Mom says American workers shamed her over breast pump
A woman says she was harassed and humiliated by American Airlines employees, who shamed her in front of 50 people — for trying to bring a breast pump and milk on board.
Kelsey Myers was trying to board a Chicago-bound flight out of Los Angeles’ LAX with a carry-on bag, a personal item and a breast pump when she was stopped by a gate agent, who insisted she check a bag, she wrote in a Facebook post Sunday.
Myers tried to explain to the agent that the pump is a medical device and didn’t count as a carry-on, according to airline policy, but her words fell on deaf ears. TSA also considers breast pumps medical devices.
“As a new mom, I’ve been nervous traveling, so … I made sure everything I was taking was OK,” she told Fox News.
The gate agent called a supervisor, who didn’t even ask Myers what the situation was and began yelling at her “in a condescending tone” that she needed to check a bag, Myers said.
“How many boobs do you have?” the supervisor, named Juliette, reportedly asked her, in reference to her breast pump supplies.
“I have never felt more harassed, disrespected and humiliated in my life,” Myers wrote on Facebook. “She would not reason at all and continued to scream at me in front of everyone so I eventually just gave in and checked my bag.”
Myers said that when she finally stepped on the plane, there was lots of overhead space and that “one guy even came with a skateboard and two bags.”
“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,” Myers told Fox.
Her post has since been shared over 200 times and garnered reactions from nearly 1,000 people.
The airline responded to a tweet of hers about the incident on Monday and Myers then posted that they had offered her a $75 voucher.
American Airlines spokesperson Leslie Scott said Myers shouldn’t have had to check a bag because the breast pump fell under their carry-on bag exemption for medical devices.
Scott said the airline had reached out to Myers to apologize and offer goodwill compensation and that they would reiterate their policy to the employees involved.
But Myers denied the airline ever said sorry.
“Scott certainly has not reached out and apologized to me,” she said. “I have only heard from a call center employee who is not even a supervisor.”
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