United Passenger Says Airline Suggested She Pump Breast Milk In Pet Relief Area

Over the years, airlines have been found to be less than welcoming when it comes to nursing mothers: a flight attendant shaming a women for breastfeeding during a flight or the carrier that made a mother check a bag containing her breast pump. That rocky relationship continued this week as a United Airlines passenger says she was instructed to use a “pet relief’ area for pumping purposes. 

A Boston woman traveling on United early Monday morning says she was looking for a private place to pump after landing at the Dulles Airport when an airline employee offered the unhelpful suggestion, Boston’s Fox25 reports.

A nursing woman claims that a United employee suggested she pump in the terminal's pet relief area. (@lizabethmeagher)

A nursing woman claims that a United employee suggested she pump in the terminal’s pet relief area. (@lizabethmeagher)

At first the United employee recommended the woman simply use the public restroom.

“I said the bathroom is not sanitary,” the woman recalls. “And I can’t pump in a bathroom. She said we also have a pet relief center. And I just looked at her.”

The woman then Tweeted a photo of the pet relief area, sarcastically thanking the airport and United for having no area for breastfeeding moms to pump.

A United spokesperson tells FOX25 that it would reach out to the woman to offer its apologies that it wasn’t able to provide her more suitable accommodations.

“Although many of the airport terminals where we operate do not have dedicated private spaces, we welcome nursing mothers to breastfeed or pump on our aircraft and in our facilities,” the airline said.

A spokesperson for Dulles Airport said the facility currently doesn’t have dedicated nursing areas.

However, it is developing lounges to accommodate nursing mothers. Those facilities should be in place later this year.

Woman says United Airlines suggested she use pet relief area for breast feeding [Fox25]