TSA apologized to the breastfeeding mom who said she was barred from bringing ice packs on a plane to keep her breast milk cool

1 week ago 43
  • A California mother said she was blocked from bringing ice packs through security at LAX on Monday.
  • Emily Calandrelli said she tried explaining breastfeeding to male TSA agents.
  • TSA on Friday said it apologized to her and that the screening didn't meet their standards.

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The Transportation Security Administration has apologized for an incident earlier this week when a breastfeeding mom said she was blocked from carrying ice packs onto a plane that she need to keep her breast milk cool.

"The screening process she received unfortunately did not meet our standards," R. Carter Langston, a TSA spokesperson, told The Washington Post on Friday. "We will continue to engage with advocacy and community-based organizations to enhance our screening protocols. Additionally, we will re-double our training to ensure our screening procedures are being consistently applied."

TSA also said it apologized to the mother, Emily Calandrelli, on Wednesday after investigating the incident.

Calandrelli, who has a 10-week-old baby, said in a viral tweet that she was at Los Angeles International Airport on Monday when two TSA agents told her she could not bring her ice packs through security because they were not frozen solid.

—Emily Calandrelli (@TheSpaceGal) May 10, 2022

The California mother told Insider's Yelena Dzhanova she felt humiliated and ashamed by the ordeal, during which she had to explain to the male agents that she needed to pump her breast milk even though her baby was not traveling with her.

"I felt humiliated because I'm trying to explain to these grown men how my boobs work," she said, adding: "And I'm like, 'This is your job. You guys should be trained to know this,'"

According to TSA guidelines, "frozen liquid items" can be brought through security if they are "frozen solid when presented for screening."

The guidelines also say "medically necessary gel ice packs in reasonable quantities are allowed regardless of their physical state of matter," adding "please notify the TSA officer at the checkpoint for inspection."

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