KLM rebuked after mom told to hide breastfeeding

Andrew Cummings
July 19, 2019

In a post written last Sunday on the KLM Royal Dutch Airlines Facebook page, Angel explained she was breastfeeding her daughter when a flight attendant approached her with a blanket.

KLM tweeted that the company "apologizes for any distress the tweet may have caused" and "will be reviewing our Twitter protocol to better ensure appropriate content".

"To ensure that all our passengers of all backgrounds feel comfortable on board, we may request a mother to cover herself while breastfeeding, should other passengers be offended by this", their statement read.

Dutch airline KLM has sparked a debate online after telling a customer it might ask mothers to cover themselves while breastfeeding.


British Airways wrote in a response Thursday: "We carry thousands of infants and their families on our flights every year, and we welcome breastfeeding on board". Past year a woman was called out by a shopping centre after she wrote a Facebook post explaining that she was unable to find somewhere to breastfeed her baby. Ms Angel says she always tries to be discreet when breastfeeding her daughter.

A major commercial airline has been forced to backpedal after it came under fire for warning that passengers seated in the middle of the plane are more likely to die if the jet were to crash.

One Twitter user pointed out that 100 percent of KLM " s passengers have a background of being born to a woman and needing to be fed.

The woman, who refused to cover up with a blanket she was given, claims the flight attendant warned her "that if anyone complained", it would be "her issue", The New York Times reported.


In the United Kingdom women have a legal right to breastfeed their baby in public spaces, and should not be told off nor asked to cover up. However, not all passengers feel comfortable with breastfeeding in their vicinity and sometimes these passengers complain to the cabin staff. Until the flight attendant raised the issue, breastfeeding on board had never been a problem. "Breastfeeding is a totally natural process and women should have the freedom to do it wherever and whenever they want, rather than being forced to hide as if they are doing something inappropriate".

"Negative attitudes about breastfeeding in public stem from the over-sexualization of women's bodies", said Niki Kandirikirira from the advocacy group Equality Now.

"We would like to emphasise that breastfeeding is permitted on KLM flights".

"Thanks for the heads up, will (definitely) not book with KLM", wrote one commenter.


In an interview with Yahoo Lifestyle, Angel says that she didn't expect her post to go viral and that she's gotten "quite a bit of really lovely, supportive comments".

Other reports by iNewsToday

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