American Airlines FA ashed me to cover myself! - Mothering Forums

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Old 02-25-2011, 01:19 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!)


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Old 02-25-2011, 01:25 PM
 
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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?"


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Old 02-25-2011, 05:23 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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.


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Old 02-25-2011, 06:16 PM
 
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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.


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Old 02-25-2011, 06:22 PM
 
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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?


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Old 02-25-2011, 06:24 PM
 
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This!  The only one who seemed to be actually paying attention to this was him!

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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.  


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Old 02-25-2011, 06:28 PM
 
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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!


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Old 02-26-2011, 01:30 AM
 
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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. 

 

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Old 02-26-2011, 09:35 AM
 
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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!

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Old 02-26-2011, 11:20 AM
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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...

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Old 02-26-2011, 11:53 AM
 
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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.
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Old 02-26-2011, 06:58 PM - Thread Starter
 
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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!


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Old 02-26-2011, 08:35 PM
 
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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


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Old 02-28-2011, 10:28 AM
 
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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.

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Old 02-28-2011, 11:38 AM
 
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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.


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Old 03-02-2011, 03:22 AM
 
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I've had nothing but great experiences with AA as well.  Both domestic and international.


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Old 03-04-2011, 08:49 PM
 
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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 :(


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Old 03-05-2011, 06:28 AM
 
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OP, have you heard back from AA yet?

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Old 03-14-2011, 04:40 PM
 
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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!! :)


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Old 03-15-2011, 11:49 AM - Thread Starter
 
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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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Old 03-15-2011, 12:03 PM
 
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You need to email some media outlets as well as call your local affiliates.  This is unacceptable.  And I'm pretty sure against the law, at least it is in PA.

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Old 03-15-2011, 12:44 PM
 
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Well I guess it's a free country, they can certainly ask, but if the think they can pressure, require or act punitively, they have another thing coming!

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Old 03-15-2011, 10:18 PM
 
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MANY states have laws supporting breastfeeding mothers.

 

OP: what states did you take off from, land in, fly over?

 

is http://firstright.org/ still taking reports? if so, you should report it there. they can assign you someone to help you out with media, letters, anything.
 

Quote:
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Well I guess it's a free country, they can certainly ask, but if the think they can pressure, require or act punitively, they have another thing coming!


 

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Old 03-16-2011, 05:54 AM - Thread Starter
 
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nak

 

I was flying from Toronto to NYC. Canada allows breastfeeding uncovered I think.

 

I don't know how to proceed


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Old 03-16-2011, 02:22 PM
 
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In Ontario women have the right to go topless, so exposure is not an issue at all. Plus, breastfeeding is protected as a human right.

 

I'm sorry this happened to you!

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Old 03-16-2011, 02:22 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by redvlagrl View Post

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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I'm shocked!  I've got a call into DP to ask her FAs to show her that rule.  She (DP) typically has a good relationship with her crew.  Was it AA proper or a regional (like American Eagle or Executive.  I don't know the Canadian regionals)?  I can't imagine the different regionals would have different passenger rules though.

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Old 03-21-2011, 04:12 PM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PatioGardener View Post

In Ontario women have the right to go topless, so exposure is not an issue at all. Plus, breastfeeding is protected as a human right.

 

I'm sorry this happened to you!



HAHAHA - In the State of Ohio it is technically legal to go topless as well.  I found law, while doing some bf'ing research, that the Court has indicated that Ohio's public exposure law does not include breasts.

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Old 03-21-2011, 05:02 PM - Thread Starter
 
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It was American Eagle, IIRC.


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Old 03-23-2011, 09:19 AM
 
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There is nothing in the AE FA handbook about breastfeeding.  Nothing.  So the official policy is that there is no policy.  Go figure.

 

If you are nursing a child on your lap who is over two then they can rightfully take issue if the seatbelt sign is on, since that child needs to follow the same rules as the rest ofthe passengers.  I think there is grey area if you are nursing a child under two for whom you have purchased a seat, since he/she should also be following the same rules.  It is hard to nurse a child who is strapped into a carseat next to you, however it is not difficult if the child has a lap belt.  One reason I stopped bringing carseats on the plane when I had twins!


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Old 03-28-2011, 10:42 AM
 
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The thing that bothers me the most about things like this is- we just flew Delta, and the things they were showing on those little TVs that hang from the ceiling were very sexually graphic. There was even a 'dance' scene where it looked like all the dancers on stage were acting out s3x. But I guess boobs are okay if they are shown in a completely sexual nature, and not doing anything real, like sustaining life.

 

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