A few weeks ago, the San Diego Nursing in Public Task Force was contacted by Theresa Morawski Pulickal about an incident she needed help resolving with America Airlines. Theresa has already done an amazing job advocating for herself and almost completely resolved the situation she had with the airlines, but she needs your help to change American Airline's policy regarding transporting breast milk. She doesn’t want another mother to have to deal with the challenges she dealt with a few weeks ago.
Here is her story.
I am trying to change an American Airlines policy after an experience I had traveling from Puerto Vallarta to Phoenix to San Diego a few weeks ago. While in Puerto Vallarta, I pumped breast milk for my child home in San Diego. He was not traveling with me. At the Puerto Vallarta airport I was told by the TSA agents that I could not carry my breast milk on the plane. I tried to tell them that the rules in the US state that it's okay to carry pumped milk onboard the plane and it could be tested, but they gave me a firm ‘NO’. I took my breast milk coolers to America Airlines (AA). I told them I was told to check my breast milk by the TSA agents. The American Airlines ticket agent generated a check bag tag and said it would cost $499MXN pesos. I asked if the could be waived, as it is breast milk. I told them I was not expecting a fee. They said, no, because the baby was not with me and that it was company policy to charge a fee and that he (the AA Agent) didn't agree with it either, but had to charge me. I paid the fee, as it was very important to me to bring home my milk. I checked the bag to Phoenix. In Phoenix, I spoke to the AA customer service representative. The agent told me that they should not have charged me for the bag in Puerto Vallarta, but he was unable to reimburse at his location. He told me there is no one to call and I would have to make a claim online through the comment/compliant website. I picked up my bag and went through TSA in Phoenix to San Diego with no problem. They looked at my milk and tested the cooler bag. I was allowed to carry on.