A couple of weeks ago, Deanna Bratter was breastfeeding her baby on a Frontier Airlines flight when a flight attendant told her to cover up. Bratter refused since there was no complaint from another passenger, the lights were dim, and her child was almost asleep. Her husband and 5-year-old child were in the seats next to her. The flight attendant left to bring her the manual which she said stated that a breastfeeding mother should cover up. Another flight attendant came by in the meantime and there was some uncomfortable words exchanged between this person and Deanna's husband. The first attendant returned with the manual which stated Deanna was within her rights to breastfeed uncovered but refused to apologize. As you can imagine, this was a stressful situation.
Frontier Airlines has responded to Deanna directly regarding this matter and they perfectly display how a company should act when something like this happens.
Dear Mr. and Mrs. Bratter,
Thank you for reaching out to Frontier via social media to bring this matter to our immediate attention.
We sincerely apologize for the misguided request to cover up from our flight attendant on flight 558 on March 11th. This is not our policy, nor does our Inflight Manual suggest that a nursing mother should cover up. We regret if you and your family were offended by this mistake. Please know this is not indicative of our standard of service and our flight attendant’s actions are being reviewed by Inflight management.
While we have always welcomed nursing mothers and babies onboard our flights, thank you for providing us with an opportunity to revisit our current written policies, procedures, and training regarding breastfeeding.
This review has resulted in the following clarification in our Flight Attendant’s Manual:
Guests who are nursing have the right to breastfeed at their seat on the aircraft. In the event that another passenger is uncomfortable, offer to reseat the uncomfortable guest, if an open seat is available. Frontier crew members will not instruct, or request, a breastfeeding passenger to cover themselves or their child.
These changes will be added to our manual once we have approval from the FAA; however a “must-read” notification has gone out to the entire Flight Attendant group. A “must-read” supersedes what is currently in the Flight Attendant’s Manual. Moving forward our Flight Attendant training classes will be carefully trained on these new policies as well.
Proposals have also been submitted to:
Educate our Flight Attendants on the legal rights of nursing mothers in the various countries/airspaces we operate in Post our Breastfeeding policy on our website to make it easy for nursing families to be reassured of our commitment to supporting them.
We are also actively reviewing our carry-on baggage allowances for nursing mothers who are traveling without their children, but with a breast pump.
Again, we are grateful for this opportunity and we look forward to continuing to create a travel environment that better supports our nursing mothers and children.
Senior Manager, Customer Relations
I understand that things happen and sometimes employees are on the wrong page with something, but breastfeeding discrimination keeps happening so the dialogue must continue. Just the other day a mom was hassled for breastfeeding in a hospital.
Thank you thank you thank you Frontier! I appreciate their accountability and their quick response.
What do you think of Frontier's response? Have you ever been harassed for breastfeeding in public?
Image via Caitlin Regan/Flickr