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Wednesday, November 29, 2006There's a good article on the whole Emily Gillette incident over at MSNBC. It includes a bit more information on exactly what happened, including more details on th response of the co-pilot.
Read: Breasts on a Plane
The article contains this interesting passage:
As they left the plane, the fight attendant was standing there, and Gillette said in tears, ‘Why are you doing this?’ ” According to the Gillettes, the flight attendant pointed to the door and said, “Get off the plane.” One of the copilots followed them out and apologetically explained that he could not overrule the flight attendant’s decision. “He said, ‘I’m so sorry. I have two children, and there’s nothing I can do about this…The same way that I have control over the cockpit, she has control over the passenger area.’”
The article also outlines some of the packpeddling that took place on the parts of the two airlines...
When her story first made the news, a spokesman for Freedom Airlines told the Burlington (Vt.) Free Press that “a breast-feeding mother is perfectly acceptable on an aircraft, providing she is feeding the child in a discreet way” that doesn’t bother others. As the level of protest rose, however, Freedom Airlines issued a written statement asserting that they “firmly support a mother’s right to breastfeed a child” and they “do not expect (and will not in the future request) that nursingmothers use a blanket to cover their child while nursing.”
Now one thing that I wonder about this whole incident is how it's going to impact other nursing moms that plan to fly.
For example, I'm flying to Chicago next week with Emmitt and my mother for a conference. We're booked on American Airlines who I fly pretty regularly and obviously I'll be nursing Emmitt during take-off and landing. Now personally, I expect that I won't be given ANY hassle if for no other reason than that airlines will want to avoid the problems facing Delta right now.
But I do wonder if moms that would have never thought twice about breastfeeding on a plane will now worry that they may face the same problems as Gillette.
What do you think? Will this incident scare women away from nursing on planes in the immediate future, or will it galvinize their will into KNOWING that they can safely nurse their children without any fears of being embarrassed or bothered.