Society

Dawn Brahos Told by American Airlines Flight Attendant she Can't Use Breast Pump

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A woman who was on vacation with her husband without her children had her trip turn into a disaster after an American Airlines flight attendant told her off for using a breast pump.

Dawn Brahos, 38, had to use a breast pump throughout their trip because it relieved pressure and would keep the milk flowing.

She was on a flight from Minneapolis to Chicago when a female flight attendant stopped her from plugging the device in and pumping.

She said the attendant was "argumentative" about it, calling her a liar when she said she had pumped in two other flights without a problem.

"It was humiliating. She kept saying I had to be mistaken, that it must have been a different airline," Brahos said.

"She was loud and cold and argumentative. At least a third of the plane knew my business. I could see them talking amongst themselves. I started it off being quiet and discreet, but the flight attendant wasn't discreet at all," Brahos said. 

The mother chose the airline because she talked to agents beforehand that told her the Medela pumps were able to be used on flight. 

But a few agents gave her conflicting information, saying the pumps were not allowed.

It was a fifth agent that finally pre-approved her use of a Medela breast pump. 

"Pumping is already awkward and uncomfortable enough without having to worry about the individual discretion of whoever happens to be working that day," Brahos said. "She came back three times to my seat and was really loud about it. She was like 'you absolutely cannot pump.'"

"The rules have to be clear. It's not like you can fight with a flight attendant these days."

Now, American Airlines is realizing their mistake and has apologized to Brahos.

American Airlines spokeswoman Andrea Huguely said, "We apologize for the experience Ms. Brahos had on a recent flight. Our in-flight personnel are trained to handle these situations with professionalism and discretion. American does not have a policy prohibiting the use of breast pumps in-flight."

The spokeswoman said there should not have been a problem, and the woman should have been allowed to plug in her Medela pump. 

Brahos accepted the apology but said that the airline should streamline its policy so there are no future incidents.

"She was just dismissing any possibility of me resolving my situation. She got angry with me and then wasn't willing to give me her name. I really hope they improve training and get everyone on the same page. And I'd love to see their policy in black and white on their website, so moms can print it up and travel with it," Brahos said.

"It's important that this doesn't happen to other moms down the road."

Sources: NY Daily News, Daily Mail