A Mom Was "Harassed" by an American Airlines Employee For Bringing Her Breast Pump on a Plane
Kelsey Myers, a mother from Illinois, is fuming after being allegedly mocked by an American Airlines employee for trying to bring her breast pump with her on a flight. The new mom explained exactly what happened in a post to American Airlines' Facebook page, and now her story is going viral.
The trouble started on May 6 when Kelsey was trying to catch a flight from LAX to O'Hare International Airport with a friend. As she tried to board the flight with her carry-on, a personal item, and a bag with her breast pump, she was stopped at the gate by a male employee who told her that she had too many bags and needed to check one of her items.
"We got to the gate, and there ended up being a two-and-a-half-hour delay, and I had to pump on the plane. I went to board and the attendant stopped me, saying I had 'too many bags,'" she told Fox News.
But Kelsey didn't back down. Instead, she explained to the attendant that she was well within her right to bring this many bags on the plane.
"I have never felt more harassed, disrespected, and humiliated in my life."
"As a new mom, I've been nervous traveling, so . . . I made sure everything I was taking was OK. I did the same this past weekend when I left [my son] and had to pump all weekend, so what I was bringing was allowed."
After going back and forth with the attendant, he called his female supervisor to handle the situation. And that's apparently when things took a turn.
"She did not even ask me the situation, but instead immediately told me I need to check a bag," Kelsey wrote in her Facebook post. "I again told her it was a medical device and I needed to carry it on. She started yelling at me to check the bag. In a condescending tone, she screamed in front of about 50 people waiting to board the flight, 'How many boobs do you have?'"
At that point, Kelsey and her friend were both shocked and appalled.
Everyone was flocking around the gate, anxious to get on the flight, there were literally only 50 people in front of her. I have never felt more harassed, disrespected, and humiliated in my life. I'm shocked that a supervisor would show such disrespect. I'm also very surprised that a supervisor would have no knowledge of what seems to me like a simple policy.
Kelsey explained that as much of a nuisance as it appeared to be for the employees, she wasn't exactly excited herself to be saddled with a breast pump and bags of milk on ice.
"Do I want to be carrying around 60 ounces of breast milk and ice and a pump? No, I'm doing it for my baby. I was already stressed to be away from my baby, stressed about the pump, and to have to deal with people who are so are disrespectful and a woman on top of it, it's kind of mind-blowing," she wrote.
After getting wind of the incident, American Airlines reach out to Kelsey to offer her a $75 voucher, but that wasn't going to cut it for mortified mom. She tweeted: "A $75 voucher does not stop this from happening again."
In a statement to Fox News, a spokesperson for American Airlines said that they're truly sorry for what Kelsey had to go through:
A breast pump is considered a medical device and is allowed as a carry on item. We continually strive to make sure that our team members understand this policy and treat all of our customers with dignity and respect. We have reached out multiple times to Ms. Myers to apologize and offer compensation as a gesture of goodwill.
At the end of the day, Kelsey just wants to prevent what happened to her from happening to other women. "I just hope that there can be light brought to this situation and other people don't have to be humiliated like I was."