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American Airlines FA ashed me to cover myself!

post #1 of 33
Thread Starter 

I was flying from Canada to the US on Monday and was BFing and the FA asked me to cover myself. The exchange went like this:


Him: Excuse me but do you have a blanket to cover yourself while you do that?

Me: (Gave him a strange look and ignored him)

Him: Uh, I take it that's a no?

Me: It's a no.

Him: Well you need to cover yourself while you breastfeed. It's a common courtesy. Other passengers shouldn't have to see your breasts.

Me(still pretty much speechless): Um, uh, well I believe I have the right to do this.

HIm: I'm not against you breastfeeding. You just need to cover yourself with a blanket as a courtesy to others.


He then stood over me until I stopped nursing and then thanked me (!). Several other passengers were looking and making comments ike "She should feed her son!", "a man's gotta eat" etc.


I was so angry and upset and did email AA about his incident (no response yet). The irony is that the flight was almost empty and there was only one passenger besides my DH who could have possibly seen what breast I was exposing (if he had actually ade a point of looking!)

post #2 of 33

My response to the "you should cover up" is always either  A: "let me show you what happens when I 'cover' up"...(baby whips the blanket off, repeatedly. ) or B: "do you you eat YOUR meals under a blanket?"

post #3 of 33
Thread Starter 

Yes, I definitely thought of these things after, but it's difficult to say those things to an authority figure. I don't want to be blacklisted. Plus I was so shocked and upset that I couldn't really think straight, except to remember that I couldn't remember what the actual laws in the US were regarding breastfeeding.

post #4 of 33

I'd think it would be a common courtesy for him to step away while you nurse instead of hovering over you! I'm sorry you had to experience this. I'd make a pretty big stink about it. Raising awareness about momma and baby rights shouldn't be necessary, but unfortunately it is.

post #5 of 33

Breast feeding laws cover almost all of the USA in one way or another. Everyone has the right to breast feed their baby.


I find it odd that air lines would give breast feeding women a hard time, when they make it near impossible to bring a bottle of anything else. What exactly are you supposed to do? I'm always relieved when women nurse on the plane-it means fewer crying babies!


I know it's hard to think quickly in the moment. I would definitely write that letter of complaint and even call a newspaper or television news station. People cannot continue to remain so ignorant.

I can't believe he stood over you like that either-if someone were to do that to me while I were nursing I'd tell them that i'd be reporting them for harrassment.


Did your husband say anything?

post #6 of 33

This!  The only one who seemed to be actually paying attention to this was him!

Originally Posted by mommamanjari View Post

I'd think it would be a common courtesy for him to step away while you nurse instead of hovering over you! I'm sorry you had to experience this.  

post #7 of 33

I agree with Corrabelle, call the newspapers and local or even national Tv stations. The media loves this kind of thing and it will really give a voice to all nursing moms out there. So sorry you had to endure such stupidity from the FA!

post #8 of 33

You should contact your local news about the incident.  This way, other moms who are flying through American Airlines will know about that and maybe it might change the airline's thinking of breastfeeding in public. 



post #9 of 33
It IS hard to think straight in the moment! I would have been so incredibly flustered/angered by this.

Did you get his name? I would complain to the media about the airline, and complain to the airline about the individual flight attendant.

This kind of thing just makes me want to avoid the airport even more (you think you're finally done with the harassment when you get to sit down on the plane, but apparently not).

I'm glad the other passengers stood up for you!
post #10 of 33

My DH would have been really upset if a MAN or anyone person really hovered over me while feeding DD. 
I would have been shocked too but I would have asked him if was trying to get a peek at something because if he didn't back off there was blowing to be 

a huge scene on the plane when I accused him of attempting to view my breasts...

post #11 of 33
Wait! really the only person that could have seen anything was him standing up, hovering over you and your hubby....really! Those seats are high backed,etc....

Hope that you hear back from your email, keep us posted.
post #12 of 33
Thread Starter 

Thanks for the responses! Sorry I have been MIA. We were delayed on our trip back home and had to stay the night at the airport. Luckily no more harassment by FAs on the way home.


I am waiting to hear back from AA. I read on a blog that the the company might actually support hits ridiculous attitude!

post #13 of 33

subbing to hear the responce you get back, i fly AA at times and now that i have newborns i am very interested to see what they say

post #14 of 33

Wow, I'm so sorry this happened to you.  I flew AA when my son was 9 months old and had no problems.  Just last week I flew AA with my now 2.5 year old and no one said anything.  And the FA spoke to us while I was obviously nursing.  I'm glad you contacted them, I hope they have a good response and educate the FA that gave you a hard time.

post #15 of 33

His attitude makes me so angry; especially with him hovering over you like that.


We haven't flown commercial since Leda was born but I remember sitting next to a breastfeeding mother on an AA flight three years ago or so and the FA was actually very solicitous toward the woman; asked her if she needed an extra pillow.

post #16 of 33

I've had nothing but great experiences with AA as well.  Both domestic and international.

post #17 of 33

I would think it has nothing to do with AA itself, but the FA who was obviously uncomfortable with you nursing. Too bad for him! We have every right to nurse our babies. I'm sorry you had to go through that :(

post #18 of 33
OP, have you heard back from AA yet?
post #19 of 33

Partner of an AA pilot here.  That is certainly not an AMR policy.  I've nurse on many, many a flight without issue.  Including one with twin toddlers who both nursed the entire time while strapped into their required seats on either side of me.  Clearly that wasn't too discreet.   (Although that flight made me realize it was time to night wean!  I think my next flight (a red-eye from boston to San Fran) might make think that it is time to re-nightwean the 4 year olds!!)


I would never want to be rude to an employee who has control of my staying on the flight or not but I would politely ask to see it in the regulation books.


redvlagrl-What base was the crew from?  Was it AA proper or a regional?



Annettemarie-congratulations on your babies!  I loved reading your post about being pg with them and guess I don't check in that forum often.  Clearly they've arrived!  They look delicious!  Nice work!! :)

post #20 of 33
Thread Starter 

So, I just received a reply to my complaint. They apologized for teh FA's rudeness, however they stated that it IS their policy to ask BFing women to cover up!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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