015

Airline Apologizes to Passenger Who Was Scolded For Using Breast Pump

American Airlines has issued an apology to a female passenger after she claims she was scolded by a flight attendant for using a breastpump aboard a recent flight from Chicago to Phoenix.

WABC-TV reported Mariana Hannaman was using a breast pump in the airplane's bathroom when she was confronted by the flight attendant. 

Hannaman said she was en route to her nursing daughter Vida and several hours into the flight to Phoenix when she needed to pump to relieve the pressure. "If I don't pump regularly, then my breast milk supply goes down," she told WABC-TV. 

Hannaman went to the bathroom to pump and alerted other passengers in line that she would be a little longer. But after only a few minutes, Hannaman said she was interrupted by a flight attendant.

"Flight attendant knocks on the door, she's like 'Are you OK?'" she told WABC-TV. "I'm like 'Yes, I breastfeed, so I'm pumping, I'll be right there.'"

That's when Hannaman said the flight attendant ordered her to open the door before doing so herself and demanding her to stop pumping.

"She was rude. She diminished me," Hannaman told WABC-TV, adding that the flight attendant opened the door while passengers watched from the cabin. "I don't want her to get fired. I want her to be retrained."

American has already apologized to Hannaman for the incident and confirmed to WABC-TV that its policy permits nursing women to pump anywhere anytime, even in their seat.

Nonetheless, Hannaman said she wants assurance from the airline that it will retrain the flight attendant to prevent a similar misunderstanding from occurring in the future. 

Hannaman's experience highlights the many challenges breastfeeding mothers often face while traveling. Recently, several airports have opened special stations where nursing mothers can pump and breastfeed privately and comfortably. 


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