An Arizona woman says she was treated rudely by an American Airlines flight attendant while pumping breast milk in a plane bathroom during a flight from Chicago to Phoenix recently.
Mariana Hannaman and her husband Brandon were on their way from a week spent in Europe, WGN News reports. They had a 4-month-old daughter waiting for them at home.
“If I don't pump regularly then my breast milk supply goes down,” Mariana told KNXV News.
She said she didn’t want to make the man seated next to her on the plane uncomfortable so she slipped into a plane lavatory to express milk.
After about 10 minutes, a flight attendant reportedly demanded she open the door. Mariana said that she explained what she was doing but about two minutes after that the flight attendant was back.
“So I opened the door, with the pump still attached to my breasts and she looked down and then said, ‘What are you doing, you can’t do that here. You’re taking too long, there’s other passengers,’” Mariana said.
“I’m feeling diminished,” she told WGN, explaining her emotions at the time. “I feel exposed. My pump is attached to my breast.”
She told KNXV that she then stepped out into the corridor of the plane, her breast exposed with the pump attached and asked the passengers in line if they minded if she finished.
Mariana recorded portions of the incident with her iPad. She said she wanted to record the flight attendant’s name and employee information so she could report her.
The flight attendant can be heard in the video telling Mariana to go back to her seat and saying that the new mom should have told flight attendants she was going to the bathroom to express milk.
Mariana reported the incident to American Airlines.
“I don’t want her to get fired,” the mother said. “I want her to get retrained.”
The airline sent Mariana an apology.
“It is disappointing that our flight attendants may have displayed discourteous responses to your breast pumping for your infant at home; every effort should have been made to accommodate you,” it read in part. “Please be assured that your criticism has been used constructively to improve our service.”
American Airlines told WGN that as “a matter of policy, we fully support a mother`s right to express milk in any of our facilities.”
Photo credit: KNXV News, WikiCommons