Kelly Edgson-Payne, 36, says she was left in tears after a crew member asked her to refrain from breast-feeding during take-off, although she claims she never had a problem.
A mother-of-four has hit out at easyJet after she was ordered to stop breastfeeding her baby during a flight and had to pry the baby from her mid-feed.
Kelly Edgson-Payne, 36, was “mortified,” and she and a-year-old son Lex were both left in tears, as a male member of the cabin crew told her that she could not feed her baby during take-off.
And when the sports therapist the matter with easyJet customer service, she was told that she was welcome to breastfeed her child on their flights, “as long as you are discreet.”
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Edgson-Payne, a mother of four from England, who says that she never had a problem breastfeeding any of her children on flights, has slammed easyJet for “does not seem to know the law about breastfeeding.”
Edgson-Payne flew with her husband and four children when they try to feed her 1 year old son Lex.
“It’s just crazy that I was told that I could not feed him crazy, and really painful for me. I find it really disappointing that a carrier that I trust, and who we fly with all the time, actually broke the law are discriminatory against me as a breastfeeding mother,” said Edgson-Payne, of Rochester, Kent.
“The law in the uk says that it protects breastfeeding mothers and even easyJet’s own site says the mothers are welcome to breastfeed during a flight,” she added.
“There is simply no consistency in their messages. They must not discriminate against breastfeeding.”
Edgson-Payne was flying from London Gatwick to Fuerteventura, Spain, Aug. 20 with her husband Ross, 40, and four children, when the unpleasant incident took place.
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“We are flying with easyJet, literally, the whole time, and I’ve always breastfed all of my children over the years during take-off, because their ears pop and that are not pleasant for them,” she said.
“Most of the other cabin crew would actually encourage breast-feeding during take-off, because it distracts them and stops them from crying … I have never been told that I can’t feed Lex, or one of my other children — and we have flown with him over 16 times in the last year.”
Edgson-Payne said that he in Aug. 20 flight, she got settled in her chair and began feeding her son, as she “normally” would be.
“Then a male member of the cabin crew came and told me that I could not feed him during take-off, and that I would have to stop and strap him in his baby seat next to me,” Edgson-Payne claimed.
“It was just crazy. I said, ” Well, he feeds.’ But I just had to stop mid-feed and hand him to my husband. I was hurt. I’m not afraid to get my baby to breastfeed where I am stopped at a break during a marathon before and fed him, but this left me embarrassed and in tears,” she added.
“I had to quickly cover myself, but my breasts were still leaking milk, because I had stopped mid-feed. Even my oldest daughter, who is 9, and said, ” Mommy, they can’t tell you not to breastfeed him.'”
Edgson-Payne, the mother of Mia, 9, and Elena, 5, and Jax, 3, and Lex, 1, said a female member of the cabin crew later approached her after take-off and apologized for the incident.
“The two of them had a bit of a hoo-ha, and they then later came to me and said,” I’m sorry, ignore him, he is there,” she said.
Edgson-Payne said a staff member apologized for the incident, but said that she was angry at the flight crew’s lack of consistency.
“What annoys me and disappoints is that there is no consistency. On their website they give, ‘We support breastfeeding mothers and you can feed your baby on board at any time.’ But when I emailed their customer services about it afterwards, I was told, ‘Passengers are allowed to breastfeed their babies to board the plane, as long as you do this in a discreet way.”
“The ironic thing is, since having my third and fourth children, when I fly I have always booked my child a place next to me. So I’ve never in the past six years, sat next to a random passenger,” explained Edgson-Payne.
“Up until the cabin crew told me that I could not breastfeed, I don’t think any other passengers were paying any attention to me.”
Edgson-Payne added that all easyJet offered her a voucher for 25 pounds to be used in the direction of another flight in the way of compensation.
“I just want to be aware of the law, so that other mothers have to go through,” she added.
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A spokesman for easyJet said: “easyJet supports breastfeeding, and customers flying with easyJet can breastfeed at any time during the flight.
“It is not our policy to ask all the mothers to be discreet and we make this very clear in our training.
EasyJet has apologized for how its policies were interpreted, and issued the mother a voucher for a future flight.
“This flight was operated by another airline on our behalf and while they follow easyJet policy unfortunately this did not happen on this occasion.
“We have followed in order to ensure that this does not happen in the future.”