Any mom whose ever cried over even a tiny bit of spilt breast milk before, would likely weep if they were put in the same position as mom Vanessa Kasten Urango earlier this month.
Urango had been traveling for work for 18 days and pumping the entire time for her 4-month-old daughter, which—as many moms know—is no easy feat. When it was finally time to go home, the dedicated mom made sure to take all of the steps to ensure that her breast milk would be able to be transported back to her baby. She called the Delta Airlines customer service line ahead of time to double-check that bringing her cooler with dry ice packs to keep the milk fresh would be OK and they confirmed that it was and told her to check it at the counter.
So imagine her surprise and dismay, after doing exactly as they told her to do at the Delta counter, she was told that she would have to pay $150. And then, when airline employees couldn't figure out how to handle the dry ice, she was told she wouldn't be able to transport the milk at all and that she'd have to get rid of it.
As the mom of two shares in a Facebook post: "Long story short, they told me I could not take the breast milk on the plane because they couldn't weigh the dry ice ... and because I didn't have the proper sticker on it to show it contained dry ice. I asked them where I could find such a sticker, and they just shrugged with complete apathy. I explained that I brought tape and markers specifically for this; I just needed to know how to label it. They had no response. I had no choice but to dispose of the cooler and its contents, to which they told me I couldn't dispose of it in the airport because of the dry ice. They, of course, offered no suggestions and just left me standing helpless with a cooler full of frozen breast milk and dry ice."
Luckily for her, some kind airport officers saw her in distress and came up with a solution that everyone could agree on, which was to carry her frozen breast milk on the plane without the dry ice.
And even though she didn't have to toss her pumped milk, Urango still had concerns about her milk remaining fresh.
She writes, "So ... here I sit waiting to board your plane ... with a cooler of frozen breast milk WITHOUT dry ice. Who knows if it will even still be frozen when I arrive home in 8 hours; which basically means two weeks' worth of breast milk will have to be thrown away."
"Maybe too much info for some, but I'm an angry mom right now."
We would be too.
For the record, the Transportation Security Administration's official policy states that breast milk and formula are exceptions to the 3.4 ounces of liquid limit. Furthermore, "Ice packs, freezer packs, frozen gel packs and other accessories required to cool formula, breast milk and juice are allowed in carry-on."
The mom of two has since updated her story to share that Delta has reached out to her to apologize and offered her a modest gift card as a "gesture of goodwill." The rep also acknowledged that Delta employees should be more aware of their dry ice policy.