Airline KLM’s breastfeeding policy has sparked outrage online. A spokesperson said mothers might be asked to “cover up” in the event that other passengers feel uncomfortable.
The carrier said the measure is only taken if other passengers are “offended”.
The KLM statement came when Shelby Angel shared an emotional post on Facebook of her experience of being asked to cover up during a flight from San Francisco to Amsterdam.
In the post she warned other nursing moms to not fly with KLM because of their breastfeeding policy. During the flight she was asked to cover up while breastfeeding her one-year-old daughter.
Angel felt disrespected by the flight attendant because the attendant told her that if anyone on the flight complained then it would be the attendant's issue to deal with.
In an email statement to USA Today a KLM spokesperson Manel Vrijenhoek said that breasfeeding is allowed but not everyone is comfortable with it, so it results in complaints.
Angel did file a complaint when she returned home but the airline responded that their employee was acting in accordance with their policy and she needs to be respectful of other people's culture.
Angels post on the KLM has received over 1000 comments and 300 shares.
One wrote “I will not book with KLM again, thanks for the heads up”
Another wrote “Stop judging on one bad incident!! The Flight Attendant might not have handled it very well, but there are also a lot of very happy Moms with great experiences.”
One person in support of the policy stated “Wouldn’t have any problem covering up . I breast fed both my children on planes under a light scarf or something similar. I understand that there are people in the world who object for religion reasons or otherwise. I am happy to go about my life doing what I want ( breastfeeding my child) but being considerate of others beliefs and cultures.”
Another wrote “This so called policy would have left my daughter unfed as she hated covers. IF anyone is offended your policy should be that they close their eyelids and use their necks to turn their heads.”
An earlier version of this story appeared on USA Today and the Independent
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