Delta Airlines Denies Woman Right To Breastfeed In Public, Demands She Cover Up
When a Newport Beach mother asked Delta Airlines about their breastfeeding policies, she wasn't prepared for their answer. And Delta wasn't prepared for the media firestorm they would ignite.
Lindsay Jaynes tweeted Delta Airline's customer service Twitter account @DeltaAssist on Friday asking about their breastfeeding polices. She wrote that her 10-week-old son isn't able to nurse with a cover or drink from a bottle. He was recovering from an oral surgery and has acid reflux, reported CBS Los Angeles. It was obviously a major concern since she would be on a six-hour flight and her son needed to be fed every two hours. According to WXIA-TV, Jaynes was just planning ahead for an upcoming trip next month from Orange County to Sarasota, FL.
However, the person responding on Delta's end told her she wasn't allowed to breastfeed without a cover and wrote she should just breast pump ahead, despite the fact Jaynes specifically said he couldn't nurse from a bottle.
This is the Twitter exchange between @DeltaAssist and Jaynes, whose Twitter handle is @ClassicHippie:
@DeltaAssist What's your breast feeding policy? I'll be flying with my 10wk old son and he won't nurse with a cover or take a bottle. Thanks— L Parker Jaynes (@ClassicHippie) February 21, 2014
@DeltaAssist My flight is six hours and he needs to eat every two hours. What do you suggest?— L Parker Jaynes (@ClassicHippie) February 21, 2014
@DeltaAssist I've tried since he was born to get him to eat from a bottle and he absolutely won't, so that's not an option.— L Parker Jaynes (@ClassicHippie) February 21, 2014
@DeltaAssist So even though I am legally allowed to breastfeed without a cover, you're saying I can't? Is there a Delta written policy?— L Parker Jaynes (@ClassicHippie) February 21, 2014
Things got a little hairy for Delta Airlines after that. The Twitterverse was infuriated and folks criticized the airline for its practices.
Jaynes wasn't able to find a written policy on breastfeeding because Delta Airlines doesn't post theirs online, reported NBC News. According to the New York Daily News, 45 states (including California) have laws in place protecting mothers' rights to breastfeed in public.
Several hours later, Delta Airlines realized their error and tweeted Jaynes back with this apology:
Delta's spokesperson offered an apology on NBC News:
"Delta as well as our employees fully support a woman’s right to breastfeed her babies on our aircraft," airline spokesman Michael Thomas told NBC News. "While we did have a customer who was given wrong information by an employee, it’s important to note that the legal right to breastfeed on board our aircraft is something that’s honored by our flight attendants every day on thousands of flights a day."
“All I really wanted was a written statement by them to show any of the flight attendants or anyone on the plane just in case there was an issue,” Jaynes told CBS Los Angeles.