‘Mortified’ mum in tears after easyJet air steward told her to stop breastfeeding son, one, during take off at Gatwick – and had to pry the infant off her mid-feed
The 36-year-old revealed she was "mortified" when a member of the crew explained she couldn't breastfeed her son, one-year-old Lex, during take off.
Kelly, from Rochester said: "It's just absolutely crazy that I was told that I couldn't feed him – crazy, and really embarrassing for me.
"I find it really disappointing that an airline I trust, and who we fly with all the time, actually broke the law in discriminating against me as a breastfeeding mother.
"The law in the UK says it protects breastfeeding mothers – and even easyJet's own website says mothers are welcome to breastfeed at any time during a flight.
"There's just no consistency in their messages. They should not be discriminating against breastfeeding."
Mum Kelly was travelling from London Gatwick to Fuerteventura with her husband, 40-year-old Ross and their three other children.
Kelly – who raised a complaint with the company – revealed she never usually has a problem breastfeeding on board a flight, but was appalled when easyJet customer services reportedly said she could breastfeed her baby "as long as you are discreet".
"We fly with easyJet literally all the time, and I have always breastfed all my children over the years during take-off – because their ears pop which and it's uncomfortable for them," sports therapist Kelly explained.
"Most other cabin crew would actually encourage breastfeeding during take-off, because it distracts them and stops them from crying.
"I've never before been told that I can't feed Lex, or any of my other children – and we've flown with him about 16 times in the last year."
"So I got settled into my seat and I started to feed my son, as I would usually," she continued.
"Then a male member of cabin crew came over and told me I couldn't feed him during take-off, and that I'd have to stop and strap him in to his infant seat next to me.
"It was just crazy. I said, 'Well, he's feeding'. But I just had to stop mid-feed and hand him to my husband.
"I was mortified. I'm not afraid to breastfeed my baby wherever – I've stopped at a break point during a marathon before and fed him – but this left me embarrassed and in tears.
"I had to very quickly cover myself up.
"Even my eldest daughter, who is nine, said, 'Mummy, they can't tell you not to breastfeed him'."
"What annoys and disappoints me is that there is no consistency. On their website they state, 'We support breastfeeding mothers and you can feed your baby on board at any time'.
"But when I emailed their customer services about it afterwards, I was told, 'Passengers are allowed to breastfeed their babies on board the aircraft, as long as you are doing this in a discreet manner'.
"The ironic thing is, since having my third and fourth children, whenever I fly I have always booked my infant a seat next to me.
"So I've never in the last six years sat next to a random passenger.
"Up until the cabin crew told me I couldn't breastfeed, I don't think any other passengers were even paying any attention to me at all."
Kelly – who was offered a £25 voucher in compensation – wants easyJet to understand the law around breastfeeding.
"I just want them to make themselves aware of the law so no other mums have to go through this," she said.
Breastfeeding in public is perfectly legal.
In fact, it's protected under the Equality Act 2010 for as long as you wish to breastfeed (there is no age restriction) and covers all public places from parks and leisure facilities, to public transport, shops, restaurants, hotels and cinemas.
A spokesperson for easyJet commented: "easyJet supports breastfeeding and customers flying with easyJet can breastfeed at any time during the flight.
"It is not our policy to ask mothers to be discreet and we make this very clear in our training.
"This flight was operated by another airline on our behalf and while they should follow easyJet policies we are sorry this did not happen on this occasion.
"We have followed up to ensure this does not happen in future."
Earlier this week, we told you about breastfeeding in public – what is the law and what rights do mothers have?
We also told you about the eight-month pregnant woman who has the BEST response for commuter who won’t move his bag so she can sit down.
And we showed you the rookie parenting mistake Kate Middleton made when shopping for George’s school uniform – and every mum can relate.
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