The Delta Debacle: A Breastfeeding Mom Met by Armed Police Officers for Refusing to Comply with Stewardess

Do this 29-year-old mom and her 8-month-old baby look like a security threat? A flight attendant called Memphis police officers to escort her off the airplane because she was nursing her sleeping baby in a front pack and refused to take him out

Do this mom and her baby look like a security threat? A flight attendant called Memphis police officers to escort her off the airplane because she was nursing her sleeping baby in a front pack and refused to take him out

When Delta Airlines flight #42721 landed in Memphis, Tennessee on September 17th the passengers were asked to remain seated. Two armed Memphis police officers boarded the plane.

They were coming on board to deal with a dangerous security threat.

That threat was Jen Starks, a 29-old mother of two who had been discreetly nursing a fussy baby during the flight. Baby Tyler was on her front in an Ergo Baby carrier.

Starks was seated in the last row of the airplane, next to a male passenger, separated from her husband and 2-year-old daughter Rita Clare, who were four rows ahead.

The flight attendant insisted that Starks take the baby out of her carrier and told her to hold him over her shoulder. The seatbelt sign was turned off.

Knowing that 8-month-old Tyler, who was nursing and sleeping quietly, would scream and fuss if she unstrapped him, Starks initially stalled for time.

To the best of Starks’ memory, the conversation went something like this:

Stewardess: You need to hold him over your shoulder with your hand over his head for the entire flight.

Starks: I’ve never heard that before. I know I have to do that for take-off and landing.

Stewardess: No, you need to do that and you need to do that right now.

Starks: Your cart’s in the way, it’s going to take some arm movement. I need your cart to get out of the way and then I’ll take him out.

On Monday, September 20, Starks wrote a blog post, “Rebel with a Cause,” detailing how she’d been treated on the airplane.

“Her tone of voice was rude,” Starks told me when I interviewed her yesterday by phone. “She didn’t use rude words but her attitude was like, ‘I have the power and you’re going to do what I say. I’m in charge here and you will do everything I say, and don’t even challenge me.’”

About ten minutes later, the stewardess came back. By then, Starks had decided she was not going to wake her baby and unstrap him.

“‘At that point I said, ‘You know, I’ve thought about it. And I’ve decided not to take him out.’ Her eyes got kind of big. I said, ‘He’s safe in here, he’s sleeping, he’s happy. The seatbelt sign’s turned off. I’ve never heard this rule before. I do not want to take him out. I don’t understand why I have to.’”

Was this a safety issue?

The stewardess, who returned to serve Starks a yellow violation card and then called airport security, never said to Starks that the baby would be safer if not in the carrier.

“We do whatever the FAA tells us we have to do. Safety is our number 1 priority,” said Dory Puche, the Delta Customer Service Representative handling Starks’ case.

But Starks doesn’t think this was a safety issue.

“How could it be safer for [my son] to be out of this carrier, and he’s going to be crying and I’m going to be breastfeeding him in front of everyone?” she wondered.

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), not the individual airline, dictates safety considerations.

So I called the FAA to ask if there were any requirements that an infant during a non-turbulent flight be taken out of a front pack.

Alison Duquette, spokesperson for the FAA, said no.

The FAA’s written policy about take-off and landing is actually not very clear. It stipulates that belly belts are banned (Duquette said they have been shown to cause abdominal trauma in turbulence) and that children may only be strapped into FAA-approved restraints, but it says nothing specific about front carriers or slings.

According to the FAA, “The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) strongly urges you to secure your child in an appropriate restraint based on weight and size. Turbulence can happen with little or no warning. And when it does, the safest place for your child is in a CRS (child restraint system), not in an adult’s lap. Your arms just aren’t capable of holding your child securely, especially when turbulence is unexpected.”

I had to read that twice: Your arms aren’t capable of holding your child securely, especially when turbulence is unexpected.

Yet parents with lap babies may not hold them strapped securely into an Ergo Baby carrier, where they have no chance of flying out of their arms and bumping their heads on the airplane ceiling.

This seems both confusing and counterintuitive to me. Perhaps the policy was designed based on specific safety studies? Apparently not. Duquette was not aware of any tests comparing the safety of an infant being held in a parent’s arms versus strapped securely in a front carrier.

If it’s safest for a baby to be strapped into an approved baby restraint, why are babies-in-arms allowed on airplanes?

Duquette explains that five years ago, in 2005, the FAA considered mandating that infants have their own seats.

Ultimately they decided against it.

“Because the public is accustomed to kids under two flying for free, some parents sensitive to cost would choose not to fly and instead drive. We are part of the Department of Transportation (DOT). Because highway deaths are very high, we couldn’t do a rule that would put a child in greater harm than in the air,” Duquette said.

Although it’s not mandatory, Duquette would like to see every child in his own seat.

“Everybody wants children in seats not in laps,” she said. “We’ve done outreach to let parents make an informed decision.”

Delta Apologies

Susan Elliott, Delta Airlines media spokesperson (who was also quick to identify herself as a mom), was eager to talk to me about what happened on the Delta flight.

“We’ve already reached out … to offer an apology and we are investigating the situation,” Elliott said.

Elliott clarified that though Delta feels the responsibility is theirs, the flight was operated by Pinnacle, a regional airline, and the stewardess in question works for them.

But Elliott also said that Delta relies on crew members to make decisions about how best to hold lap children.

“This would be handled on a case by case basis. It depends on how the flight is going. We empower the crews to make that decision,” Elliot said.

Delta policy mirrors the TSA’s. “Infants and children less than 2 years old may travel for free within the U.S. if an adult (12 years or older) holds the infant in arms or places the infant in an FAA-approved child restraint during take-off and landing.”

Should we keep business as usual or is it time to change FAA regulations about travel with lap children?

Should we keep business as usual or is it time to change FAA regulations about travel with lap children?

Baby-friendly Skies

Starks has been using this unfortunate incident to advocate for more family-friendly skies. She recommends that families with children:

1) Be seated together and seated next to other parents with small children.

2) Be allowed to pre-board flights (this privilege was taken away in favor of zone boarding, which is thought to be more efficacious), which would allow a family to get settled in more quickly and comfortably, especially if they are using a car seat.

3) Be allowed to use a safe carrier to wear infants during flight, one that allows for breastfeeding (like the Ergo Baby), can be used during take-off and landing, and available on board.

4) Be given “Comfort Kits,” with activities for small children and a snack.

What kind of experiences have you had traveling with your children? Do you think this was an isolated case of inappropriate bullying by a flight attendant or just one example of how un-family-friendly the skies have become? Is this incident a wake-up call that the FAA needs to clarify its lap child policy?

Watch the local TV coverage of the incident.

Photos courtesy of Jen Starks.

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91 thoughts on “The Delta Debacle: A Breastfeeding Mom Met by Armed Police Officers for Refusing to Comply with Stewardess”

  1. Well, the airline is empowering the crew to make decisions that are too hard for them to figure out . The stewardess wanted her to hold the baby over her shoulder like she’s burping him? She’s been trained to serve cocktails and mime safety practices, not figure out crash physics.

    Clearly the FAA has no logical policy, but it should be obvious from their statement that a child secured in an Ergobaby is less likely to fly around and be injured than one held over her mother’s shoulder!

    But wait! Did you notice that they realized that even flying with neither seat nor restraint was far safer than DRIVING? That is a sobering fact–even for those of us who avoid driving anywhere and are keenly aware that the biggest danger to our children, statistically, is to put them in a car.

    The take home message here is that you and your kids are safer riding the airline beverage cart up and down the aisle the whole flight, while the crew chase you, screaming, than you are buckling into your own automobile.

  2. A few years ago, another Delta stewardess harassed a nursing mother. I still have a copy of the email I wrote to complain. Shall we assume that Delta is not a family-friendly airline? This is a pattern of behavior. It would seem Delta needs to educate their flight attendants on how to NOT harass mothers, particularly those of content, sleeping, nursing or *non-crying* children.

    Thanks for posting this — I will be sure to avoid flying Delta at all costs now.

  3. I actually had a steward bring me the manual and point out the guideline to me. It said something along the lines of “all babies must be out of their carriers” and I said “this isn’t a carrier, it’s a wrap”. To comply I just undid the wrap and held my daughter .. still in the wrap cloth… until the plane took off and put it back on.

    Just booked my husband’s flight to the US… avoided Delta!
    .-= Heather Cook´s last blog ..I can feel the lifestyle changing =-.

  4. Was that a Delta flight Heather? I asked the spokesperson if she had a copy of Delta’s specific regulations and she did not. I’d love to know where and in what manual that was written. Also, since apparently no specific safety tests have actually been performed (except on belly belts, which are completely different from wraps), I would really like to know WHY the airline believes it is best practice to have this rule.

  5. I recently flew Delta from Seattle to Lexington, KY, with my 6 month old (and nursing) son and 7 and 5 year old daughters, and had a great experience with the flight crew. I had my son on my lap the entire time and wasn’t given any more attention than any of the other passengers. I believe that this was an isolated incident with a power-tripping flight attendant. My aunt has been a flight attendant with Delta for 35 years, and I’d be curious to get her take on the incident.

  6. How horrific. That airline attendant needs to be tarred and feathered for that kind of behavior. I’m just so completely baffled by the fact that someone would call security on this woman.
    .-= Stephanie – Wasabimon´s last blog ..Modernist Cuisine

  7. Thank you for focusing your post on the issue – whether the FAA regulation on lap babies is reasonable. Starks’ initial posts appeared to me to portray this as a case of breastfeeding discrimination.

    I am also surprised a Delta representative was so quick to apologize. Emily Gillette, who now years ago was removed from a Delta plane for refusing to cover the head of her breastfeeding child, has yet to receive her apology.
    .-= Jake Aryeh Marcus´s last blog ..Lady Gaga Asks Young People to Seek Repeal of

  8. There are no words for how ridiculous and outrageous this is. I have to say I’ve had some encounters with rude and ridiculous flight attendants so it seems to be at trend. I don’t understand what this flight attendant thought she was doing and I cannot believe she had this mom yanked off the flight. Air travel is like the wild west these days. They take away all of your rights and think they can run roughshod over everyone.

  9. I absolutely cannot believe the amount of vitriol I’m reading on a normally courteous board. “Trained to serve coctails and mime safety practices”? The flight attendant should be “tarred and feathered”?

    The flight attendant has absolutely no say in the airline’s policy. She is not empowered to exempt anyone from it and she certainly cannot just say, “This looks like a nice mom who just wants to keep her baby comfortable so I’ll let her keep him in his sling.”

    Although I certainly feel for Mrs. Starks’ dilemma (Let he among us who hasn’t tried to avoid waking a sleeping baby cast the first stone!), she was out of line to argue with the flight attendant, no matter how “rude” her tone of voice.

    Since the flight attendant did not have the authority to waive Delta’s rule, there was no way she could “give in” without possibly getting into hot water with Delta.

    Mrs. Starks should have complied and then contacted Delta and lodged a complaint with the people who actually have some say about their policies instead of “killing the messenger”.

  10. I agree, this is all ridiculous and inflammatory. But, after just getting back from a plane trip –not on Delta — I can report that flight attendants everywhere seem highly stressed, besieged and surly. Toward all of us, not just toward peacefully nursing mothers and babies.
    .-= Ruth Pennebaker´s last blog ..A Letter to My Two Favorite Oncologists =-.

  11. Thank you for sharing this Mothering Magazine! I fully support Jen in her decisions and feel her treatment was unjust. Mamas know what is best for their babies, and I don’t see how she was in error and in non-compliance. Way to go, Jen!

  12. I have always heard that the rule is that you can’t use a sling/front pack/whatever carrier (even a nursing cover that attaches around your neck!) while the seatbelt light is on – meaning during take-off, landing, and turbulence. You are allowed to use them during regular in-flight time though. This flight attendant was the one who didn’t know the rules, and was just on a power trip. There is no rule that says lap babies have to be held a certain way or over the shoulder or anything like that. I think she just made that up. And then didn’t like it when she was questioned.
    .-= Alicia @ Lactation Narration´s last blog ..Breastfeeding

  13. I have experienced Delta attendants being pushy & trying to enforce the removal of our Ergo during take off & landing. I agree that airlines should implement policies for families with small children & nursing babies to be made more comfortable & given cooperation and assistance rather than being met with resistance and in some cases hostility.

  14. seems to me that flight crews across the board are more stressed these days. I agree it’s a chance for increased education on how to work with parents of small children, but I’d also add that I’ve had many good experiences with Delta flight crews.
    .-= Kerry´s last blog and perspective =-.

  15. thanks for posting this. It’s been 3 years since I’ve flown, but I’ve always had pleasant experiences flying in the past with my kids hanging out with other kids they’d meet on the plane, nursing, etc. I’ve always nursed my children during take-off and landings to make the transition more comfortable. I’m a little nervous now for i had planned to do the same thing with our next flight plan. I couldn’t imagine not being able to nurse or have her bundled sleeping calmly, close to my body. May have to do a bit of research regarding lap babies before my next flight.

  16. It is surprising how this issue gets our parental protective hackles up–I think we all have struggled while traveling with babies. My wife, during her last trimester, was refused a drink of water during a transatlantic trip by a stewardess who was holding a large bottle of water.

    But you misunderstood: the stewardess wasn’t enforcing a policy because there isn’t one specifying this, according to Delta and FAA. She was making her own rule, and enforcing it unreasonably. The issue isn’t Delta and their policy, but a stewardess who went way beyond her bounds. She called the police for a ‘security’ problem (like terrorists) when she had only a ‘safety’ issue (like seat belts). Local police could take a dangerous person into custody, but have no authority over personal air safety. The stewardess had no idea what she was doing and decided to abuse the system (and the family). So some outrage at her conduct is well-placed.

  17. I have little sympathy for parents/ babies on flights. I wish there was a way to separate the cabins (the way amtrak has it set up) so that people interested in bringing their babies on a projectile flying metal object could nurse, change diapers, handle throw up and coo in privacy. All too often I end up sitting next to the parent that needs to change a diaper during landing, because if they wait five minutes until we hit the ground, their poor baby will have to suffer sitting in a dirty diaper a little longer. This, of course, causes us to have to go back into a holding pattern, because the steward will tell the pilot we are not secured to land. 45 minutes later, the 120 passengers on board are finally on the ground safely and the baby has probably soiled himself again because he was just breastfed in an effort to make them stop crying.

  18. Although we haven’t had terribly difficult flights with any particular carrier, I would like to commend Virgin Atlantic for always doing a great job with babies and children on their flights. I gladly pay extra for them just to be on a flight where I know we’ll all be treated well.

  19. I’m sorry to hear mothers with young children are no longer boarded first.

    I would like to think this is an isolated incident, but were I traveling by air, with a breast-feeding baby, I would certainly do research on this issue prior to buying a ticket.
    .-= Alexandra´s last blog ..An Unexpected Consequence of Divorce =-.

  20. I flew NWA/Delta with my daughter 6 times in her first year of life and never had a problem. she was in a babyhawk for some of those flights. i think this is just an isolated incident of a rude flight attendant. that being said, if other parents have similar issues, they definitely should make the airline aware so that their attendants can be properly trained.

  21. The safest place for a young child on a plane is in his /her own seat in an age-appropriate child restraint, back facing for the youngest children, and a CARES child aviation restraint or front facing car seat for children 1-4 or 5 years old.

    Parents simply cannot hold on to children sitting in their laps in the event of extreme turbulence. When the directive comes from the pilot to “stow your laptop and close your tray” during take off landing and turbulence, the baby in a mother’s lap becomes the only piece of unstowed luggage on the plane. If the baby is in an infant carrier affixed to the mother, and the mother needs to brace, the child is in danger of being crushed. If the baby is sitting on the mother’s lap without being attached to her, the baby is in danger of being flung out of her arms.Babies have been injured – and even killed – in these circumstances.

    Children under 1 year of age are safest in the plane in a back facing restraint – currently a back facing car seat is the only option. Children between 1 and 4 or 5 years old (22-44 lbs)can use the CARES child aviation restraint – a 1 pound FAA certified belt and buckle restraint that turns the seat into something that looks like the flight attendant restraint, and provides the upper body support needed for younger children. It keeps the child as safe as a front facing car seat would, and is designed for the aviation world.

    Everyone knows that from time to time people do need to leave their airplane seats to use the facilities, stretch cramped legs, or, in the case of infants, to nurse. It is best to be wary about this,and not prolong the time away from a secure seat however, as turbulence strikes sometimes without warning.

  22. Interesting. The ONLY time I have ever had a contretemps with a flight attendant (and we fly a LOT, with our 2 children, both of whom always nursed during take-off and landing and slept through every flight without incident — we have been extremely lucky through the years of travel, and we are profoundly grateful to every single crew member and airline employee who has been kind enough to make that true!) … I digress. Anyway, the ONLY problem we ever had was when we tried to use a CARES restraint with our then-2-year-old son. We were just starting to strap him in it when the flight attendant told us we had to stop IMMEDIATELY because we could not use the CARES restraint on his aircraft. When my husband very calmly and quietly and apologetically pulled out the FAA certification and instructions that accompanied the (FAA-recommended!) restraint, to show the flight attendant why we were trying to use it, the flight attendant became extremely angry and threatened to have us removed from the aircraft *immediately* if we did anything other than be completely silent from that moment forward, securely put away the documentation and the restraint immediately, and strap our 2-year-old in using the lap belt only. We needed to get where we were going, so we STFU and traveled lap-belt only that day. On future trips we have used a convertible-stroller-carseat-FAA-certified-flight-seat (much less convenient than the CARES restraint) and we frequently had flight attendants ask to see its FAA icon because the product is somewhat unusual — but that is a perfectly reasonable request with which we were always happy to comply! And no problems since then :-).

  23. This sounds like a big FAIL on Delta’s part. They sell baby carriers (basically just like this mom was using) that are designed for flight and for safety. I’ve never heard of this baby over the shoulder thing and I honestly think this flight attendant was on crack and probably needs to be let go. I flew a lot when my daughter was an infant. Oddly the only trouble I ever got was when I purchased her a seat and wanted to strap a car seat into it (because you can’t put an airline seatbelt around an infant). That flight attendant went bananas saying that my car seat needed to be FAA certified or something. The airlines really need to get their act together and just have approved carriers on board or nearby for people to use, if needed.
    .-= Alisa Bowman´s last blog ..What Getting Lost in Italy Taught Me About Love =-.

  24. Actually you can use a nursing cover during take off and landing. I nursed my son each time we took off and landed on our way to Hawaii to keep his ears from popping. I was actually encouraged to do so. I was very thankful that we had nice flight attendants on this 8 hr flight. They even allowed me to parade up and down the lanes to keep my 7 week old from losing his mind and taking mine with him!

  25. Jennifer,

    I am one of your local Ashland “MMW” mamas. I worked as a Flight Attendant at United Airlines from 1991 through 2001. I may be able to offer you additional insight on some of the questions posed by you and some of your readers. A little history… I’d like to bring you and your readers up-to-date that the correct title is “Flight Attendant” and has been since about the 70’s, which provided a gender-free job title as men were first granted the right to be hired. This change also corresponds to the. rise of power of unions giving a voice and an era when F/As began to address salary short falls and shift viewpoints from it being a job where the woman looks for “Mr. Right” (when she was then forced to quit) to it being a life career as a professional whereby she deserved respect. Given these readers are generally all progressive, liberal-minded women, I thought this was worth sharing. As for the Delta incident, I believe this to be an isolated case by an mis-informed F/A. This report alone does not convince me that the issue was about breast feeding, rather about safety. Feel free to contact me directly as I would prefer to provide you with a more than I can offer from the keyboard of my Blackberry. Contact me after Monday and I will share with you what I learned during my 10 years and what I understand to be airline specific vs. FAA mandated. I appreciate your thought-provoking articles… Thanks you.

  26. Jasper,

    It’s obvious to me that you are misinformed. Actually, Flight Attendants are highly trained individuals– not simply cocktail-trained but yes, even safety, emergency evacuation, CPR, First Aid, Fire Fighting, Handling Hijackers, moving on-board explosives, and yes training even includes reviews of studies and actual crash stats that half inform a bit about crash physics. Most even have a college education and today the larger carriers only hire you if you’re bi-lingual.. I worked for 10 years as an International Flight Attendant and Chief Purser for a major air carrier. You may be interested to know that one reason passengers’ survival rates are so high is that evacuation training is so effective. If your plane goes down, trust me, it will not be the pilots who will get you out of that plane! They get the plane down to the ground, the cabin crew gets you out… So you may wish to look past the assumptions held as you look at those blue suits– and reconsider the value these men and women for each and every passenger. Granted the F/A in question I believe handled the situation without sensitivity and with mis-information… But it is NOT a question of an entire class of employee having lower than average intellectual capacity or lacking appropriate safety training.

  27. I have flown Southwest several times with my son, now 14 months old. I always board the plane with him in the Ergo and each time, a flight attendant stops by my seat to explain that he cannot be in there during the flight (including takeoff and landing). At some point, when I asked about the reasoning behind the policy, somebody explained that if there were an accident and something happened to me, it would be harder for the crew to assist my son if he were strapped to my body in his Ergo carrier. I felt satisfied with that explanation and have placed him on my lap each flight since, though I agree he would be safer in a CARES restraint. We are one of those families that would be priced out of flying right now if we had to buy a seat for our son…
    .-= Katy´s last blog ..Diva Cup Convert =-.

  28. Ugh … what a headache! I just flew on JetBlue and they allowed families to board first, so I guess it depends on the airline. (Of course, I’ve had other issues with Delta, so I can’t say it’s out of character for them.)

  29. The friendly skies unfriendly to families? I think it’s pretty safe to say, as others have, that flying is stressful for all concerned these days — solo travelers, flight attendants, and moms with babes in wraps & packs.

    That said, two good friends of mine are Delta flight attendants, and I have to say, I’m often shocked by the stories they tell about the rude, selfish, and inconsiderate treatment they endure from passengers. (These two, by the way, are some of the most family-oriented folks I know.)

    All by way of saying often these things are isolated incidents and don’t necessarily represent a company culture or industry policy (which sounds murky at best in this case.)

    I’m a slave to United, because they offer non-stops across the Pacific, a frequent destination for my family. I still fondly remember one older flight attendant who, during the course of the 14-hour trip, would make a point of holding the babies and giving them a walk down the aisle to give parents a break (and because he clearly loved kids.) The man was a saint in my mind. And I also remember one flight attendant, whom I assumed did not have kids, ask me why I couldn’t put my child to sleep, after he insisted on running laps around the airplane in excitement when everyone else was sleeping. Did I decide that all United flight attendants were horrible? No, just her;)
    .-= sarah henry´s last blog ..Berkeley Bites- Aaron Betesh- Blue Heron Farms =-.

  30. This isn’t an isolated incident. I wasn’t bullied but I was told I had to take my baby out of the carrier. I wish I had read that FAA section. I would have refused. It’s counter intuitive to keep your baby in your arms when they could fly out of them. I didn’t care about people seeing my nurse. I just wanted to keep him close and warm.

  31. I bought one of those “FAA Approved” baby harnesses when we first flew with my daughter. It was hot, uncomfortable, and did not fit her well (I threw it out after one use). I imagine an Ergo would be safer AND more secure than the contraption I had.

  32. Delta flight attendants were rude to my daughter when she was flying home this summer. I wasn’t with her, but my mom was, and she said that a not just one, but several, of the flight attendants that they encountered from Florida to Texas, were not very nice at all. For the record, my daughter is 7, and very sweet and well behaved. She slept, played on her laptop, or took pictures, for the majority of the flights she was on. Some of these flight attendants genuinely dislike children.

    Oh, and if you want another reason Delta sucks, they lost my daughter’s carseat which was gate checked, and never found it nor replaced it. That was totally not cool. This family will never give another dime to Delta.

    Air travel is not what it once was. I remember being a little kid, and flying from the Europe to the US, and the stewardesses were super nice to me and my sister. They gave us delicious food, and pins, and coloring books… They talked to us about everything that was going to happen on the flight. It was nice. This was not an airline based in the US, though. I’m not sure if airlines in Europe are still family-friendly today. I know they were, and I think US ones used to be also, from what other people said. I think things have just changed, and it kind of sucks.

  33. It seems to me that the FAA needs to spend some more time trying to come up with actual guidelines on this so there will not be confusion which reflects poorly on the airline. The F/A was obviously miseducated or misunderstood her training. I have also been told, on a flight with US Air, that my daughter could not be in her upright carrier, (I was using a Baby Bjorn) during takeoff and landing, but if I wanted to have her in it for the duration, that was fine. Which really just does not make sense, I’m supposed to hold her in the same position, but not in a secure device, rather in my arms which “aren

  34. I stopped flying Delta a year ago after a bad experience traveling with my baby. On a Delta flight leaving a MAJOR airport , the Delta gate agent made 4 families traveling with small children step aside of the boarding line and told us that we will be boarding last. She was rude and annoyed at the children. One of the toddlers was very antsy as we had to wait a very long time and the Delta employee looked at the group of parents and said, “You all need to get a hold of your children”. We were all in shock! I have never flown again with them. I have since then, very pleasant flights with other airlines with my toddler.

  35. I flew on an Airtran flight over the summer, from New York to Texas, and the experience was fine. I believe the experience is based on many factors, with exception to the presence of isolated incidences such as this. The flight attendants didn’t give any extra service to me because I had a toddler, nor did they seem to be inconvenienced in any way by either of us (they are flight attendants, not stewards, stewardesses, air-hostesses, etc. Just as you ask for respect as a parent, please respect those in that particular profession when posting, folks).

    Perhaps that particular Delta employee was having a bad day, or was irritated and misinformed. Bad customer service appears in any business, not just on airplanes. You also get what you pay for, in my opinion. A particular airline may offer cheap flights, but after one bad flight on an airline carrier, I choose another.

    One thing I will also add: we don’t generally fly with our son. We travel by train. Trains are wonderful: you can get a sleeper or private car, walk around, eat and look out the window. They’re safer than driving and not quite as expensive as flying. If you have the extra time to spend on the trip and the destination allows for travel by rail, take a train.

  36. I have long refused to fly Delta (8 years now?) thanks to some severe baggage handling issues, and I’m not surprised by this incident at all (but I am still saddened).

    I suggest all parents print up the FAA guidelines on lap children and carry it with them on flights. I have an in-flight harness for my child; it’s called a Baby B’air. Not for use during take off or landing, but FAA approved for in-flight use & the product comes with a card & instructions to always carry tthe card with you when using their product. I’ve used it several times with no issues.

    I’ve flownjet blue several times and Alaska twice with a lap baby. No issues. In fact, one JB flight a male steward was very helpful and respectful of my quietly sleeping and nursing infant – he opened all my drinks and snacks for me, without me asking.

    I try to fly red-eyes. Or evening flights. My son sleeps most of the way that way.I always get “what an amazingly good and quiet baby” comments. I wonder if the timing makes it less desireablw foe a flight attendant to hassle passengers?

    We are going to DC later this month & we are trying the train. I HATE all the BS that goes along with flying these days.

  37. It is surprising and disappointing that so many such harsh words for someone they have never dealt with personally. It’s important to realize here that we are only hearing one person’s side of the story. I’m sure this mom is very upset – I would be too if I had been escorted off a plane by police officers for all to see. However, we don’t know for certain how she may have sounded to the flight attendant. I certainly think the whole situation got far out of hand and the flight attendant was in the wrong, but I don’t see how vilifying her helps anyone.

    For what it’s worth, over the past two months, I have spent nearly 40 hours in the air, with my nursling in a sling for most of them, and all of the flight attendants I dealt with were very courteous. Granted, I was on Continental and not Delta.
    .-= Melissa´s last blog ..Sunday Quote- The Importance of Freedom =-.

  38. Really? She should have complied and lodged a complaint later?!!! You sound like an entirely un-empowered woman. She was doing what was best for her child, following her instinct and requiring information before she was a “nice girl” and “did as she was told”. You are disgusting!

  39. i have had good and bad experiences flying, and we fly with our children quite often. mostly the flight attendants are polite, and some have even thanked me for breastfeeding my babies, because it kept them from crying. But i did have one experience, on board a Delta flight where the flight attendant asked me to stop breastfeeding my daughter because it had upset the women behind me. I refused and pointed out the man across the aisle from me who was brazenly reading a copy of Hustler magazine, leaning into the aisle. Everyone shut their mouths and i kept quietly feeding my baby!

  40. Interesting and ironic- are you an 80’s era woman who feels she should abandon her feminine qualities and tendencies in order to “fit in and keep up” with men?
    .-= Kimberly Minardi´s last blog ..Crayon Cupcakes =-.

  41. My two year old twins have clocked around 26,000 air miles, all as lap babies. Our experiences have been mixed. Because we have twins, we can never sit in the same section, but the airlines have been good about seating us close (but the other passengers are not always as gracious). We use Maya wraps, and as long as the cloth wasn’t completely over them, the flight attendants usually left us alone. On several flights, the attendants have been wonderful and more then willing to help us out.

    My bif has always been about bringing bottles with us and the “unclear” requirements that the TSA has about the amount. who ever is at security decides what you can bring. With my husband needing bottles to help with take off and landing, we get the run around a lot.

  42. I don’t think anyone is saying that buying a child their own seat and using an approved restraint probably isn’t the safest but the FAA allows children under 2 to fly without one. That said, doesn’t it seem that a baby in a carrier-during a flight when the seatbelt light is off-is safer than holding the baby over your shoulder, which is what this mother was told.

  43. wow!! what a bizarre thing to happen! i flew on CONTINENTAL to the east coast a few months ago. i wore my 2 month old baby in a moby wrap and had absolutely no problems. the flight attendants on both flights were attentive and courteous. i am definitely very wary of traveling with delta with children! yikes!!!

  44. I don’t think the skies are un-family-friendly in general. I think this was an isolated incident. To hold a baby over your shoulder with your hand on his head for 2+ hours is just ridiculous. I recently flew on American with my 8-month-old and had no issues whatsoever. I even discreetly nursed him. One change I would like to see isn’t necessarily with the airlines – I would like to see quiet rooms in airports for mothers and babies.

  45. Thank you for sharing this with us! We will be flying with our five month old this Christmas. I now know I should do more research on how to keep “everyone” happy and safe! So thank you for the heads up ๐Ÿ˜€

  46. I’ve flown more than 30 different flight segments with my now 2-year-old, mostly on Southwest and once on Delta. never once did I hear anything discouraging breastfeeding. One southwest attendant even said something very nice and said she’d nursed her twins until they were nearly 3.

    Re: carriers — I have been told by more than one flight attendant that I did have to take my son out of my sling or ergo during takeoff/landing, which never really made much sense to me because if there’s a problem he’d go flying out of my arms and be a dangerous projectile. If he was in a secure carrier, he’d stay put. I’m no crash expert, but wouldn’t the primary danger be me squishing him? Wouldn’t it be mitigated by me being in a seat belt? Wouldn’t it be much worse for him to be flying through the plane because I wasn’t able to keep hold of him?

    I complied with their request and usually just put him back in once we landed.

  47. I flew on an American Airlines flight last week. There were no problems to my destination, but on the way home, there were issues. I brought aboard my FAA approved car seat and strapped my baby in – rear facing, just like the other three flights we had been on in the past. The flight attendant tried to tell me, very rudely, that I must turn it front facing. I pulled out the FAA regulations that I had printed out from the AMERICAN AIRLINES WEBSITE that specifically said the seat could be rear of front facing based on the seats specifications. She told me then that it would not allow the seat ahead to recline and therefore, I must turn it front facing. Now, my child is under one and, as I understand it, legally required to rear face in a car – why would that be any different on a plane? At that point a second flight attendant came by and read the printout that I had brought on board and told me that “that is only for takeoff and landing – when we are in the air you will have to turn it around”. NOWHERE on the FAA regulations did it state this. I was about to go to the captain myself and call the FAA right there on the plane, however, the woman sitting in the seat ahead of my infant told the stewardess she did not mind not being able to recline here seat. Both flight attendants left it at that, however, I am still fuming due to the scene that it caused and the stress it added to my trip home. I will, needless to say, be attempting to contact both the airline and the FAA.

  48. I have experienced similar flight attendant harassment in regards to wearing my infant daughter in an Ergo. During the first 3 years of my daughter’s life, we flew from Albuquerque to Los Angeles 14 times – always on Southwest Airlines. She was always taken onboard in an Ergo baby carrier. Half of the time, I was allowed to keep in her the Ergo during the entire flight. The other half, the attendants would tell me that my daughter HAD to be taken out of the Ergo during takeoff and landing. One particular flight, it was 11 at night and an attendant INSISTED that I wake my sleeping baby and take her out of the carrier and held in my arms. I was nearly in tears at being forced to do something that was so obviously stupid and pointless.

    After she turned 2, I was required to buy her her own seat, but still preferred to keep her sleeping in the Ergo during the flight. Some attendants would insist that she (barely 2 years old) be sitting BY HERSELF in her OWN seat for take off and landing (a total impossibility) while other attendants would leave us in peace. It was always the inconsistency that bothered me.

    I always handled the frankly rude attendents by acting like I was in the process of taking her out of the carrier. But as soon as they took their seats, I would just put my daughter back in the carrier.

    The truth is that there really needs to be clear and consistant FAA guidelines. Right now, attendants are harassing mothers and peaceful infants. The situation is ridiculous.

  49. I moved across the country from my family when my first son was 8 weeks old, so have spent the last three years flying back and forth very regularly with initially just him, and now my newest baby. I usually just pick whichever carrier is cheapest, so have flown with many different ones. In all cases I have had my baby in either a wrap or my Ergo when I board the plane. Most of the time I am told that I cannot have them in it during takeoff/landing, but am not bothered besides that. In general I have had very pleasant experiences, and a few superb ones. I’ve had F/As bend over backwards to make me comfortable, suggest I breastfeed, offer to walk my crying infant, etc.

    I do believe this is an isolated incident, but I would fully expect Delta to make an effort to make sure it doesn’t happen again by making a policy and making sure the F/As know what it is.

    I think, good for this mother for insisting that she was treated fairly, and not complying to a completely arbitrary request by a misinformed flight attendant, just because she was told to!
    .-= Jenny Wiebe´s last blog ..Last Year =-.

  50. I would like to know what the FAA’s reason for disallowing carriers during the takeoff/landing and turbulence is. It is more likely that your baby will stay in it’s seat with the mama if they are attached somehow. I have been bringing babies on planes (love Jet Blue and their policies with children) and only in the past two years discovered that you can’t have them in a carrier. I think that the people that made this decision do not have infants, or haven’t thought it through. Can anyone explain it to me? It sounds like the FAA hasn’t even thoroughly evaluated their own decision.

  51. From my own limited experience, there seems to be a lot of confusion about what the safety regulations regarding children calls for.

    I took a trip this summer in a plane that had two seats on either side of the aisle. I was travelling with my 2yo, whom I strapped into her Britax seat, and my 5yo, whom I used a lap belt for. I had my 2yo and her seat next to the window so I could be close to my son who was across the aisle from me. On the way out, this was not a problem. On the way back, I was told that my son had to sit by the window for take off and landing. The explanation was that, should there be a need for evacuation, he might block the aisle and it would be better to have him next to the window where the adult on the aisle could grab him.

    I told the flight attendant that no one had said anything on the flight out. She was very, very nice and basically said that if everyone in the aisle was comfortable with the arrangement, he could stay on the aisle. The nice young man seated next to the window said he would happily grab my son and carry him off the plane in case of evacuation.

    So it worked out for us, but it seems that some of these safety regulations are random and arbitrary and based on no real research of what’s actually safe. And they are selectively reinforced which makes them even more ridiculous. As Heather above said, it’s the inconsistency that is irksome.

  52. I boarded a Lufthansa flight this past August with my daughter peacefully sleeping in her Ergo carrier. Just before the take off the flight attendant gave me an extension seat belt for the baby (basically a small seat belt you attach to your own), but I asked if I could keep my daughter in the Ergo since she was sleeping and the Ergo appeared to be the safest place for a lap baby. She couldn’t make the decision herself and went to ask her supervisor, who showed up just few minutes later to look at the situation. She then went to ask the pilot who in the end, she said, was responsible for all passengers safety. She came back with a smile telling me that it was okay for the baby to stay where she was. She also agreed with me that the baby being strap to my body and me wearing a seat belt was probably the safest solution. I’m not flying any other airline overseas, Lufthansa is more expensive, but worth the extra money. They also give you a free bassinet for the duration of the flight where your baby can sleep or just play, giving you a little bit of freedom during a long flight.

    Crazy though how since 9/11 we became slaves of the airline industry in the name of safety.

  53. When my son was 14-19 months old we were on at least a dozen flights with my son as a “lap child” on every flight. I wore him in a Moby wrap and during take-off and landing I had my seatbelt and he was securely strapped in the wrap with my arms around him. When the seatbelt signs were off I often took him out of the carrier to nurse him more comfortably and other times left him in the carrier to nurse and play as he pleased. Of our 12+ flights he only fussed during one flight (it was a bad day for him, even nursing wasn’t doing the trick) and every other time he was content as long as he could nurse as he pleased. We never had an attendant say anything negative to us, and in fact we received a couple positive comments and some simple wordless smiles. I am very happy that it was a generally positive experience for us and am saddened to hear of this case. No one ever told us that being in the carrier was against regulations in any way nor did anyone make any comments about nursing.

  54. Two years ago, I had an unpleasant incident with a flight attendant while traveling alone with my three children, ages 5.5, 3.5, and 6 months. My baby was in the the Maya Wrap, snugged securely against my chest. Take off was around 11pm, and he was deeply asleep. The attendant demanded (not requested) that I remove him before take-off and hold him upright. I asked her why, and said, “He’s sound asleep, if I take him out he will cry, and I’m sure no one on a late-night flight wants to listen to a crying baby.” She indicated (in a very impatient, harsh manner) that I had to carry him upright in my arms for take-off, because the sling was “unsafe”. It was late, I was stressed traveling alone across country with three children, and didn’t want to get in trouble with the airline, so I ended up removing him from the sling, and he screamed all through take-off (since I had to keep him upright, and therefore couldn’t nurse him for comfort/to ease pressure changes in his ears).

    When we prepared to land, the attendant made a bee-line for me, reminding me in a tone that was, frankly, hostile, that I had better not put him back in the sling for landing. She hovered over me until she had to go to her seat for the final descent.

    I understand that this was FAA policy that babies not be in a restraint during take-off or landing other than their carseats, but, as your article said, snug in the sling, my baby is going nowhere, and his neck and body are supported, with equal distribution of forces around the entirety of the fabric (no one narrow strap anywhere that could cause injury). This seems to be a far safer, more peaceful option than holding a child vertical in my arms, which cannot possibly keep him safe during turbulence. It seems that common sense needs to come into play somewhere in the FAA’s policies.

    (This being said, I have also flown SouthWest Airlines when my middle child was an infant and she was allowed to sleep peacefully in the Maya Wrap the entire flight, no problems, and the flight attendant even remarked on what a peaceful baby she was. No one ever asked me to remove her or stop nursing for take-off or landing.)
    .-= Angela´s last blog ..

  55. Karen – I have a Baby B’Air, too, and LOVE it – it is especially nice for a flight with a squirmy baby/toddler who doesn’t want to ride in the sling- baby isn’t going to wriggle out of my lap (if I doze off) or get bumped out if there is turbulence. I’ve had flight attendants ask about them, and I show them the card saying it’s FAA approved – many have never seen one before.
    .-= Angela´s last blog ..

  56. I had a similar situation where I was told to take my 2 month old out of a baby bjorn. This was over 8 years ago. The F/A threatened me with arrest. But then , oddly, she let us put our daughter in a non-FAA approved car seat.

  57. I’m with Jasper – Airline attendants may be trained but this one clearly had no clue about children and what is best or safe for them. Sounds like another case of uptight Christian who was not breast feed herself trying to “teach that hippy heathen a lesson”! How completely unreasonable. Remember when airlines told you to put your baby on the floor of a crashing plane for safety? The mothers who listened lost their children!

  58. wow, people get all hostile and frankly use a lot of inappropriate generalizations and insults! i find a lot of them quite offensive!

    i agree that this flight attendant handled things poorly. there’s no excuse for rudeness, and a nursing mother should definitely be made allowances for her baby. if there WAS a rule, the flight attendant should have made her reasoning clear, instead of just insisting the mother comply blindly with “rules” that make no logical sense. badly done.

    that said, i flew to London, UK recently with my 5 month old in an ergo carrier. i was told that i needed to remove him from the carrier for take off and landing and hold him in an upright position. when i questioned why (because of course, to me, it seemed that he would be safer IN the ergo) they advised me that it was because in the event of a mishap, there was more of a chance of problems extracting either myself or my child from the seat (belts tangled, etc). i complied. however, my flight attendants were polite and didn’t get all defensive when i questioned them. also, i chose not to hold him very upright but to nurse during take off and landing to ease the pressure in his ears. no one gave me any grief.

    i’m sorry that this mother had such a bad experience.

    @ Amara, i found your “uptight christian/heathen hippy” comment offensive. i am a christian, who breastfeeds my kids, yes, even openly in public! my other christian mothers i know do the same. you should be careful what kind of inflammatory generalizations you make. it’s unkind, and untrue.

  59. My experience was with delta as well. It was HORRIBLE! first of all, how are you supposed to change a child on a plane? There are no changing tables or room at all to do so in your seat! My flight was forced to land because of bad weather and my 9 month old boy, Elijah, began to get very fussy. Of course, the passengers were not pleased, but I suppose that is expected. Most of the flight attendants were accommodating but others were not so happy for my second request for juice… I only packed for a 2 hr flight. I decided to keep him in lap, but the seats are so tight that every time he moved at all he was disturbing the people seated next to me! All in all, the entire experience was quit devastating and I will not again fly with children. The airlines are just not equipped to handle them.

  60. Yikes! Very poorly handled by that flight attendant. If I were in charge at Delta, she would certainly have some sort of communications training! I’ve flown with kids under two in my arms several times, and was always asked to take them out of the sling for take off and landing, but had no trouble breastfeeding them during those times. Sounds like it was just this one hostile flight attendant that couldn’t manage to be polite about the rule. It does also seem to make more sense that, since babies can’t be in the seatbelt with you, a sling or carrier would make it slightly safer. Obviously a second seat with a car seat would be the safest option, but it does make it cost-prohibitive for many people.
    .-= Heather´s last blog ..Cloth Diaper Reviews

  61. Actually, most of the “uptight Christian” mom’s I know would be just as insulted by this article as you. I would be careful about generalizations. All my children enjoyed the wonderful benefits of breastfeeding, even in public. I would praise, not condemn a mom choosing to breastfeed her child. I assume this is comment was based on experience. If so, I am very sorry you had such an experience. I would say you had a very poor sampling of Christian parenting if that is the case. I know of a very small percentage of Christian mothers who would feel as you describe.

  62. I have also been asked, in an unnecessarily firm tone, to remove my BF, sleeping 7 mo old from his ring sling. I tried about 5 times to refuse and she kept coming back to tell me to remove it, and finally says that I at least need to “loosen the fabric, so he will not be stuck down” ???. Call me naive, but I certainly would have done something NOW, but I was still a timid, fresh mom. I ultimately decided to slide the shoulder piece down and made it look like I had taken it down. Come to think of it, he was attached to my bewb, as well.

    I am much more outspoken about these things now, and fully advocate women being comfortable BF publicly, without harassment.

    Education and example is key. I commend her for standing up for herself, and I will be using the FAA recommendation in any future incident. It is good to know that he CAN remain strapped in during take-off and landing. ๐Ÿ™‚

  63. How ironic that forward facing restraints are70% LESS safe than rear facing, up to 4 yo. When a child’s body is strapped down, and the vehicle it is in crashes or gets hit from any direction, the disproportionate, unsecured head of a small child keeps moving. Spinal injury or death is 70% more likely in a FF restraint.

    Call me crazy, but I would rather have my kid in his ERGO.

  64. Once, I was trying to nurse my fussy nine-month-old on an airplane. I had on a button-down shirt and while my chest was somewhat exposed, I was in a window seat and had a blanket over his head and my breast. The flight attendant come up to me and say, in a withering tone, “On an airplane, we cover up.” I still remember how totally mortified I was. Like I had done something horribly wrong. Then I was furious. It was a very negative experience. One I like to think that Starks’s efforts might be able to remedy!

  65. I recently flew on Frontier/Midwest with my 8 mo old baby who was also in an Ergo on the front of my body (though not nursing). He was sleeping when we boarded a night flight and I hoped to keep him that way… but I was also told to take him out of his “holster” as the flight attendant called it. I did, and he screamed through most of the flight. I think everyone on the plane would have been happier if he’d stayed comfortably sleeping in the Ergo!!

    On my next flight I was told that the “proper” way to hold a baby during takeoff & landing was sitting on my lap with my arms crossed over him. Let me tell you that this is IMPOSSIBLE to do with an active 8 month old! I tried to be polite but had to just laugh.

  66. You had the nerve to type a snarky, rude comment like that, on a website like no less, and then come back and correct you own thoughtless mistake? You should used common courtesy and stayed away from the start.

  67. I have only flown once with my baby (a round trip when he was 15 months old). We bought him a ticket and used an approved car seat, rear-facing. Most accidents happen on take off and landing, when an airplane is essentially a car with wings moving at very high speeds. I took him out to bf during the flight, but I used a bottle with expressed milk on take-off and landing while he was strapped securely in his seat. I understand that money is tight all around, but I would like to see more people making the decision we did. Has anyone else see that Jeff Bridges movie about the airplane crash? It was called Fearless. It very vividly depicts what happens when a mother tries to hold on to her baby in a crash landing–as is specifically advised by the FAA. One minute she’s holding her child, the next minute the crash is over and her baby is nowhere to be found–ripped out of her arms by the force of the landing. No one could hold on to a child in that circumstance and I don’t think an Ergo would do a sufficient job either. Again, I’m hoping more people will go ahead and buy that ticket so their babies can be safely buckled in during take-off and landing.

  68. Bob, you do realize that you were a “screaming child” once, don’t you? I never could understand why adults have no respect for children, when we were all babies once. What kind of grown person has that kind of disdain for a helpless infant? What does that say about the human race?

  69. I’m a flight attendant and a mother. I guess that would make me more sympathetic to mothers flying with in arms infants. I know the dangers of turbulence and don’t really understand the rule prohibiting mothers from wearing their infants in an ergo or similar device for take off, landing or throughout the flight. I know the rule has something to do with body movement and the possibility of the mother being thrown agains the chair or wall in front of her, but if the child was only in arms, chances are she would loose hold during severe turbulence.

    I always had my son or daughter in a carrier. It was easier for feeding and for keeping the baby quiet and content through the flight. There are other devices, like the Baby B’air, and the child restraint device called the CARES, that can be used.

    Either way, that fa was out of line and didn’t know her regulations. That’s a training issue for sure. But calling the authorities, a little much.

  70. I can comment on the issue of child safety on airplane flight, if I may. I’m a child passenger safety tech and those more knowledgeable than me may chime in, but it could be the reason babies must be removed from worn-on-the-body carriers is because of the risk of crushing them against the wearer in a crash. At least, that’s the concern with ground travel and why babies must be in approved child restraints. It IS confusing to read that holding a baby in arms is okay but wearing them is not. Child passenger safety advocates have been recommending for years that the FAA require child restraints in flight. The FAA requires coffee pots to be strapped in during takeoff and landing…

    The CARES device that was mentioned is at I’ve never used the product and I’m not affiliated with them, but I heard about it in a recent CPS Tech update. It’s small and easier to carry than a child restraint designed for cars. It’s for kids 22-44 pounds. Babies under 1 year should still be in rear facing child restraints, of course, like a regular infant safety seat. But the CARES device is the only harness FAA certified for air travel. It wasn’t around the only time I flew with a baby (23 years ago). That was before my CPS Tech days but I did bring along her safety seat. The sticker said the seat was approved for use in aircraft, but I wasn’t allowed to use it. So I held and nursed my 8 week old on takeoff and landing. Knowing what I know now about crash dynamics and how a sudden weight of a few hundred pounds (your baby) is ripped out of your arms in a crash, I would not do so again.

  71. I am a flight attendant for Southwest Airlines and a nursing mom. I do ask moms to unstrap or unwrap babies for take off and landing but if they are comfortable and/or sleeping I suggest something like un-tying ect and keeping them in the same position and then after take-off I can help them wrap back up. We are told not to allow parents to seatbelt their child into a seat with them because an impact would force the parents weight forward severing the child (gruesome I know) and because infant carriers are not approved CRS I ask they not be used during critical flight periods (ie take-off and landing).

    I have never heard of instructing parents on how to hold baby, I simply suggest nursing for take off and landing if mom and I are talking and I bring her extra water since flying dehydrates and she needs to make milk and not feel wiped out by it. Plus I carry copies of Dr. Suess for Nursing Moms to hand out to encourage her in case anyone else hassles her during her travels. I do give kids activity books with their parents permission if I have them in our entertainment kit (unless there is only say 2 left but 3 children, I won’t cause that fight without making a plan with mom and dad). I know I’m only one person but I go out of my way for parents, if baby is crying I tend to mom and dad, offer a make-shift rattle from a cup w/a lid filled with ice or pretzels, let them know they can stand in my galley if seat belt sign is off and that I’m not bothered by it like some flight attendants are (hey it is a cramped space), help them make a changing table if our aircraft doesnt have one.

    It meant a lot to have people help me when traveling with my child and something I wish other passengers knew is that NOBODY IS MORE STRESSED BY A CRYING BABY ON A PLANE THAN THE CHILD’S OWN PARENTS…UNLIKE MOM OR DAD, YOU DEAR ARE NOT, NOT, NOT ON THE VERGE OF A PANIC ATTACK SO OFFER TO HELP OR GET OVER IT. I personally have and do wear my child during flight, I like our Moby wrap. I do not feel the skies are un-friendly to families but I also only fly Southwest and on the whole the company is very family centered and trains its employees to be as well, sadly you can’t always comletely weed out the crab-apples but thats my company’s first goal in the hiring process so I feel fortunate. I’m saddened to see that any parent struggles to travel, they should be the most pampered people on the whole flight if you ask me.

    I think the FAA needs to make their rules on carries crystal clear and maybe add it to the safety info card.

  72. my baby had taken 17 flights when he was 7 months old and i can tell you that i have seen so many different policies related to landing and take off… overall it has all been really cool and flight attendants where relax. some where more fussy and strickt about having to put a special belt around him and sometimes i had to wake him up… usually i just did as if it was on and hid the baby under a cover and would nurse him and the attendants sort of did as if they didn’t know.

    this delta steward has obviously never nursed or she would not be like that… but what do you want there are stupid people everywhere.

    yes it would be great if ergo etc where allowed and they seem way more secure than those stupid belts.

    it’s incredible how strong i feel that it’s a lot more complicated to nurse in public when i read american blogs! in europe or in Quebec (canada) it is so much easier and no problem at all. also in southern countries (where we have travelled: south east asia, china and japan) you can just nurse wherever you want and people will say you are fantastic, you offer the ORIGINAL milk!

    good luck with all these little fights you have to make breastfeeding easier in the USA.

    take care

    .-= Joanna´s last blog ..Une AUTRE garderie =-.

  73. How do you know this though? What if there is a woman who just miscarried or lost an infant to SIDS on the plane? Do you think she may be stressed listening to a crying child?

  74. I was asked to remove my child from his ergo carrier on AirTran for take off and landing. Honestly it made no sense to me as he obviously was ‘safer’ there then being held if anything were to happen. I really find the rule quite dumb and do not understand where they get the reasoning behind it. I breastfeed my son, now 17 months…and thankfully have always been VERY respected for it on the three times I’ve flown airtran… attendants and passengers have actually commented to me each flight about how quiet and good he is… ( as compared to the screaming non nursing babies also on board…hahaha. I nurse each flight…no one has ever even raised on eyebrow…usually i fly between Florida and MD. Air Tran did have the same carrier rule though.
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..Global Breastfeeding Challenge 2010 =-.

  75. I think an ergo may just do the job in a serve case.. I would like to see it tested or something similar… how can you be so sure that car seat would not go flying? hopefully something good will come of this and we can ensure proper safety all around…
    .-= Erin´s last blog ..Global Breastfeeding Challenge 2010 =-.

  76. Please keep doing what you are doing. I am going for my first flight and would love to have you as one of the attendants! What do you recommend for diapering situations. I plan to avoid it at all costs.

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