A breastfeeding mother on a nine-hour Delta flight claims she was not allowed to move to her in-laws' seats in first-class to pump milk, despite the bathroom outlets not working with her electric breast pump.
Alix Anfang, a Uber employee working in communications, tweeted about the incident on Wednesday while on her flight with her 4-month-old baby, according to NBC New York.
"Hey @delta the outlets in the bathroom not working so can't pump except at my seat in front of strangers. Tried alternative but you won't let me sit in my in laws' first class seat to do it privately," she tweeted.
Hey @delta the outlets in the bathroom not working so can’t pump except at my seat in front of strangers. Tried alternative but you won’t let me sit in my in laws‘ first class seat to do it privately— Alix Anfang (@alixanfang) May 29, 2019
According to the outlet, however, Delta claims they offered Anfang a number of accommodations during the flight, and that the plane's power outlets, like most aircrafts, cannot accommodate medical devices, including an electric breast pump. Airlines encourage any passenger using a medical device, such as CPAP machine or a breast pump, to bring battery-powered or manual alternatives.
Delta's website states, regarding medical devices, "While electrical outlets are available onboard Delta aircraft, these are not made to support medical device use. We do not provide onboard sources of power for medical devices, so you must bring a source of battery power if you're planning on bringing a device."
The airline also lists pumps and suction devices that are permitted onboard without medical approval, so long as an independent power source is compliant with airline requirements, fits in the FAA-approved storage location and has 150 percent of a passenger's flight time in battery life.
Delta quickly responded to her tweet, requesting that she directly message them her flight information. However, they did clarify that she could not exchange seats with her in-laws.
Hi Alix, I do apologize regarding the outlets on working in the bathrooms. Can you please DM your flight information? I would be delighted to forward this on to maintenance. Regrettably, you would not be able to move to the first class cabin to pump. TMC— Delta (@Delta) May 29, 2019
Anfang asked the social media representative what she was expected to do on the long flight in order to feed her baby. They suggested she speak with a flight attendant who may be able to take her to the back, but she claims when she asked an attendant, they refused. Delta states that an alternative and private option was provided to the passenger.
Delta provided the following statement to Yahoo Lifestyle, "We're sorry for any inconvenience or discomfort our customer felt during her experience. Delta's flight attendants aboard flight 413 from Nice to JFK worked directly with her to provide a number of options and found a private alternative to enable this customer to pump during the flight. Unfortunately, the power outlets on board this aircraft and in general are not equipped to operate a breast pump or other similar medical devices."
Delta representatives shared on Twitter that the feedback they received from Anfang would "assist us in making improvements."
I appreciate people agreeing this in an important issue. I spoke with 2 @delta reps who thanked me for speaking out and promised they’d do better in the future— Alix Anfang (@alixanfang) May 29, 2019
Anfang expressed her gratitude to Delta's promise on Twitter, writing, "I spoke with 2 @delta reps who thanks me for speaking out and promised they'd do better in the future."
Anfang did not immediately respond to Yahoo Lifestyle's requests for comment.
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