Airline suggests woman pump breast milk in a dirty janitor’s closet at LAX
An Austin woman was left mortified after being asked to pump breast milk in a janitor’s closet at LAX airport.
Haley Picchini was travelling through the airport when she tried to locate the designated nursing room for new mothers. However, the signs for the room seemed to lead to nowhere. On top of that, when she asked two airport workers for directions, they weren’t able to help — and suggested she pump in the airport terminal.
“That’s like someone telling you that you should sit and have a bowel movement, covered of course, in the middle of two gates where people can see you,” Picchini told CBS Los Angeles.
Still searching for privacy, Picchini paid $50 for a pass to the United Airlines lounge. She found a spot and plugged in her pump, but was quickly approached by an airline employee and directed to a storage room.
“I was mortified,” she said. “I was scared. I didn’t want to do anything that would endanger my baby.”
According to a spokesperson from United, workers did ask Picchini if she wanted a more private spot, but they did not insist or require her to move there. United Club members or those with a day pass may breastfeed or pump in the club.
This isn’t the airline’s first run-in with breastfeeding mothers. In March, a mother flying from Houston to Vancouver on United Airlines said a flight attendant harassed her for breastfeeding on a flight.
While this story seems extreme, this issue is something that many airports are addressing. Last month, New York area airports unveiled breastfeeding and pumping pods for new mothers. And last year, Gov. Jerry Brown signed a bill mandating that by 2016, all major California airports provide sanitary spaces with chairs, electrical outlets, and sinks for nursing mothers.
An LAX spokesperson said officials are working to provide mothers with rooms at every terminal. Two are scheduled to open this summer.
This article originally appeared on Yahoo Travel.