Can you imagine having the cops called on you for feeding your baby? Well, that's allegedly what happened to Virginie Rutgers who was nursing her 10-month-old son in a baby sling—which she was using as a cover—during a recent flight on Virgin Australia. The mother tells Australian news station Seven News that she was breastfeeding her son while the plane was being taxied down the runway when a cabin supervisor approached her and demanded she remove the baby from the baby carrier in a raised voice and became "quite abusive." Rutgers continues, "I was in a state of shock and [the baby] was screaming because I couldn't feed him anymore."
The mother refused to remove her cover, and as a result, the plane had to return to the terminal where Rutgers was forced off the plane by federal and local police. The mother and son were left stranded in Australia and had to take a flight on another airline back home. While the airline refunded the price of her ticket, they did not compensate her for the extra night's hotel stay and transportation.
Virgin Australia claims that the reason she was escorted off the plane was not for breastfeeding, but for refusing to secure baby in a seatbelt at takeoff. The airline just posted their statement about the incident on their Facebook page which reads, "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 its carer via the infant seatbelt only, which is provided by our crew. Safety is always Virgin Australia's number one priority."