Mesa Air Group-operated ERJ-145 for Freedom Airlines, which runs for Delta Connection

Mesa Air Group-operated ERJ-145 for Freedom Airlines, which runs for Delta Connection

On October 13, 2006, Emily Gillette was breast-feeding her daughter on a Delta Airline’s flight from Burlington, VT to New York City. Gillette, who was 27 at the time, started breast-feeding her 1 year old daughter while still at the gate. She states she was in a position where her breast was not exposed and nothing was indecent. A flight attendant told her she needed to cover up with a blanket and Gillette refused. The flight attendant ordered a customer service representative to kick Gillette and her family off the plane.

Delta is not saying much. Their spokesman Anthony Black said yesterday that the airline does not comment on litigation but supports a mother’s right to breast-feed.

Gillette is suing three airlines: Freedom, Mesa, and Delta.  Mesa operates the aircraft for Freedom, who flies for Delta Connection (I know, confusing). Having all three airlines involved is causing issues. The Human Rights Commission in Vermont is also filing a lawsuit, but only against Mesa and Freedom, finding that they couldn’t hold Delta responsible for the other airline’s actions. The commission states the law is clear, “a mother may breast-feed her child in any place of public accommodation in which the mother and child would otherwise have a legal right to be.”

Thanks Jessica for the tip!

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EDITOR-IN-CHIEF & FOUNDER - SEATTLE, WA. David has written, consulted, and presented on multiple topics relating to airlines and travel since 2008. He has been quoted and written for a number of news organizations, including BBC, CNN, NBC News, Bloomberg, and others. He is passionate about sharing the complexities, the benefits, and the fun stuff of the airline business. Email me: [email protected]

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2 Comments
J_C Coulee (Belgium)

I Didn’t know that such stupide airlines’reaction could happend in a democratic country. Shame on them !
Rgds.
JCC

It’s a matter if personal space. Not everyone wants to see this. Those who do not want to see this have every right not to have their personal space invaded just because she wants to breastfeed. She should not assume she can arbitrarily expose her
breasts to the rest of the passengers.
Her behavior was distasteful to day the least. Breastfeeding in line was an offense gesture.

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