PINELLAS COUNTY, Fla. - A Michigan mom said her family missed their flight back home from Florida because TSA agents at St. Pete-Clearwater International airport held her back over her breast milk.
Stacie Vroman, her husband, and their two children were in the Sunshine State on vacation and said their experience flying back home was disappointing.
"Knowing it was a smaller airport, it didn't seem like there would be that big of a complication to get through," Vroman said.
She said they had a number of issues because of long lines at the airport and after being held back by TSA. She added that they arrived at the airport at least an hour and a half early, thinking it would be plenty of time.
Vroman said she gave TSA a heads-up she had breast milk, which is what she is supposed to do.
"They set it aside and then said we had to check it. I said, 'OK that's fine.' I understand that and it just sat there. I said are you guys going to check it," Vroman said.
She felt like she wasn't getting anywhere. She even asked for a supervisor while the rest of her family waited at the gate.
"It almost felt like they were being vindictive at that point … almost (a) power trip or something, and I don't know if they weren't trained properly with how to test it. That was just really the frustrating part," Vroman said.
The entire family missed their flight. The Michigan mother wants to raise awareness.
"It's probably too much to ask that they change the policy for breastfeeding moms, but just having human decency to understand that all I really was trying to do was feed my child. I went, and I followed their guidelines," she said.
In an emailed statement, TSA said they looked into Vroman's claim and said in part that "officers working at the checkpoint correctly followed all procedures."
TSA said Vroman walked through the metal detectors just 12 minutes before her flight's departure time.
"No one wants to take responsibility for it either. I will take responsibility in saying that you know … maybe I should have gotten there even earlier. I will say that, but the unfortunate thing is how early would have been early enough? You know the lines were so long. I don't even think that would have matter(ed)," Vroman said.
Officials said people need to remember to call TSA if they have any questions about what is and isn't allowed at the airport. They want to remind people to show up two hours before their flight.
Vroman said the airline contacted her Friday letting her know they would refund her flight change fees.