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Mom an overnight celeb after airline warns her about breast-feeding

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Lindsay Jaynes never intended to become an overnight social media sensation when the 30-year-old mother asked Delta Airlines about its policy for in-flight breast-feeding.

The new mother planned to buy a ticket from John Wayne Airport to Florida with her now 6-week-old son in March, and wanted to be prepared for her baby’s first trip.

To Jaynes' surprise, the response from a Delta representative transformed the Newport Beach resident into an advocate for breast-feeding mothers, her story reaching far beyond Orange County.

In a Twitter exchange – there for anyone to see -- a Delta representative told Jaynes breast-feeding was not permitted unless she covered up.

Jaynes, using the Twitter handle @ClassicHippie, expressed indignation. The flight would be six hours long, and her son needed to eat every two hours.

She explained that her son refused to nurse from a bottle or if she covered up during breast-feeding, she explained to the representative tweeting from @DeltaAssist.

"What do you suggest?" she asked the airline.

Delta Airlines eventually apologized for the misinformation via Twitter and a personal phone call.

"In a situation like this, if there's any sort of vagueness, we will make every effort to address it and make sure that it's cleared up," Delta spokesman Michael Thomas said later. "We were fairly quick to respond and say that it was an unfortunate bit of misinformation, and that's exactly what it was."

The company then posted a breast-feeding policy online, expressing full support of women's right to breastfeed on Delta flights, but it made no specific mention of rules related to covering up.

But by then, Jaynes’ story had taken off.

Fox, the BBC, USA Today and others jumped on the Twitter exchange and Jaynes’ Twitter account exploded.

Some users expressed support, thanking her for contributing to the national conversation about breast-feeding. A vegan cookie company even offered to send her free lactation cookies.

Others, though, said Jaynes was simply being immature and immodest. They accused her of baiting the media and posted vulgar insults.

"I never wanted to be the spokesperson for breastfeeding in public, but from the outpouring of messages from other mothers, I now feel responsible to see this through and help normalize it," she wrote.

She added, "I never imagined asking one simple question would turn into all of this."

Jaynes said she has since turned down a $400 voucher offer from Delta and has yet to decide whether she’ll buy her ticket to Florida from Delta.

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Twitter: @emfoxhall

 emily.foxhall@latimes.com

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