Mum-of-two ‘angry and embarrassed’ after Ryanair steward tells her to stop breastfeeding her baby on a flight from Portugal to Manchester


A MUM-of-two was left angry and embarrassed after she says she was told to stop breastfeeding her baby on a Ryanair flight.

Rachel Duffy, 40, had allegedly taken her seat on a flight from Faro Airport, Portugal, on May 15 when she encouraged her seven-month-old son, Noah, to latch onto her breast.

Rachel, holding Noah, and her son 14-year-old son Nathan
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Rachel and her family had spent ten days in Portugal and were flying back home
Caters News Agency

The mum, from Barnsley, South Yorks, claims she had read online that having your child breastfeed during take off would help prevent his ears from popping, so decided to give it a go.

Having successfully done so on her outbound Ryanair flight just ten days prior, on May 5, from Manchester Airport to Faro Airport, Rachel presumed it wouldn’t be a problem.

However, the stay-at-home mum claims that before the plane took off, an air steward came and ordered her to stop breastfeeding her child and waited until she had unlatched her crying child and re-dressed to move on.

Rachel claims that this also happened when the plane was landing at Manchester Airport, and has been left angry and embarrassed by the situation.

She said: “I got on the plane and sat down in the seat and strapped Noah in on my lap with the two seatbelt extensions provided.

“Noah was moaning so I latched him onto my breast as I had read that sucking would be good to stop his ears popping and it would stop him disrupting the rest of the flight.

“Then the air steward came over and told me that I couldn’t feed my son, which was shocking as I had been fine on the Ryanair flight just ten days earlier.

“The steward stood and watched while I struggled to sit my baby up – who started to cry – and continued to stand there until I had re-dressed myself.


“I was really shocked, angry and embarrassed by the situation – I continued to breastfeed during the rest of the flight, but I was told to stop again before landing.

“It’s left me incredibly anxious and nervous to fly again – and I won’t be doing so with Ryanair.”

Despite claiming she was told to stop breastfeeding during take off and landing on her flight from Portugal to Manchester, Rachel claims she had no problem doing so on the outbound flight 10 days earlier.

She said: “When I flew to Portugal from Manchester, on a Ryanair flight, I was allowed to breastfeed during take off and landing.

“No one said anything to me, even when they were doing the seatbelt checks.

“Alongside other people advising me to do so, that’s why I assumed it would have been fine for me to feed on the flight home.


“Luckily, for the rest of the flight from Portugal to Manchester, I was not told to stop breastfeeding – but I was told off again when the plane began to land.

“It’s made me very angry and others that I have spoken to are disgusted with Ryanair.

“It made our flight very difficult and uncomfortable.”

Rachel was travelling with her two sons, Noah and Nathan, 14, and her sister-in-law, Rachel Hey, 34, who is 32 weeks pregnant.

Rachel Hey said: “The whole thing was disgusting – there was no communication, the steward was just abrupt and said ‘no feeding’.

“There was no elaboration, apology or even notice that she would continue to feed during the flight.

“The steward stood there and watched Rachel unlatch and there was no privacy or dignity.


“The exact same happened on landing too – there was no compassion showed to a screaming, unsettled baby and a panicking mum.

“I’m 32 weeks pregnant and it’s completely put me off breastfeeding in public – and I definitely won’t be flying with Ryanair.”

A spokesperson for Ryanair said: “Breastfeeding mothers are very welcome on board our flights.”

Rachel said there had not been a problem when they flew out to Portugal
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Rachel said she did not get an apology from Ryanair
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Rachel’s sister-in-law Rachel Hey was also on the flight
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Rachel says she was told she couldn’t breastfeed her son during take off and landing
Caters News Agency

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