Monday, November 20, 2006

Delta/Freedom Lactivism

A woman in Burlington, Vermont was kicked off a Freedom Airlines-operated Delta flight when she was breastfeeding her infant before take-off and refused the offer of a blanket:

A complaint against two airlines was filed with the Vermont Human Rights Commission, although Executive Director Robert Appel said he was barred by state law from confirming the complaint. He did say state law allows a mother to breast-feed in public.

Elizabeth Boepple, a lawyer hired by 27-year-old mother Emily Gillette, confirmed that Gillette filed the complaint late last week against Delta Air Lines and Freedom Airlines. Freedom was operating the Delta commuter flight between Burlington and New York City.

A Freedom spokesman said Gillette was asked to leave the flight after she declined a flight attendant's offer of a blanket.

The spokesman was quoted as saying:
"A breast-feeding mother is perfectly acceptable on an aircraft, providing she is feeding the child in a discreet way," that does not bother others, said Paul Skellon, spokesman for Phoenix-based Freedom. "She was asked to use a blanket just to provide a little more discretion, she was given a blanket, and she refused to use it, and that's all I know."
Mesa Air Group, who owns Freedom Airlines, quickly backtracked:
Mesa Air Group, Inc. would like to issue the following clarification following media reports regarding difficulties experienced by a passenger aboard a Freedom Airlines flight. The statement by our Company spokesman on November 14, 2006 incorrectly described the Company's position regarding passengers' breastfeeding their children on Company aircraft.
There seems to be some disagreement on whether or not the family was offered re-boarding.

Ms. Gillette was interviewed on Fox's The Big Story w/John Gibson and by Mothering Magazine, which is providing ongoing coverage.

Hawthor the Cow Goddess did a comic.

Logo above courtesy of Daddy Types, snarky comments no charge.

A boycott is rumored.

A nurse-in took place last wednesday at the Burlington International Airport, and a nation-wide nurse-in at Delta and Freedom Airlines counters is sceduled for Tuesday, November 21 at 10:00 am local time. I'll update tomorrow.


Anonymous said...

Mesa Airlines is the worst airline in America! Please put up links to


Anonymous said... has a complaint form for your convenience. You may link directly to Mesa Complaint Form