Friday, November 17, 2006

Delta Means Change?

Elsewhere, Elise just blogged about the idiotic situation wherein Delta threw a family off one of its jets because the mother was breastfeeding and refused to stop when the flight attendant - who was "offended" by the insolent, filthy way in which the woman was feeding her child - asked her to do so. Bad scene, all the way around.

But Delta appears to be doing the right thing. According to Praxxus, the airline is attempting to fix the problem. From the company's response to Praxxus:

We concluded that the flight attendant in question acted contrary to the Company's expectations. We believe our disciplinary action was appropriate and was taken after considering all of the facts leading to this incident. I do believe it is worth noting that the events described in the article failed to include the fact that the flight attendant in question was young and new to her job. Furthermore, following the incident, the Captain apologized to the passenger and her family and immediately requested that they be re-boarded for their flight (an offer the family refused).

We are reinforcing the manner this situation should have been handled with our front line employees. Our handling of this investigation and resolution of any deficiencies found to have occurred were focused on raising awareness of this issue for our employees. I hope you can appreciate our efforts to prevent any similar occurrences in the future.

To clarify our policy, Freedom Airlines firmly supports a mother's right to breast feed a child. We understand that air travel presents particular difficulties to a nursing mother as airport facilities and aircraft are not designed to maximize privacy for passengers. Moreover while blankets are available for passengers convenience, we do not expect, (and will not in the future request) that nursing mothers use a blanket to cover their child while nursing. My comment in the original article to the contrary was not an accurate statement of our policy.
I'm not 100% satisfied with this (to what "disciplinary action" was the anti-eating attendant subjected? is Delta going to make a point to facilitate breastfeeding by giving nursing mothers better seats, real pillows, cold water to drink, and the thanks of a grateful nation?), but it sounds like the boobie dustup might have led to some booty-kicking at the airline. As well it should have. It's not news to say so here, but this country has some backward attitudes about how its youngest should be nourished.