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A woman who was breastfeeding her daughter on a Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) flight was asked by an attendant to cover up to “be respectful of people of other cultures.”
And the airline is now facing backlash on the internet.
The incident happened when Shelby Angel was traveling from San Francisco to Amsterdam.
When Angel tried to breastfeed her one-year-old, a female flight attendant gave her a blanket, Angel revealed in a Facebook post.
The woman wrote that her baby daughter is “a busy toddler who doesn’t like to be covered. I do my best to be discreet, but sometimes some skin shows.”
According to Angel, the air hostess told her: “If you want to continue doing the breastfeeding, you need to cover yourself.”
When the woman lodged a complaint with the airlines after landing at Amsterdam, the staff told her that she was offered the blanket to “be respectful” of other cultures.
“I was told that I needed to be respectful of people of other cultures and that this flight attendant’s response was in line with company policy,” she wrote.
Friends of Facebook, please share this far and wide!Here's a warning to all breastfeeding moms: do NOT fly with KLM! A…
Angel said the airline has shown it has “antiquated values that shame women’s bodies.”
The woman claimed that she had never been stopped from breastfeeding by passengers or flight attendants during her past flights in other airlines.
After the incident created a backlash, KLM took to Twitter to defend itself.
The tweet clarified that KLM allows breastfeeding on planes, but added that they “may request a mother to cover herself while breastfeeding, should other passengers be offended by this.”
A number of airlines such as Virgin Atlantic, American Airlines, and Delta Air Lines allow breastfeeding on flights.
British airline EasyJet had to apologize to a mother after she was told by a male flight attendant to be “discreet” while breastfeeding her baby as the airline expressly allows breastfeeding on its flights.