Airline Agents Tell Nursing Mom to Dump 18 Days' Worth of Breast Milk (PHOTO)

Breastfeeding mom asked to dispose of expressed milk before boarding planeThese days, traveling just about anywhere can be a pain. Sadly, Vanessa Kasten Urango had to experience an unthinkable amount of craziness when she tried to fly with expressed milk. Checking first with Delta Airlines, the wife and mom of two thought she was clear for takeoff ... until the airline later said she couldn't board with her breast milk, and had to throw it away ... somewhere that wasn't in the airport.

Advertisement

Spoiler alert: This story did have somewhat of a happy ending. Thanks to caring airport police officers -- who heard this mom's plea, and made her getting home possible -- Vanessa was able to fly with most of her breast milk ... even if she did have to get rid of the dry ice cooling it (thankfully, her milk was frozen, and lasted the eight-hour trip). And yes, Delta issued this breastfeeding mom an "apology" via email -- that also happened to include a $25 gift card, you know, just to show how sorry they were.

Seriously, this will likely piss you off.

Aside from being poorly handled by Delta ticket agents at Newark Liberty International Airport in New Jersey, this situation really shouldn't have been a situation to begin with -- especially when you consider Vanessa called customer service prior to her flight, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) says it's okay for parents to travel with breast milk. In fact, ice packs and other accessories to keep breast milk, formula, and juice cool for little ones are permitted.

Away from her family for 18 days, Vanessa tried her best to keep up her milk supply for her 4-month-old daughter (she also has a 3-year-old little girl). After such a lengthy work-related trip, it's not hard to imagine how fast Vanessa wanted to get back to Texas.

To say this mom was dedicated to her breastfeeding cause would be an understatement. After all, 18 days is a lot of expressed milk we're talking about -- which is why she spent both time and money to make sure it was properly packaged. Vanessa reportedly purchased a cooler, dry ice, and all the necessary labeling items the Delta Airlines rep on the phone told her to get.

More from The Stir: 7 Tips for Breastfeeding & Pumping While Traveling by Plane

Too bad when Vanessa tried to check her cooler the day of her flight, a front counter agent wanted her to cough up $150 -- before calling over other agents, who told this mom she couldn't fly with her breast milk and dry ice.

Yikes ...

Dear Delta,I am a mother to a four month and a three year old daughter. I spent the last eighteen days away from my...

Posted by Vanessa Kasten Urango on Saturday, December 19, 2015

It's a shame customer service and problem-solving skills aren't common knowledge.

This whole thing is a complete mess! It would take everything in me not to lose it, after dealing with what sounds like a complete nightmare.

There were sooo many mixed messages coming Vanessa's way, it's quite apparent no one working at the front counter that day had a clue. So, did you not let Vanessa fly with her cooler of breast milk because it didn't have the special "dry ice sticker" -- that you didn't know how to obtain? Or was it that you really didn't know how to weigh dry ice (no, really, this happened)?

Even if you don't know how to handle a situation, at the very least, don't send someone on her way like this! You don't have to be a breastfeeding wizard to know that pumping that many bags of milk took some time. And yet, it was okay for this mom to throw away all of her efforts -- just because you no longer wanted to deal with it?

I. Can't. Even.

More from The Stir: Have Boobs, Will Travel: Breastfeeding Tips for Moms on the Go

As a breastfeeding mother of a 6-month-old, I can't even begin to imagine how it felt to be away from a baby you just had four months ago -- especially for 18 days! I commend Vanessa for trying to maintain her breast milk supply, and would be so enraged at the thought of throwing it away. Thank goodness those Newark airport police officers stepped in.

I don't know what the solution is for airlines, and mothers who want to nurse their children, but this certainly isn't it.

We can do better. We need to do better.

Ugh, I need to get back to my place of calm. Excuse me ...

 

 

Image via Vanessa Kasten Urango/Facebook

Read More >