Sat, Nov 18, 2006
Vermont Mother Takes On Delta
Emily Gillette was
breast feeding her then 22-month-old daughter aboard a Delta-run
Freedom Airlines flight October 13th when a flight attendant asked
her to cover herself with a blanket. When she refused Gillette, her
daughter River and husband Brad were all asked to get off the
Gillette says her window-seat was in the next-to-last row while
her husband took the aisle seat. She claims she held her shirt
closed with one hand and wasn't exposed.
She claims a flight attendant tried to hand her a blanket.
Gillette recalls the flight attendant as saying, "You're offending
Gillette says she refused to cover up because she wasn't doing
anything wrong. The flight attendant rounded up a ticket agent to
ask the Gillette's to leave.
Gillette filed a complaint against both airlines last week with
Vermont's Human Rights Commission. She alleges the airlines
violated a state law allowing breast feeding "in any place of
And that's not all: Supporters staged a so called "nurse-in" at
Burlington International Airport last Wednesday.
Burlington resident Carolyn Beer told USA Today, "I've always
nursed my children when I'm on a plane. Their ears hurt with the
altitude change, and it's a strange environment for them. The
alternative is to let your kid scream."
"No woman should ever
be ashamed of breast-feeding," says Gillette. In her complaint
Gillette says she wants "both airlines to create policies that
protect a woman from being harassed for feeding her child on an
Delta says it's working with Freedom on an investigation.
Spokesmen for the two airlines say they support a mother's right to
breast feed on their aircraft, as long as it's done in a discreet
way. The airlines have until November 27th to respond to Gillette's
Advocates say a mother's right to breast feed in public is
protected in 43 states.
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