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Knoxville mom says nearly 200 ounces of breast milk destroyed on flight home from Mexico

A Knoxville mother said nearly 200 ounces of breast milk was destroyed during her flight home from Mexico.
Published: Mar. 22, 2021 at 5:31 PM EDT|Updated: Mar. 23, 2021 at 6:24 PM EDT
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KNOXVILLE, Tenn. (WVLT) - A Knoxville mother said nearly 200 ounces of frozen breast milk was destroyed during her journey home from Mexico. In an effort to avoid wasting her supply while away from her son, Sarah Morrow said she spent her entire vacation pumping for her exclusively breastfed baby Kai so that he would have food when she returned home.

However, the frozen milk was destroyed by the time it arrived in Knoxville.

Morrow said authorities at Los Cabos International Airport would not allow her to carry-on the bag full of frozen breast milk. Instead, she said she was told to check-in the bag of milk for the flight.

“I had planned out how I was going to bring my milk back. And every single day while we were at the resort, everyday I would pump and have room service to come get it,” said Morrow.

Morrow said she didn’t research rules for flying internationally because she thought international airports operated under the same guidelines as TSA, and never experienced an issue flying with breast milk before.

TSA guidelines state formula and breast milk are allowed on the plane in quantities greater than 3.4 ounces, but may be subject to testing. However, TSA does not have jurisdiction at the Mexican airport Morrow traveled from.

During her flight from Mexico to Dallas, Morrow said her flight experienced a delay, causing she and her husband to miss their connecting flight from Dallas back to Knoxville.

After missing their connecting flight, Morrow said she was assured by an American Airlines representative that her bag containing the breast milk made it on the connecting flight, and would arrive in Knoxville that night.

An American Airlines spokesperson told WVLT that Morrow’s bag of frozen breast milk was re-routed to the flight that she rebooked after missing her connection.

Morrow said she was never told her bag was still in Dallas, waiting to be rerouted to the new flight back to Knoxville.

American Airlines released this statement to WVLT: “We are sorry to hear that the customer’s bag was rerouted and we’re looking into the circumstances internally. A member of our customer relations team has reached out to the customer to learn more about their experience.”

Morrow said if her bag of breast milk was allowed on board the plane in Mexico, she would still have her breast milk in good condition for her son.

Even though it was Mexican airport authorities and not TSA agents who prevented Morrow from carrying her breast milk on the plane, she said all parties involved have room to grow.

“Change has to happen, period. Whether it is TSA, any other security checkpoint or American Airlines, everyone has to get on the same page. The way it’s set up now is extremely subjective even specifically with TSA. It just says you can travel with a reasonable amount. Well obviously that’s subjective. What one TSA agent might find reasonable, another might not,” shared Morrow.

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