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.Â 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, â€œa 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.â€
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