No Poo Work in Newark
This letter found me and I was asked to share. Not only is this outrageous but a father traveling with an infant has no support. In the rise of SAHD's ( stay at home dads), this is discouraging to see. I encourage you to share this with everyone possible!!
An open letter to Newark Airport:
My husband has been caring for our young son while I am stationed overseas. He recently visited your airport on a trip to see family. His return flight turned into one of the more difficult and stressful experiences he's had while traveling, due in large part to the fact that you do not have baby-changing stations in the men's restrooms. Or any suitable alternative.
While my husband's plane was boarding, our son had a large accident. My husband took him to the restroom, only to find that there were no changing tables or other suitable spaces to change the baby. He then checked the companion care restrooms in the terminal, none of which had baby changing stations, and were reserved for wheelchair bound passengers. Eventually, my husband made his way to a women's restroom and politely asked the women standing in line if he could use the changing table. No one objected. He quickly changed the baby and returned to his gate, only to find that United Airlines had given his seat to another traveler. His bags were already checked. His stroller, car seat, baby clothes, diapers, formula and other essentials had been loaded onto the plane. The personnel at the desk readily admitted that they did not call his name. They did not make a call for final boarding. They simply gave away his seat.
My husband spent the next 7 hours in your airport, waiting for another flight home. During that 7 hours, our son had a second accident. This time he was told by security guards that he was not allowed to use the changing station in the women's restroom, and was forced to change the baby on the benches near the baggage carousel. United Airlines was unable to get my husband on another flight home. They booked him a hotel room and provided him with four diapers, no baby wipes and two packets of formula that he had outgrown months ago.
While you are not responsible for the actions of the airline (they've provided some restitution for the way this was handled), I find it surprising and unacceptable that you have not made it a priority to help accommodate fathers traveling with infants. It's well known by now that fathers play a significant role in caring for young children. I can guarantee this is not the first time a stranded father has struggled with this issue in one of your terminals.
My hope is that you will read this letter and take steps to make your facilities more father friendly.