A WOMAN from Penmaenmawr has criticised an airline after she said it advised her not to breastfeed her baby during a flight.

Chelsea Williams, 28, flew to Almeria, Spain with her husband, two-year-old, and five-month old with TUI on July 30, and returned on August 6.

Prior to their outbound flight, though, Chelsea said she was told not to breastfeed her baby during the journey, a message reiterated before they flew home the following week.

TUI told her that breastfeeding on their planes was “not advisable as it could make others uncomfortable”.

Contact from TUI since then, she said, has been “limited but very inconsistent”.

Chelsea said: “TUI said there was a safety issue with feeding on take-off and landing.

“I'd like to know details of this safety concern and whether it also applies to bottle-fed babies, adults eating, or drinking during take-off, too.

“I'd also like to know why, if it's a safety concern, it isn't mentioned in the safety briefing on board and why it isn't applied consistently to all parents feeding on all flights.

“If a risk assessment has been made, it would be nice to read.”


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Chelsea called for TUI to issue a public apology, as well as creating a “breastfeeding policy” for the sake of clarity.

She said that being told she could not breastfeed her baby on the plane left her “devastated”.

“TUI have broken the Equality Act 2010 regarding discrimination against a breastfeeding mother, so I'd like to see improved training on inclusion, diversity and equity for all departments,” she added.

“TUI should write a breastfeeding policy (as other airlines have) so that staff and customers can be on the same page, and so that parents can go into the flight confident and supported.

“I'd like TUI to include a statement that breastfeeding is encouraged on board in their safety/welcome briefing onboard all flights.

“I'd like TUI to make a public apology to all breastfeeding families previously affected by the lack of support and poor training.”

Chelsea also described TUI’s claim that breastfeeding on board would make other passengers “uncomfortable” as “appalling”.

She said that breastfeeding was the best and only viable option to comfort their baby during the flight.

“When I was told this was not permitted, I was devastated. The baby was crying in pain, hungry and tired, my toddler was crying because of the baby crying,” she added.

“I was sweating and on the verge of tears. I felt that everyone on the plane was looking at us with baby crying.

“The response via customer services about making others ‘uncomfortable’ was appalling to me.

“If it was a safety concern, that's one thing; I wouldn't want any harm to come to my baby.

“But for their primary concern to be protecting ignorant customers’ emotions over the physical and emotional wellbeing of a baby was shocking.”

In response, TUI said it is investigating the matter and apologised to Chelsea.

A TUI spokesperson said: “We are really sorry for the distress caused to Ms Williams and her infant. As a family-friendly travel company we support breastfeeding on our flights at any time.

“We are currently conducting an urgent internal investigation and will be making sure that all colleagues are retrained on our breastfeeding friendly policy.”