Airline KLM faces social backlash for trying to cover up a breastfeeding woman
Dutch airline KLM is showing its age. On Tuesday, the airline came under fire on social media for trying to make a breastfeeding woman cover up onboard, with critics using the company’s recent 100th anniversary tweets to comment on how outdated the company’s policies are.
Mother Shelby Angel took to KLM’s Facebook page on Tuesday to describe her experience on a recent trip she took from San Francisco to Amsterdam. In the post, she describes how she was handed a blanket by a flight attendant to cover up her one-year-old daughter as she was breastfeeding her. She refused, saying her daughter doesn’t like being covered and was told that she would have to deal with the complaints. But according to her Facebook post, no one complained.
“Instead of standing up for and protecting breastfeeding mothers and our children, already under the duress faced by flying with our young children, KLM would rather hold up antiquated values that shame women's bodies,” she wrote in the post. In her post, she says she placed a complaint to KLM, and was told the flight attendant acted correctly.
On Tuesday, one Twitter user Heather Yemm tweeted at KLM, asking for its breastfeeding policy, and the airline replied: “Breastfeeding is permitted at KLM flights. However, 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."
That didn’t go over well with many online.
Critics also got creative with some of KLM’s recent tweets celebrating the airline’s upcoming 100th anniversary this October. The airline has been sharing flashback images from flights decades ago. In one tweet, KLM asks, “Picture yourself 70 years back in time…What was flying like in the 1950s?” To which Twitter user Craig Griffiths tweeted back: “The same as flying with KLM today if you’re a breastfeeding woman.”