Amy Strand: TSA Forces Mom to Pump Breast Milk in Public
On February 29, 2012, 38-year-old mother of four Amy Strand was forced by the TSA to pump breast milk in a women's bathroom before boarding her plane.
Before going through security last week, Amy Strand dumped out the milk that she'd already pumped and bottled so that the TSA wouldn't hassle her, but it was because those bottles were empty that the TSA screener gave her trouble. She was told that she couldn't carry-on the cooler pack contained in the device's package unless the accompanying bottles were full.
When Amy Strand asked the TSA agent if there was a private place to pump, the agent told her no and sent her to the women's restroom, where she had to pump breast milk in front of other women and the TSA agent to prove her breast milk was "real".
The guidelines on the TSA’s website state that “mothers flying with, and without, their child are permitted to bring breast milk in quantities greater than three ounces as long as it is declared for inspection at the security checkpoint,” but don’t make reference to coolers, ice packs, or empty bottles.
"I really only had two options: leave part of it behind or pump," the woman tells ABC News. "And I'm not going to leave part of it behind because [the agent] doesn't know the police and procedures."
TSA later released a statement saying their agent had acted in error and that he’s “receiving remedial training.” According to their statement, the TSA agent told Strand that ice packs could only be carried on a flight if they were medically necessary, which isn’t true. Strand says that the head of the Hawaii TSA personally apologized to her and that he “seemed very sincere.”