Removal of luggage tag on breast pump rattles MSP passengers

An airport is once again ground zero for the fear that’s dominating us.

Valarie Kaur, an attorney and filmmaker, says she was in the jetway waiting to board a flight at Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport when she made the mistake of doing something that’s not all that unusual… for other people.

She writes on her Facebook page.


(h/t: Mike Worcester)

Related: Fear dominating the home of the brave (NewsCut)

  • Am I missing something? It’s been a few years since I last flew anywhere. When did it become verboten to open one’s carry-on luggage, in a line or on a plane or anywhere inside the terminal?

    That said/asked, the fellow doing the complaining was a jerk.

  • Matt

    Am I missing something? What’s wrong with removing a luggage tag after you clear security?

  • Leroy

    Are luggage tags for carry ons a new thing? I don’t believe I’ve ever had to put a tag on a carry on before.

  • Kevin

    So many questions. Why did she remove the luggage tag? I can open all of my bags without removing the luggage tag. My wife traveled with a breast pump and never had to remove a luggage tag to use it. And why does removing a luggage tag evoke emotions in others (the blog post says fear, the Facebook post says anger)? Is this something that terrorists do?

  • Nathan Hunstad

    Serious question, and I travel fairly frequently for work and pleasure: what is this “luggage tag” that people speak of? I have never had a tag on any of my carry-ons. Ever.

  • Brian Simon

    On some flights, you must ‘gate check’ your ‘carry on’ bags at the gate. Instead of checking them when you arrive at the airport, and pay the requisite fee, you carry the bag through security & leave it on the jetway to be stowed in the cargo hold during your flight. Upon arrival, you retrieve the bag, again on the jetway, rather than waiting with the plebes in baggage claim. Perhaps, on a smaller aircraft, the breast pump bag would not have fit in the overhead compartment or under the seat, thus becoming a ‘gate checked’ bag. It is unclear why accessing such a bag would be cause for alarm.

    • jon

      I’ve been on smaller craft that didn’t have an overhead compartment, everything that didn’t fit under the seat was gate checked.

      Luggage tags are put on, and when you get on you connecting flight, a larger craft you’ll have to remove it.

  • jon

    nearly 20 years ago in highschool me and a friend of mine escorted a muslim girl to and from her classes, as she was afraid for her safety due to a recent outbreak of fighting between the latino and muslim communities (and their respective gangs).

    Both of us were small and scrappy probably not much use in a serious fight looking back on it (we thought we were tough **** at the time), but both of us were white, and while we didn’t realize it we were using our white privilege to help shield her.

    It is now almost 20 years later. The satanists are offering to provide escorts to muslims who are afraid…

    20 years of progress…. is no progress at all.

    Later still in highschool I did the same for another girl (she was white) because she was afraid of a mass shooting in our school after columbine…
    Mass shootings like the dozen of high profile ones that happened over the last few months… (she may have been exaggerating just to have an excuse for me to walk her to her classes, or so my hormone addled brain hoped…)

    Where the hell is this progress that I’m told we are supposed to be making as time passes?

    p.s. I do realize the irony of being a teenage boy “protecting” teenage girls doesn’t ring of progress and equality… but it’s how it happened. I haven’t seen or spoken too either girl since high school.

  • Fred, Just Fred

    It’s more likely other passengers objected to her removing the gate check tag as an indication she was going to attempt to get an oversized bag on the plane, which never fails to cause a disruption during boarding.

    The fact that they were gate checking bags leads me to conclude the aircraft was a small one, probably a Embrair or a Bombardier. That means a short flight…why did she need to “make milk” on the flight?

    Other red flags in this story; what did the race of the other passengers have to do with anything. And what did the Muslim terrorists in California have to do with anything? Reading tweets and grieving while boarding? Really?

    I detect an attention seeking leftist looking to create an issue where none existed.

    • Jeff C.

      The women I work with pump on a regular schedule. Maybe this woman does the same thing. Maybe her pumping time was going to happen during the flight. Considering how long it takes to travel to the airport, go through security, wait to board, board, fly, de-plane, leave the airport and travel home I think it makes total sense that she planned to pump during the flight (the only time during the whole travel process when she can sit still for 30 minutes!). Also, she probably doesn’t have a second pump so she needs to protect this one so that her baby can eat. I wouldn’t check it either!

      • Fred, Just Fred

        She could have removed the pump. The issue was trying to get a bag that wouldn’t fit into the plane. It causes disruption and is rude as hell.

        • Jeff C.

          Breast pumps are in small bags – the size of a large purse. Planes that fly from MSP to LAX are big. It certainly would have fit. And it is way too important to check. The complaining passenger was the one who was rude as hell, not this woman.

          • Fred, Just Fred

            We’re not connecting. Even larger planes run out of storage. People at the end of the line often have to gate check their bags. The pump was in a larger bag that was tagged for gate check. She could have easily removed the pump (in its bag) and gone on her way.

            Instead, she removed the tag with the intention of dragging the big bag on.

            That is what she wrote.

          • jon

            Gate check bags tags are often run through the zipper holes to help identify tampering.

            You don’t know that she could have gotten the pump out without removing that tag, and you don’t know if that tag was put on at a previous connecting flight or for this flight.

            And if you don’t know these things how did all the other passengers on the flight know these things?

          • Fred, Just Fred

            I fly twice a week; at least. I’m a Delta Diamond customer. It is rare when they don’t run out of storage space, no matter how large the plane, and do not gate check bags. Never ever have I seen a gate check tag on anything other than a handle, or in the case of a box, taped to the side.

            Her own words tell us it was tagged for that flight.

          • jon

            Running out of space suggests they already had people on the plane taking up all the space.
            She was waiting in line to board, which means that if she had it gate checked for that flight, she volunteered for that, or was approached by someone to tell her that her luggage was too large.

            One look at the “about me” on her web page Bob linked above suggests she flies often, and probably has luggage that is designed to fit in the overhead…

            So why does a guy get angry, and why does she have to explain herself to the gate staff when she was a volunteer to check her luggage any how.

            A simple “I changed my mind on the gate check” should have ended that, and they’d look for more volunteers….

            But with disregard for those facts you opt for “She is clearly a leftist attention seeker”

            Made up facts. to support a made up narrative.

          • She was flying from Michigan, so I assume the gate check was left over from the previous flight, which presumably would’ve been a shorter flight (in which a breast pump wouldn’t have been needed) and likely a somewhat smaller plane.

            As you know, if you fly regularly, they put the tag on it AFTER you’ve already left it in the jetway by the stairs for the baggage handlers to take it outside to load it. You don’t gate check it, then walk down the jetway (well, you COULD if you wanted to, I suppose, but why would you unless you never intended for carry on but were just trying to bypass the $25 checked baggage fee). This is the clue that this was a connecting flight.

            The significant element of the story, though, is her attempt to explain what she was doing to her fellow passengers and the comment “I don’t want to know.”

            THAT is the comment that reinforces what we already know and what we’ve seen on display on social media for years. People aren’t interested in facts. They’re interested in what they want to believe are facts.

            Also, don’t feed the trolls, people.

    • jon

      Who said they were gate checking bags on THAT flight?

      Quick google suggests both a Embraer or a Bombardier would be unlikely choices for a 1,500 mile flight given the range of those aircraft. (not an impossibility, but unlikely) And personal experience flying from MSP to LAX on delta gives me a clear idea that a small plane isn’t really a go to for that type of flight.
      There is a very real possibility that MSP (as a delta hub) was not her starting location, and that she may have been involved in a lay over from a different flight where she was on a smaller craft as you suggested, and the tag was still on her luggage from that.

      So yeah, you might detect a leftist seeking attention on a plane, I detect made up facts to support a conclusion that was arrived at before the facts were gathered.

      • Fred, Just Fred

        I didn’t declare anything as fact that was not written. Read the story. They had obviously tagged he bag for that flight. She says she needed her pump, and it was in the tagged bag; fine, take it out and carry it on, no muss, no fuss.

        Instead, she was determined to take on a bag for which the crew determined there was no room. Classic leftist entitlement.

        • jon

          please point to me the part of the story that makes it obvious that it was for THAT flight and not still on from a previous flight on a smaller plane.

          I don’t see it, so quote the text back to me

          • Fred, Just Fred

            “I removed the luggage tag on my carry on. It contained my breast pump and I needed…”

            They were going to check the bag. Sheesh

          • jon

            “I removed the luggage tag on my carry on.”

            Carry on doesn’t sound like the word I’d used to describe something I planned to check.