Pregnant women face all sorts of obstacles in the workplace. Add business travel to the list. Inc. lists the various issues: seats are uncomfortable for pregnant women to fit into; depending on the length of the flight, they would need to remain seated. When it comes to security, pregnant woman are endlessly questioned when they choose to not go through scanners. On top of all that, one of the perks of business travel are the points. Pregnant women run the risk of missing out on that as well.
Morra Aarons Mele founder of WomenOnline/The Mission List, who was expecting her third child, had to put flying on hold during her last two weeks of pregnancy. When she called to put her miles on hold as well, airlines told her no. She shared with Medium Post:
“American Airlines said she could ‘repurchase status lost at the end of 2014.’ Virgin America and Delta didn’t have any ‘maternal leave’ policies either. The one airline that did have a maternal leave policy was British Airways, which offered to put Mele’s miles on hold if she sent them a doctor’s note.”
Mele believes when travel policies are regressive, it shows they are not made to encompass the different life stages for women. “[F]requent flier status is a subject of near obsession for business travelers, and with good reason. It’s not about perks, but about making life on the road bearable. If you don’t have status in the world of airlines, you probably won’t make it out of Chicago in a snowstorm in time for that big meeting, or get home for your family. It’s a big deal.”
Mele adds a few more stats: 70 percent of women in the work force have children under the age of 18 and are the breadwinners in their families. With inflexible airline policies, women are run the risk of losing money on airlines they remain loyal to throughout their careers.
Did traveling change for you, once you became pregnant?