Southwest airlines Breastfeeding problem. - Mothering Forums

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#1 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 03:13 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Today I was on a flight from Denver to Portland with my 7 month old son, sister and husband. I was sitting in the middle seat of the row..

My DS got hungry, and so I waited until everyone was seated and the plane was about to take off to BF him. No one that I was aware of was even watching us.

Once I started, the flight attendant approached me. She asked me if I had a blanket, then when I said no she said she didn't have any on the plane and I would have to find something because I 'would need to cover up because there were other people on the plane'



I am shocked and disappointed at Southwest airlines. Is there anything I can do? I checked Colorado law, which states "a mother may breast feed in any place she has a right to be. Additionally, exposing a breast is not considered indecent exposure. "

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#2 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 03:45 AM
 
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Wow...I'm amazed that this is still happening with airlines given the negative press they've received lately. Sorry you went through that mama, and hope you're contacting their public relations department with a complaint.
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#3 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 04:08 AM
 
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So did you cover up or just ignore her?

Mom of 5: dd (10), ds (8) & dd2 (4), my sweet baby son born still 3/2/09, and celebrating the arrival of our dd 5/7/10.
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#4 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 09:25 AM
 
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I am in utter shock that that happened to you!
Write to Southwest and explain their mistake!

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#5 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 11:41 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I did nothing., the women next to me who was equally shocked jokingly gave me her sweater

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#6 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 11:53 AM
 
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Is that the policy of Southwest Airlines or just the wacky flight attendant?

Catholic homeschooling mom of two daughters and four sons... baby Mark born on 8/27/10. Kidney Disease Awareness
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#7 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 12:08 PM
 
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The first step must be to contact the airline and file an official record of the incident (did you get the name of the flight attendant?). Your goal should be clear: you want southwest to apologize and in order to ensure this does not happen again, you expect them to conduct employee training about the issue.

Further steps may be required to ensure this actually happens. But you first need to give the company an opportunity to respond.
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#8 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 12:26 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Thanks. I will contact/email them now.

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#9 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 12:31 PM
 
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Please keep us posted. I'm sorry you had to endure such ignorance. Hopefully the airline will do a better job training employees on the subject.
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#10 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 12:34 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Also, I did get her name and a description of her.. so hopefully that helps. I dont want her fired, just educated.

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#11 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 12:59 PM
 
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Wow! I would contact Southwest. It sounds like a bad flight attendant to me. I have flown Southwest out of Denver multiple times and nursed with no issues, so I am hopeful it is not a Southwest policy. Please update if you get a chance I would like to know how it turns out.

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#12 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 01:46 PM
 
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For sure, please contact SW and let them know what happened. I hope it was an isolated incident -- I usually fly SW, I nurse all the time, and I've never had the attendants be anything but supportive. In fact, I've had them suggest that I nurse.
Still, SW and all airlines really need to have company-wide education about breatfeeding for all their flight attendants. Even if it is an isolated thing, it still shouldn't be happening.

Jen, journalist, policy wonk, and formerly a proud single mama to my sweet little man Cyrus, born at home Dec. 2007 . Now married to my Incredibly Nice Guy and new mama to baby Arthur.
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#13 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 07:39 PM - Thread Starter
 
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here's what I got back.. I find it really frustrating that they basically said it didn't happen (even though I have 'witnesses' to the incident)

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#14 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 08:53 PM
 
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"LUV" ?

Yeah, sounds like they've come up with a cover story to cover their butts. Take the refund, but send them a nasty letter about calling you a liar. Maybe something about apologising for calling you a liar as well or perhaps they'd rather more bad press?

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#15 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 09:11 PM
 
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Just a note that I have removed the email from the OP's post, as posting emails without express permission is against MDC's copyright policy. I've PMd the OP and hope she'll choose to post a summary of the email. Please feel free to PM me with anyq uestions or concerns.

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#16 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 09:34 PM
 
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Sounds like only a flight attendant issue to me. Call customer service and make a complaint about this particular flight attendant as you would complain about the poor service of any other flight attendant.

I flew Southwest twice while still nursing and didn't have a problem either time nursing without any kind of cover.

I will add, however, that I had a totally separate problem with Southwest a couple of months ago and their customer service department was completely dismissive.
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#17 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 09:42 PM - Thread Starter
 
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they basically said it was obvious confusion and didn't happen.. and Southwest does not have a policy regarding breast-feeding...

Not sure exactly how to respond since I have witnesses to the situation and am confident in what I heard/experience.

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#18 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 09:44 PM
 
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I didn't get to read the email - what was their "explanation" for your "confusion?"
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#19 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 09:45 PM - Thread Starter
 
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that the flight attendant wasn't telling me to cover up but rather was offering her assistance in retrieving something for me from the overhead bin.

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#20 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 10:54 PM
 
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While this blog post is two years old, it is a good summary of airline policies concerning breastfeeding on the plane: http://www.phdinparenting.com/2008/0...ding-policies/ If your post has Southwest stating a policy, you might want to let this blogger see it as I think she keeps track of what airlines say (or won't say) their policies are.

Sorry if the airline is denying it happened.

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#21 of 31 Old 08-03-2010, 11:58 PM
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It wouldn't be a bad idea to contact the folks at First Right so they can log the incident and give you some tips on how to go about contacting Southwest.

www.firstright.org
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#22 of 31 Old 08-05-2010, 03:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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thanks, ill contact them.

on a side note, I found it interesting that southwest is telling me I misunderstood the FA and it didn't happen, yet offered me full compensation for my airfare.

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#23 of 31 Old 08-06-2010, 10:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by VillageMom6 View Post
Is that the policy of Southwest Airlines or just the wacky flight attendant?
I flew to and from Florida with my 7 month old and the flight attendant was wonderful. She asked me if I wanted a pillow or rolled up blanket for supporting my arm. She also commented that she wished more BFing moms would BF during take off and landing because it helped with equalizing pressure in the ears. Wow - I'm surprised about this, just because of my awesome experiences. I also had another mom sitting across the aisle who gave me the thumbs up for bfing. I confessed that I had been nervous after hearing about the Delta incident. She said that if anyone gave me any flak, she'd have my back! BFing moms unite!

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#24 of 31 Old 08-07-2010, 09:48 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ithappened View Post
they basically said it was obvious confusion and didn't happen.. and Southwest does not have a policy regarding breast-feeding...

Not sure exactly how to respond since I have witnesses to the situation and am confident in what I heard/experience.
Contact Firstright and ask for their assistance.
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#25 of 31 Old 08-09-2010, 11:43 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by mamajake View Post
While this blog post is two years old, it is a good summary of airline policies concerning breastfeeding on the plane: http://www.phdinparenting.com/2008/0...ding-policies/ If your post has Southwest stating a policy, you might want to let this blogger see it as I think she keeps track of what airlines say (or won't say) their policies are.
Thank you for that link, I may be traveling soon & definitely want to choose an airline that supports BF'ing & won't give me issues with my frequent-nursing toddler, this is a good place to start.

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#26 of 31 Old 08-09-2010, 06:36 PM - Thread Starter
 
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I did email first right and they added my information to their database. .

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#27 of 31 Old 08-09-2010, 07:04 PM
 
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Originally Posted by ithappened View Post
thanks, ill contact them.

on a side note, I found it interesting that southwest is telling me I misunderstood the FA and it didn't happen, yet offered me full compensation for my airfare.

Actually offering you compensation for airfare is a big deal in a case like yours. While employee training and a good breastfeeding policy would be better, mothers should know that an airline will give you plane fare if you complain about this employee conduct. This is an acknowledgment of wrongdoing and a larger financial settlement than you are likely to have received if you had a viable legal claim given that you were able to take your flight. Remember that Emily Gillette (of the infamous Delta case) has still not received a penny.

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#28 of 31 Old 08-09-2010, 09:16 PM
 
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Actually offering you compensation for airfare is a big deal in a case like yours. While employee training and a good breastfeeding policy would be better, mothers should know that an airline will give you plane fare if you complain about this employee conduct. This is an acknowledgment of wrongdoing and a larger financial settlement than you are likely to have received if you had a viable legal claim given that you were able to take your flight. Remember that Emily Gillette (of the infamous Delta case) has still not received a penny.
Wow. I didn't realize that. That's really sad.

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#29 of 31 Old 08-11-2010, 06:45 AM
 
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Wow, I am so sorry that this happened to you. Southwest is one of my favorite airlines and the flight attendants I've had have been nothing short of wonderful with BFing. Thank you for bringing it to the airline's attention-hopefully (regardless of what the letter said) they are doing something about it (training, education, memo, etc.).

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#30 of 31 Old 12-01-2011, 10:43 AM
 
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I am furious!This happened to me too!First of all
I got on feeling naseaus,possibly coming down with
A stomach bug and didn't want to fly.Told the airline
And they said I would have to pay $300 to change flight.
Got on with my 1 yr old and 5 yr old for a non-stop from
New Orleans to LA hoping to feel better over the 3 1/2 hour
Flight.Sat next to a sweet and helpful teenager and began
Nursing for take off.40 minutes later my lap baby was all over
me and I grabbed for the bag and began throwing up.What a
nightmare!The Flight attendant was not helpful.I asked for some
water and waiting while we went through a seat belt sign on, no
one get up period before I was served some water.Then she said
I should have never gotten on the flight if I felt sick and then told me
that people were complaining about my breastfeeding.Everyone around
me was helpful,don't think anyone could see me or cared.All women
surrounding me.She asked me to cover up what you could barely see
anyway.She let me know that there would be a customer service person
waiting for me when I get off the plane to let me know that no one
may be exposed on a plane,not even for nursing.I kept cool in total shock
and disbelief.
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