KUALA LUMPUR, July 18 — A tweet by Royal Dutch Airlines (KLM) in response to an inquiry regarding breastfeeding has caused an uproar on Twitter.
Heather Yimm asked the airline what their policy was and the reply from KLM was that though breastfeeding on flights was allowed, mothers could be asked to cover themselves to avoid offence.
Breastfeeding is permitted at KLM flights. However, to ensure that all our passengers of all backgrounds feel comfortable on board, we may request a mother to cover herself while breastfeeding, should other passengers be offended by this.— Royal Dutch Airlines (@KLM) July 16, 2019
This has caused a huge backlash, resulting in thousands of replies and counter-arguments. Most were critical of the policy.
When asked for comments by the BBC, KLM stated that it was trying to “keep the peace on board”. It said that certain actions could be taken to “try to find a solution that is acceptable to everyone and that shows respect for everyone’s comfort and personal space”. This included asking a mother to cover her breasts.
This episode has resulted in online users to ask other airlines about their policies regarding breastfeeeding.
British Airways stated that it would never look to stop a mother from breastfeeding, and would assist in providing privacy if requested.