Delta Tells Breastfeeding Mom She Can't Move to First-Class to Pump Milk

"But what do I do right now to feed my 4 month old on a 9 hour flight?"

What to Know

  • A nursing mom on a Delta flight was told she was unable to swap seats with her in-laws to pump despite plane outlets being broken
  • Alix Anfang was flying on an 8-hour flight with her 4-month-old baby when she realized the outlets in the bathroom weren't working
  • She was told by Delta on Twitter that she wasn't allowed to move to her in-laws seat in first class to pump privately

A breastfeeding mom on a Delta flight was told she could not move to her in-laws' first-class seats to pump milk, even though the bathroom outlets were not working with her equipment. 

But for its part, the airline said it offered her multiple accomodations over the course of the full flight, and that airplane power outlets aren't designed to work with medical devices like her pump. 

Alix Anfang, who is based in New York, tweeted her issue to Delta Wednesday while on a nine-hour flight with her 4-month-old baby. "Hey @delta the outlets in the bathroom not working so can’t pump except at my seat in front of strangers. Tried alternative but you won’t let me sit in my in laws‘ first class seat to do it privately," she said.

Delta Air Lines replied to her tweet five minutes later asking her to DM her flight information, but advising that she could not move seats. "I would be delighted to forward this on to maintenance. Regrettably, you would not be able to move to the first class cabin to pump. TMC." 

Anfang replied asking the airline what she should do, then, to feed her baby during the long-haul flight. She herself works for in communications for rideshare company Uber. 

Flight attendants aboard the flight worked with Anfang to provide an alternative she ultimately found suitable, the airline said, adding that the power outlets were inspected after the flight landed and were working as expected.

“We’re sorry for any inconvenience or discomfort our customer felt during her experience. Delta’s flight attendants aboard flight 413 from Nice to JFK worked directly with her to provide a number of options and found a private alternative to enable this customer to pump during the flight. Unfortunately, the power outlets on board this aircraft and in general are not equipped to operate a breast pump or other similar medical devices," Delta said in a statement.

Anfang disputes the airline's claim, saying no solution was offered to her. 

Twitter users rushed to Anfang's defense. 

"Hey, Delta. This is a swing and a miss. If you don’t have accommodations for a nursing mother in their ticketed cabin (because of your own maintenance failure), you need to figure out how to accommodate it, even if that means using a first class bathroom," user @Kristenbirds posted.

Another said they would not be flying Delta again, to which the airline responded: "Hi there. It is with regret that you feel like you have expressed. I apologize for the inconvenience caused to you. Your feedback will assist us in making improvements. TAS."

Later that afternoon, Anfang tweeted that she appreciated the people who agreed Delta's inability to accommodate her needs on the plane was an important issue. She said she has spoken with two Delta representatives who thanked her for speaking out and "promised they'd do better in the future." 

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