A young mum says she was left “in a state of shock” after being removed from a Virgin Australia Airlines flight when she refused to stop breastfeeding her baby.
Virginie Rutgers claims she was feeding her 10-month-old son as the plane began to taxi down the runway. When a member of the cabin crew asked her to remove the sling she was using and she refused, Rutgers claims he raised his voice and became “quite abusive.”
Federal and local police were called and the shocked mum was removed from the flight without explanation.
“I was in a state of shock and he was screaming because I couldn’t feed him any more,” she told 7 News.
The mother and son, who were stranded in the Gold Coast, were released without charge and while Virgin offered them a seat on another flight, Rutgers opted to travel with Quantas instead.
The airline, which claims there has been some “misinformation” regarding their policies has since posted the following statement on its Facebook page:
“To clarify, Virgin Australia welcomes breastfeeding and bottle-feeding on board at any time during the flight, especially during take-off and landing when it can help prevent any ear discomfort felt by infants. When the seatbelt sign is illuminated, an infant must be restrained to their carer via the infant seatbelt only, which is provided by our crew. Safety is always Virgin Australia’s number one priority.”