Canadian Travel Plans
Shame on the Bush Campaign

Breasts of Mass Destruction

Breast-feeding in a time of war

I would boycott Continental Airlines over this, except that in my experience they are better than Northwest about small children and infants:

What did the American male passenger think they were - weapons of mass distraction?

Apparently, yes.

Deborah Wolfe, a Canadian citizen who was just breast-feeding her son and changing his diaper while en route between Houston and Vancouver, says her "subversive" actions led to her being threatened with detainment, RCMP involvement and legal charges for terrorist action against a U.S. citizen in international airspace while on an American flight during a time of war.

I do like the idea that my milk-laden breasts are so formidible. (God, I hate the airlines!)

Via HogBlog.

Update: I wrote to Continental via Continental Airlines - Contact Customer Care

As someone who flew Continenal from Seattle to Newark on Monday with a small infant, I was really upset to read in the Montreal Gazette

that a breastfeeding mother was threatened with legal consequences by a Continental flight attendent for breastfeeding and changing her infant.

While I have been well-treated when flying Continental with small children, it upsets me to know that my experience might have been quite different had I had the flight attendent in question, since I was doing the same things as the breastfeeding mother.

Strike a blow for motherhood and family values. Fire the flight attendent.

Want to know more about flying with an infant?  Here's a letter I wrote to Northwest Airlines 5 years ago:

We took our infant son to Seattle on Northwest Airlines for the holidays to visit his grandparents for the first time and the round trip was an unpleasant and upsetting experience.  ...

Although we were transported relatively promptly in both directions, the lack of proper facilities for changing infant diapers, damage to our luggage going both directions, the theft of my video camera from flight 68 and the attitudes of crew members and other Northwest employees with whom we interacted leave me very angry.

This is the first time I have traveled by air with my new baby.  On the flights out, there was a changing table that folded down mounted on the wall of the rest room.  While this was minimally adequate for changing the baby's diapers, since the changing table did not have any way to strap down the infant, it was not what I would call safe.  On the return trip on flight 68, there was no changing table in the rest room, and instead I had to use a space of counter approximately 6 inches by 12 inches to change the diapers of a 24 inch infant.  Even when the plane is on the ground, this is very dangerous.  In a plane experiencing turbulence, this is extremely dangerous.  Toward the end of flight, while I was changing the baby's diapers we suddenly hit turbulence and the captain turned on the seat belt sign.  The baby had made a big mess all over the wall and the floor of the rest room, and I was attempting to get him diapered and dressed and back to our seat.  I poked my head out the door and had another passenger summon a flight attendant to help me for a moment.  The flight attendant's reply was "I can get you some towels," and she didn't even do that.  I was very upset by this, since I was trying to get my baby out of a potentially lethal situation: if he fell off the counter he could fracture his skull.

By the time we landed, the baby's diapers needed changing again.  If the rest room on the plane had been a safe place to change his diapers, I would have used it.  But since it was dangerous, I was in a great hurry to get off the plane to find a SAFE place for a diaper change. I was in such a hurry to get off the plane, that I forgot to check for possessions under the seats, and I left the video camera my mother had given me as a Christmas gift at seat 24E.  By an hour or so later, when we realized we'd left the video camera on flight 68 it had already been stolen.  Although we had already boarded our connecting flight, we had the gate attendant at our gate call the gate where the plane still was, but the camera was gone.  We filed a lost article report as soon as we landed. In then twenty or more conversations we have had with Northwest employees about the missing video camera, I have become very upset with the casual and euphemistic way the luggage service people talk about theft.  It took me four or five phone calls to understand that when they say that the article was almost certainly "removed from the plane by another passenger" they mean STOLEN.  When I tried to pin this down in a discussion with luggage services, the man I was speaking with told me I was asking "a silly question."  Because our infant seat was stowed at the very back of the plane, my husband remained at our row while most of the rest of the passengers disembarked and he was nearly the last passenger off the plane. The video camera was under the middle seat of a five seat block on a DC10 so was not visible by casual inspection.  During the flight passengers were wedged sardine-wise into those seats, so there seems to me very little chance that another passenger stole the video camera.  Given that the camera was not found in the security check prior to the aircraft's departure for it's international destination, it was almost certainly stolen by a Northwest employee after the passengers disembarked, most likely one of the cleaning crew.  During my many discussions, I have been told over and over that Northwest feels no responsibility for the fate of carryon items.  However, regardless of how Northwest feels about this, if the camera was stolen by a Northwest employee (as appears to be the situation here) the airline certainly IS responsible. . . .   The crux of the matter is this: I took my baby on Northwest to see his grandparents for Christmas and return feeling that neither my baby nor my possessions are safe on Northwest.


Kathryn Cramer