A mum has penned a heartfelt open letter to Heathrow Airport security staff after she claims they forced her to dump four gallons of frozen breast milk.
Jessica Coakley Martinez frequently travels for work but pumps and freezes her breast milk for her son as she jets off around the world.
In her open letter, posted on Facebook, she wrote: “You humiliated me and made me feel completely defeated as a professional and a mother.”
She describes the embarrassment and inconvenience of storing the milk for the sake of her son as she flies across the globe.
She continued: “It meant lugging this giant block of frozen breast milk through four countries, airports and security checkpoints and having them pull out every single ounce of breast milk and use mildly inappropriate sign language to convey ‘breast’ and ‘milk’ so that they would let me through.
“Which they did. Every one of them. Except you.
“You made me dump nearly 500oz of breast milk in the trash.
“You made me dump out nearly two weeks worth of food for my son.”
Ms Coakley Martinez says airport staff wouldn’t let her check the milk in her luggage because it’s a liquid, and prohibited by Civil Aviation rules.
But she argued that because it is frozen it is a solid – and many other airports have let her travel with it.
She added: “Despite my begging, pleading and even crying out of sheer shock and desperation for a solution (which you essentially scoffed at with annoyance), you treated me as if I was trying to smuggle litres of hydrogen peroxide (an explosive) onto the plane.
“There was no room for discussion: ‘it’s the law’.”
“I’m deeply appreciative of the work done by thousands of aviation security workers at airports around the globe.
“But it’s not a production line, despite the perception.
“There is an important place for customer service, judgment and critical thinking.
“There are moments that should be treated as opportunities to assist people in their travel when there is ample evidence that an individual or item isn’t a threat.”
Heathrow Airport has been contacted for comment.