This mom slams Heathrow airport after male cleaner walks in on her breastfeeding, unlocking the door from outside
This mom had to go through humiliation and embarrassment after a staff cleaner just waltzed into the baby changing facilities unlocking the door from the outside and telling her she should have either left the door unlocked or pumped within the public areas of the terminal.
Heathrow may be one of the busiest airports in the world, but it certainly isn't the most sensitive - especially to breastfeeding moms.
A breastfeeding mother was left embarrassed and feeling exposed after a male toilet attendant unlocked a baby-changing room she was using at the airport from the outside! Sophie McBain, who lives in New York, complained about the incident to the authorities, but expressed her anger at the "non-apology" she says she received.
Frustrated by the "excuse-laden" email from the London airport's customer service team, McBain took to Twitter with her plight, hoping it will highlight the problems faced by nursing moms.
McBain told her followers that she decided to pump some breast milk at the airport ahead of her long flight. She went to the baby-changing facilities within the terminal and began filling a bottle. While she was at it, a male attendant knocked on the door but didn't hear her respond.
According to McBain, he then asked another staff member to unlock the door and walked in like nothing had happened, telling her she should have either left the door unlocked or pumped within the public areas of the terminal.
If this was not enough, her complaint was met with a badly composed letter that said, "While it was uncomfortable it was not entirely his fault for entering after warning."
It continued, "With that said, every passenger should be treated with courtesy and respect, meaning we expect our staff to be professional, helpful and polite at all times."
Anyway- here's the reply I got pic.twitter.com/JskEhihzwS— Sophie McBain (@SEMcBain) January 22, 2018
Speaking to MailOnline, McBain said, "The hundreds of breastfeeding mothers who use Heathrow daily deserve a clean, private room in which to pump or nurse without being disturbed, and a toilet or a baby changing room doesn’t cut it.
A spokesperson for Heathrow Airport told MailOnline, "The response Ms. McBain received following her complaint did not reflect the level of customer service we expect. We apologise the initial response was handled in the manner it was and regret the experience she had at our airport.cFollowing this incident, airport and customer service colleagues will be spoken to about service delivery and how it needs to be tailored to individual customer needs."
Sadly, this isn't the first time that breastfeeding moms have had to go through such issues. In April 2016, Jessica Coakley Martinez, who is from California, was “made to dump nearly 500oz of breast milk in the trash,” which was “nearly two weeks worth of food” for her young son. Officials at Terminal 5 of the airport allegedly told her she could not take the milk on board the aircraft.
In a post on Facebook, Coakley Martinez explained how she pumped breast milk at all suitable opportunities to have enough to be able to feed her young son while she travelled for work.
Coakley Martinez acknowledged she should have looked up the Civil Aviation rule, which states all liquids must comply with the 100 ml rule if not travelling with a baby.
She added, “That being said, more than 300 oz of that milk was frozen. Solid. Like a rock. I was willing to let go of the liquid milk. But you also wanted the solid milk because it could melt and become a liquid.” She went on to explain that she offered to put the breast milk in the hold, but claims she was unable to do so because the milk was now a “non-compliant item” and needed to be confiscated.
In another similar incident in April 2015, actress Alyssa Milano wasn't allowed to take her breast milk on board a plane at the airport. The mother of two poured her outrage on Twitter after Heathrow security threw her breast milk away.
She said, "Heathrow Airport just took my pumped breast milk away. 10 ounces. Gone. Not okay. They said they would let the pumped milk through if I had the baby with me. Why would I need to pump if I had the baby with me????"
Milano added, "I would have happily spread milk in different containers (which I travel with) to comply to those liquid rules. Instead, milk was taken away with no discussion. Shampoos, lotions, etcetera were simply tested and handed back with no issue. Makes no sense at all."
With incidents like this being reported at regular intervals, it's time Heathrow took better care of nursing mums, innit?