The Transportation Security Administration says it's sorry it humiliated a mother of four by forcing her to pump breast milk in a crowded airport bathroom in order to satisfy a clueless officer.
Amy Strand, an elementary school vice principal, was trying to follow the no-liquids policy when she poured out her bottles of breast milk before boarding a plane home to Maui, Hawaii after a business trip.
Strand didn't have to do this -- according to TSA guidelines, breastmilk is allowed in "reasonable quantities exceeding 3.4 ounces" and is not required to be in a zip-top bag.
But to her surprise, a TSA worker at Lihue Airport in Kauai told her that she couldn’t board the plane with the empty bottles and her pricey breast milk pump.
Strand told the “Today” show on Monday that the male TSA worker told her she had to prove to them that the empty bottles were for breast milk.
“He said I couldn’t go through because there was no milk in the bottles,” Strand said. “But I was not going to leave a part of the breast pump behind — it cost over $200. He told me that my option was to leave it behind or to put milk into it.”
There was no private area, so the TSA officer accompanied her to the public ladies’ rest room, where there was an outlet for the pump.
Aghast and mortified, Strand was forced to pump her breast milk in the crowded ladies’ room.
“I had to stand at the sink in my heels and dress pumping as travelers came and went,” she said. “I was humiliated and fighting back tears.”
Once the bottles were filled, she was allowed to board the plane, which she also found baffling.
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