TSA Forces Mom To Use Breast Pump in Order to Board
March 5, 2012
by Kate Goodin
Traveling as a nursing mom with a child is stressful enough. But Amy Strand, a high school vice principal from Maui, HI, who was traveling with her nine-month-old daughter, had a particularly stressful experience when a Transportation Security Administration (TSA) agent would not allow her to board with her electric breast pump—unless she used it to prove it was a breast pump.
According to KITV4, the TSA agent said that Strand could not board because the milk bottles were empty (um, what?!), and asked her to use the breast pump to demonstrate that the device was medically necessary. When Strand asked for a private place to pump, the TSA agent directed her to the women's restroom, where she basically had to pump in public (if you've ever seen an airport bathroom, you know they're not the most private of places).
"I had to stand in front of the mirrors and the sinks and pump my breast, in front of every tourist that walked into that bathroom," said Strand, adding that she felt embarrassed and humiliated by the experience.
Strand was ultimately allowed to board, and the TSA later apologized for the incident in a statement: "We accept responsibility for the apparent misunderstanding and any inconvenience or embarrassment this incident may have caused her."
How would you have handled the situation in Strand's place? Do you think the TSA's apology is enough?