It has happened yet again: a mother breastfeeding on a plane was allegedly treated poorly by an airline staff member. The mother was breastfeeding on an American Airlines flight last month while sitting in a window seat next to her husband. Since American Airlines has publicly stated that breastfeeding is allowed on their flights during all stages of flight and that flight attendants should not place restrictions or requirements on breastfeeding mothers, the mother felt free to breastfeed. However, a disgruntled flight attendant requested that she cover up, citing that there were kids present on the plane at the time.
The couple refused and the flight attendant later returned to their aisle, telling a girl seated in the aisle next to the husband that her seat was going to be changed, projecting that the girl was uncomfortable despite the fact that the girl hadn’t complained about the breastfeeding. According to the couple, the flight attendant did not offer service to the couple for the remainder of the flight.
American Airlines responded to the complaint filed by the mother in a letter that was posted to Facebook by a friend of the mother. American Airlines stated in the letter that they believe it is reasonable to request that a mother cover up and that breastfeeding be conducted with modesty and discretion, despite the fact that the manual states that mothers should be able to breastfeed without restriction or requirement and the fact that 45 states allow mothers to breastfeed in any public or private location.
United Airlines, American Airlines, Hawaiian Airlines and others have stated that breastfeeding is not prohibited while on the plane. Whether a breastfeeding mother should be required to cover up, however, seems more ambiguous. What are your thoughts on requiring or requesting that breastfeeding mothers cover up?
Thanks to the Clothe a Homeless Hero Act, veterans are now receiving clothing that has been left as airport security checkpoints. The bill, which was introduced by Rep. Kathy Hochul (D–N.Y.) was signed by President Obama in January. Reagan National Airport is the latest airport to join in on the charity with a donation comprised of two months’ worth of abandoned clothing. Before the passing of this bill, clothing that was left behind at security checkpoints in airports was either donated to police-dog scent training or discarded. It’s nice to know that forgotten clothing items will now end up serving a purpose within our respective communities instead of sitting in a landfill.
In other TSA/veteran news, Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D–Hawaii) has been working to pass legislation that would ease screening procedures at airports for wounded or disabled veterans or soldiers. The TSA has also made an effort to hire veterans. This is all welcome news in light of some of the outrageous news involving TSA employees and veterans that has surfaced.
Air travel delays in China are becoming epidemic. According to an article published today in Time, only 18 percent of flights departing from Beijing in June took off on time.
Chinese travelers are understandably frustrated with this problem, but their collective anger has taken a turn for the worse. Physical altercations, as seen in the video above, and arguments between travelers and airline workers have been documented. The latest protest tactic enacted by the travelers affected by the prevalent delays are sit-ins: passengers have been refusing to leave grounded planes that were subject to delay until compensated for the inconvenience. On July 28 in Dalian, passengers on two separate planes allegedly refused to exit and stayed put in their seats instead.
But staging a sit-in or becoming aggressive toward airline employees isn’t going to affect the problem because the core of the problem is centered in the very infrastructure of Chinese air travel: poor management by airline operators. The Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) has attributed a whopping 42 percent of delays to mismanaged operations of airline carriers –- a problem that trickles down to individual flights from the top of the corporate airline pyramid, not the other way around.
The problem has gotten so bad some airlines are training their crews to defend themselves.
When talking about airport security, we generally focus on what travelers are carrying, not what they’re wearing. But thanks to the TSA recently cracking down on passengers’ fashion choices, style is now a part of the airport security conversation. Forget regulations on liquids or weapons: the TSA’s new security threat is clothing, accessories and hairdos, or so they seem to think.
On July 16th, a TSA spokeswoman tweeted a photo of black pumps that had small replica guns as heels. The shoes were confiscated by the TSA at New York’s Laguardia Airport despite the fact that they could have been easily verified as non-weapons. Also in the tweeted photograph was a black belt lined with mock silver bullets. While mock weapons aren’t ever supposed to be admitted on planes, I have to wonder: how far does that regulation extend? Would a charm bracelet with a mock handgun be permitted?
The TSA’s fashion crackdown has also come to include dreadlocks. Numerous reports have surfaced involving hair searches if the passenger sports dreads. Other style conflicts include an instance in which a male TSA officer recently told a 15-year-old traveler to cover herself in a criticism of her tank top, leggings and button-down shirt (not that it matters; it’s not appropriate for a TSA officer to remark on the perceived modesty or lack thereof in regard to passenger clothing).The TSA’s Fashion Dont’s include (or seem to include):
- Don’t wear accessories that include mock weapons or accessories for weapons, no matter how small or obviously fake.
- Don’t wear loose head coverings, religious or otherwise.
- Don’t wear body piercings.
- Don’t wear thick shirts.
- Don’t wear studded clothing.
- Don’t have dreadlocks.
- Don’t wear tank tops.
- Do wear slip-on shoes.
- Do wear comfortable, layered clothing.
- Do remove as much jewelry beforehand as possible.
Have your fashion choices been judged by the TSA? Share your stories in the comments below.
A vacation to SeaWorld may not seem as innocent as it once may have with the release of ‘Blackfish.’ The documentary explores the case of Tilikum, an orca who killed three people in 2010, while also providing context and information on captive whales in general. Now that the movie is being screened to the public, the reviews are in, as well as the tweets:
What do you think? Are SeaWorld’s captivity policies cruel to animals?