KITV4 Exclusive: TSA Admits Breast Pump Mistake

Published On: Mar 01 2012 10:36:07 PM HST   Updated On: Mar 02 2012 05:41:57 AM HST
LIHUE, Hawaii -

Transportation Safety Administration officials admit one of their agents at Kauai's Lihue Airport made a mistake by telling a Maui mother she could not carry her breast pump onboard the plane, while the milk bottles were empty.

In an exclusive interview with KITV4 News, Amy Strand said she was traveling from Lihue to Maui Wednesday afternoon on business when she was flagged for additional screening.

Strand with traveling with 9-month-old daughter Eva, and was carrying an electric breast feeding pump.

Strand told her she could not bring the breast pump with her because the bottles were empty.

When Strand asked for a private area to plug the machine into, to pump her breast milk, the agent reportedly told her to "go into the women's bathroom."

Strand said she was "embarrassed and humiliated," when she was forced to plug into the only outlet in the women's restroom, which was next to the sink and facing a wall of mirrors.

"I had to stand in front of the mirrors and the sinks and pump my breast, in front of every tourist that walked into that bathroom," Strand told KITV.

When finished, Strand was allowed to board with other passengers.

TSA recently changed its screening procedures to allow women to carry breast milk onto planes without testing it. However, breast pumps are treated as medical equipment that may or may not require additional screening.

In a statement to KITV4 News, the TSA admitted that their agent mistakenly told Strand "that she could only bring the pack if it was medically necessary."

The statement goes on to read, "We accept responsibility for the apparent misunderstanding and any inconvenience or embarrassment this incident may have caused her."

Strand got in touch with TSA Officials on Kauai Thursday, who said the agent involved will go through remediation training, and a memo will be sent to agents at Lihue airport about how to deal with similar situations in the future.

The TSA statement released to KITV would only say that "complaints about the screening process are thoroughly investigated, and the agency takes appropriate action, if warranted."


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