This month there was a huge win for lactating moms who are pumping breast milk and traveling! In a lawsuit of Stacey Armato vs. United States of America, the US Transportation Services Administration (TSA) agreed to settle for $75,000 and clarify its policy for women traveling with breast milk. Additionally, the TSA plans to respond by training its screening officers on the new policies and updating its website to make the instructions clearer for moms traveling with breast milk.
While Mrs. Armato had simply requested that her breast milk not be x-rayed, as alleged in the lawsuit (CV-11-2462-PHX-ROS), the Phoenix, AZ TSA harassed her on two occasions, once, for over an hour, causing her to miss her flight. Mrs. Armato requested that her breast milk undergo an alternative, secondary screening as per the TSA guidelines. The first time Mrs. Armato was told to wait while they researched their own policy on breast milk, and was told to dump her breast milk. The second she was initially told they would not perform the secondary screening, only to later be told they would, but she needed to pour her breast milk into multiple bottles so they weren’t “too full”. She was forced to wait in glass holding cages (now removed from the Phoenix airport) and undergo multiple pat-downs and screenings of her belongings.
Mrs. Armato was quoted saying, “We brought this lawsuit for one reason – to bring clarity and policy change for breastfeeding mothers traveling with breast milk. Hopefully what I experienced at the Phoenix Airport in 2010 will never happen to another mother traveling with her breast milk.”
Watch the video of the second occasion…
Simply the Breast provides lactation consulting services and prenatal breastfeeding education to Ventura County! Contact us today for your lactation consult!