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Woman Humiliated After AA Flight Attendant Tells Her She Can't Use Breast Pump

Woman Humiliated After AA Flight Attendant Tells Her She Can't Use Breast Pump

 
Old Apr 29, 13, 1:40 pm
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Woman Humiliated After AA Flight Attendant Tells Her She Can't Use Breast Pump

An Indiana mom says she was "humiliated" on a recent American Airlines flight when a flight attendant caused a brouhaha over her breast pump.

Dawn Brahos, 38, says the female flight attendant loudly forbade her plugging in and pumping during an April 18 flight to Chicago and called her a liar when she explained she'd pumped without problems during two other American flights in the prior week.
http://www.nydailynews.com/news/nati...icle-1.1327726
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Old Apr 29, 13, 1:42 pm
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... so humiliated that she told the entire story to the Daily News?
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Old Apr 29, 13, 1:44 pm
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This could very well be a situation where 1 FA enforced a known rule while the others did not.

Do we know what the rule is? All 3 FA's can't be right.
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Old Apr 29, 13, 1:53 pm
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Originally Posted by fieldeng View Post
This could very well be a situation where 1 FA enforced a known rule while the others did not.

Do we know what the rule is? All 3 FA's can't be right.
The article the OP pointed to states
An American official offered an apology to Brahos and said the airline does indeed allow breastfeeding moms to plug in Medela-brand pumps during flights.
It appears to be the more common instance where an AA FA, instead of actually learning the rules, just made one up.
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Old Apr 29, 13, 2:18 pm
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MSP-ORD is a mix of mainline and Eagle, and my first guess was that she was rebooked on Eagle, and that's where the trouble began. I wouldn't expect the NY Daily News to differentiate between mainline and Eagle. All too often, the alleged rules are different between mainline and regional flights.
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Old Apr 29, 13, 2:38 pm
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<redacted>

It's all about timing, so my wife tells me. If she hadn't had a chance during the previous few hours, it could happen.

Last edited by JDiver; Apr 29, 13 at 7:39 pm Reason: redacted deleted post content
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Old Apr 29, 13, 2:38 pm
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<redacted>

You obviously aren't a lactating woman. The pressure on your boobs can be quite intense and painful. Plus pumping is a pain in the neck so I totally get wanting to do it on a flight when there isn't much else to do.

Last edited by JDiver; Apr 29, 13 at 7:38 pm Reason: redacted deleted post content
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Old Apr 29, 13, 2:42 pm
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Even a breast feeding mom can't get a break on this forum even when we know the FA is wrong.
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Old Apr 29, 13, 2:47 pm
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<redacted>

If you bothered to read the article it might make more sense to you.
"The mother of three said she normally pumps every three and a half hours and began feeling painfully engorged during the normally short flight because it took off late and she'd spent the previous few hours checking out of a hotel, traveling to the airport, checking in with American and going through security."

Last edited by JDiver; Apr 29, 13 at 7:38 pm Reason: redacted deleted post content
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Old Apr 29, 13, 4:00 pm
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Originally Posted by FWAAA View Post
MSP-ORD is a mix of mainline and Eagle, and my first guess was that she was rebooked on Eagle, and that's where the trouble began. I wouldn't expect the NY Daily News to differentiate between mainline and Eagle. All too often, the alleged rules are different between mainline and regional flights.
An Eagle flight with seat outlets - didn't know such a thing exists?
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Old Apr 29, 13, 4:03 pm
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An American official offered an apology to Brahos and said the airline does indeed allow breastfeeding moms to plug in Medela-brand pumps during flights.
Originally Posted by hillrider View Post
It appears to be the more common instance where an AA FA, instead of actually learning the rules, just made one up.
but hillrider, it was for "security reasons"
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Old Apr 29, 13, 4:20 pm
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Originally Posted by StevenH123 View Post
"The mother of three said she normally pumps every three and a half hours and began feeling painfully engorged during the normally short flight because it took off late and she'd spent the previous few hours checking out of a hotel, traveling to the airport, checking in with American and going through security."
Given what she had to do (check out of hotel, travel to airport, check in with AA, transit security, etc.), sounds to me as if she stood a good chance of having the 3 hour problem even if the flight hadn't been late. Perhaps her schedule was a bit ambitious. OTOH, if her actions were officially OK with AA, she would have had no reason to suspect that there would be a problem.
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Old Apr 29, 13, 4:36 pm
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Hmm, I had an opposite experience in April.

DFW-SJC, MD80, seat 5B. Last third of the flight, and on my way to the lav I dropped off my now-empty glass in the galley. FA was sitting on her jumpseat in a very weird position with something sticking out of her apron. I recognized her pump, which was resting in the closet. Same brand I use. She was mortified, but if I hadn't known what she was doing I wouldn't have necessarily been able to guess. She was discreet and completely covered by her apron. Turns out she was just back from maternity leave.

Mastitis is just one awful consequence of going too long between pumping/nursing sessions. Google it, it's neither fun nor pretty. Worse, though, and I speak from experience, is leakage. Obvious leakage. If the tap is full, or if there's another baby crying inflight, well ... the milk will find its way out. Better to take control, in that situation.

I can see where the pax would be humiliated, and still share her story. It's humiliating anytime a FA makes an example of us, isn't it? This woman was using her breasts for their intended purpose (to provide milk for her child), there was no reason for her to be called out on it. Humiliated or not, she hopes the media attention spares another lactating mother the same embarassment. Seems reasonable to me. It wasn't the lactation or pumping that embarassed her, it was the treatment she received.
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Old Apr 29, 13, 4:37 pm
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Originally Posted by isle-hawg View Post
An Eagle flight with seat outlets - didn't know such a thing exists?
Good point, but there was this tidbit in the linked article:

One her April 17 return flight to Chicago, Brahos said American flight attendants were extremely accommodating, allowing her to use a galley outlet to pump not once but twice because the flight circled over O'Hare for an hour and eventually got diverted to Minneapolis because of a storm.
In the back of the bus from SAN to ORD, she didn't have in-seat power and plugged into the galley. Wonder if Eagle planes have galley outlets?

May have been mainline.
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Old Apr 29, 13, 5:01 pm
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<redacted>

The AA FA looks stupid. AA was right to issue apology. The bigger thing is that FA's are "primarily there for our safety" and in command, and we are supposed to obey their instructions, OK. It just doesn't help when the instructions look stupid. Question: Will AA take the best step and educate FA's on policy on breast-feeding and pumping passengers? Don't hold your breath.

Last edited by JDiver; Apr 29, 13 at 7:40 pm Reason: redacted deleted post content and personal comment
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