Liz Meagher Cooper is a new mom with a 4-month-old baby. She needed to pump breast milk during a layover at Dulles International Airport—which sounds like the only possible thing that could make a layover at Dulles International Airport worse—but wasn't sure where she could find a clean, private space to do so.
When she asked a United Airlines employee where to go, she was told to use the bathroom. Cooper pointed out that sitting on a public toilet is a not-entirely-sanitary place to express milk for a newborn. The United employee then came up with another brilliant suggestion: she could use the pet-relief center! That is, of course, the public toilet for pets in transit, complete with fake fire hydrant. The employee promised (according to Cooper) that "There haven’t been a lot of dogs in the airport today."
Perching on a fake fire hydrant covered in dog pee while pumping would certainly make for a great "The things I did for you, kid" story to hold over her child's head someday, but for some reason, Cooper didn't go for it.
Instead, she took to Twitter and expressed her disappointment with that old standby: #fail.
Her account has since been made private (jeez, that Cooper sure loooooves privacy), but not before her story got picked up by local news station Fox 5 DC. Their report is below:
United weighed in to say that Dulles, which serves over 21 million passengers annually, is in the process of building four nursing stations for mothers, and we're glad it only took 53 years for the airport to get serious about that. In the meantime, the airline says they are happy to find private pumping and nursing space for new mothers on their aircraft and elsewhere. Let's hope you get to pick where that aircraft is going (Hawaii?).