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Caution: Boobs on Board

A nursing mother takes to social media to combat Delta's refusal to let her on board with a breast feeding pump.

Photo courtesy of Quinn Dombroski, via Flickr

Nursing mother Lauren Modeen went to Twitter to find out why Delta Air Lines forced her to check her breast pump.


Modeen was boarding Delta Flight 2034 on January 19th traveling from Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport to Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport. It was her second flight of the day for a business trip where she would be apart from her child for four days.

The gate agents refused to let Modeen board the flight with her breast pump, which was packed in her standard carry-on suitcase, Modeen told CNN. She was also carrying a cooler filled with ice to transport her breast milk and her purse.

Delta and other airlines allow one carry-on bag and one personal item, such as a purse or backpack, for free. According to airline policy, medical devices, strollers and certain other equipment are also allowed and don't count against a traveler's carry-on allowance.

At first, the gate agent told Modeen she needed to consolidate her luggage, even though Modeen had told the agent that the suitcase contained a medical device.

"She then said the computer just gave her a message stating that all passengers starting with me would need to check their bags," Modeen told CNN. "When I later entered the jet bridge, passengers lining up behind me had their suitcases."

Modeen was required to check her bag and later picked up her breast pump eight hours at baggage claim in Minneapolis.

After the incident, Modeen told CNN she hopes to raise awareness regarding women's rights to breastfeed and pump on airlines. With her new Facebook page, Boobs on Board, she wants encourage airlines to post their pro-breastfeeding and breast-pumping policies inside all aircrafts.

The Economist reports that Delta has apologized, saying it “supports the rights of women to breastfeed.”

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