Woman Claims She Was Humiliated by American Airlines Flight Attendant for Pumping Breast Milk in Plane Bathroom

Mariana Hannaman says a flight attendant ordered her to open the bathroom door while she was still pumping


Mariana Hannaman was pumping her breast milk in an airplane bathroom when she claims she was rudely reprimanded by a flight attendant.

The Phoenix-based mother told ABC 15 that she needed to pump during the flight because “if I don’t pump regularly then my breast milk supply goes down.”

Hannaman says she decided to pump in the bathroom on her American Airlines flight so as not to make the passengers around her uncomfortable, and warned other passengers on the bathroom line that she would need a few minutes.

According to her account, after 10 minutes a flight attendant knocked on the bathroom door, and Hannaman explained what she was doing, but after another two minutes, the attendant ordered her to open the door.

“So I opened the door, with the pump still attached to my breasts and she looked down and then said, ‘What are you doing? You can’t do that here! You’re taking too long, there’s other passengers,’ ” she recounted to ABC 15.

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Hannaman says she then stepped out of the bathroom, exposed with her pump still attached, and asked the other passengers if she minded if she finished. She told ABC 15 she found her encounter with the flight attendant very embarrassing.

“She diminished me,” she said. “I felt like a little girl.”

A passenger who witnessed the encounter told ABC she felt Hannaman was in the wrong, describing her as “bug-eyed and belligerent,” and said that her actions made her feel “extremely nervous.”

American Airlines has apologized to Hannaman for the incident.

“It is disappointing that our flight attendants may have displayed discourteous responses to your breast pumping for your infant at home; every effort should have been made to accommodate you,” the company wrote in an email, obtained by ABC. “Please be assured that your criticism has been used constructively to improve our service.”

Hannaman says she does not want the flight attendant to be fired, but wants assurance from American Airlines that she and other airline employees will be retrained on the appropriate way to interact with women who are breastfeeding.

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