The alleged incident unfolded onboard a recent Delta Flight 1360, which travels between New York, Syracuse, Atlanta, and Georgia.
Here's some news to ruin your day: A woman has been accused of breastfeeding her pet cat mid-flight and then refusing to stop the act despite getting caught. I'm sure most of us love adorable animals as much as the next person but what length would a pet parent go to care for them? That's the question this bizarre incident poses. According to Newsweek, the alleged incident unfolded onboard a recent Delta Flight 1360, which travels between New York, Syracuse, Atlanta, and Georgia. A viral picture of the incident suggests that the purported cat breastfeeding unfolded while the plane was headed towards Atlanta. However, it isn't clear when the incident took place.
The image is a screengrab of a message sent using the Aircraft Communications, Addressing and Reporting System (ACARS), something pilots use to transmit short text-based messages to the team on the ground. The message, which seems to be written by a pilot, indicated that a passenger of the plane had refused to put her cat back in the carrier despite being instructed to do so. Thus, they requested Delta's Redcoat ground team to bring in backup upon landing. "Req Redcoat meet AC Pax (passenger) in (seat) 13A is breastfeeding a cat and will not put cat back in its carrier when FA (flight attendant) requested," it read according to NZ Herald.
Someone just texted me this… what the actual hell? pic.twitter.com/B0ri97fh2D— Ryan Spellman (@JustJettingThru) November 23, 2021
The airlines describe the members of the Redcoat team as "elite airport customer service experts" who are "specially trained to handle on-the-stop customer issues." Apart from the screenshot of the purported ACARS message, there was hardly any information to verify that such an incident even happened. That being said, a TikTok account did seem to refer to this unusual incident in a video that was posted on November 2. Flight attendant Ainsley Elizabeth claimed that "security met the flight because a woman was breastfeeding her cat."
"This woman had one of those, like, hairless cats swaddled up in a blanket so it looked like a baby," explained Elizabeth in a follow-up video that was posted on November 13. "Her shirt was up and she was trying to get the cat to latch and she wouldn't put the cat back in the carrier. And the cat was screaming for its life." Of course, the flight attendant did have some questions of her own after witnessing the "weird and gross" act. "What does she do at home if she's doing that in public?" she asked. "And then security met the flight just to tell her that she couldn't do that again, cause it was weird and gross."
Now there are no laws that prohibit mothers from breastfeeding their babies on a flight but that's only for human babies, obviously. Delta too has a policy that allows breastfeeding during flights, however, it's unlikely that the rules extend to breastfeeding non-human animals such as cats. "Delta fully supports a woman's right to breastfeed on board Delta and Delta Connection aircraft and in Delta facilities," reads the airline's policy. "Breast pumps are allowed on board. At the airport and if you prefer, many airports do offer private lactation rooms or spaces. Ask a Delta associate if you need assistance locating one at an airport."
I saw this on Reddit today. It’s an a ACARS in-flight message from the cockpit to the ground.— Rick Wilson (@TheRickWilson) November 24, 2021
Also, civilization had a good run. pic.twitter.com/AjQhIaE80H
Delta also allows pets like cats to travel on its flights with the condition that they "remain inside the kennel (with door secured) while in a Delta boarding area (during boarding and deplaning), a Delta airport lounge and while on board the aircraft." Recently, many airlines have tightened their guidelines surrounding "emotional support animals" flying following a series of incidents. Passengers would demand creatures like ferrets, horses, snakes, peacocks, and ducks be allowed to travel with them in the name of emotional support.
But surely you can see the danger of traveling with snakes and horses in an enclosed cabin thousands of feet above the ground poses. Delta does not allow emotional support animals anymore but follows a new rule from the Department of Transportation which notes that animals, except for trained dogs, do not qualify as service animals.