Carlee Field was waiting for her flight from Calgary to Vancouver when she stopped to use the women’s room inside the terminal.
While washing her hands in the ladies’ restroom at Calgary International Airport, Carlee noticed a box of tampons sitting on the baby-changing table.
When she read the handwritten note placed beside it, she quickly took out her phone and snapped a photo.
The author of the note revealed how much she was forced to pay for one simple box of tampons at the airport’s souvenir shop — and no one could believe it.
But what this anonymous traveler didn’t know was that Carlee’s post would not only cause national outrage, but spur some real positive change…
“If you’re a person who’s living under the poverty line, feminine hygiene products are seen as a luxury.”
In November 2016, a woman named Carlee Field was at the Calgary International Airport in Canada.
While waiting for her flight from Calgary to Vancouver, Carlee stopped to use the women’s bathroom inside the terminal.
Carlee was expecting to find a normal bathroom — with working toilets, functional hand dryers, and non-broken vending machines for feminine products.
Instead, she found this: an opened box of U by Kotex® tampons sitting on the baby-changing table.
A box of tampons by this brand typically sells in stores like Target for about $6.99.
But at $15, that’s more than two times the normal price!
There was also a handwritten note placed in front of the tampons.
None of the tampon vending machines work in this area so I was forced to buy this, the note read.
$15 box from Relay.
Please take one if you need one.
Carlee snapped a photo of the tampons and the note, which had been left there by an anonymous traveler.
“I was washing my hands and I looked next to me and was like, ‘Oh my gosh, this woman is fantastic,’” Carlee wrote on Reddit. “Us ladies have to stick together with our lady problems.”
Her post went viral and landed on the front page after she thanked the woman who kindly left it behind.
The outrageous pricing caused national outrage.
Meanwhile, the unnamed author of the note was dubbed a hero by the online community.
Many commenters were reminded of their own experiencing with price gouging…
…while others contributed examples of much more mindful solutions.
And guess what?
It wasn’t long after Carlee’s post went viral that Calgary International Airport authorities responded in the Reddit comments.
The airport took action as a result of the backlash. The vending machines in the bathroom were refilled and the price of tampons at Relay was lowered to $6.25.
Now that’s the power of social media!
A price of $15 is an astronomical amount for the majority of women — but it’s not uncommon for feminine hygiene products to cost that much in remote Canadian communities of Ontario and Saskatchewan.
These northern areas are populated by many indigenous women who often struggle with low incomes and unemployment.
Moon Time Sisters is a group that collects feminine hygiene products to donate to communities where tampons can cost upwards of $19!
Nicole White established the project after hearing about girls missed school during their periods and/or used socks to absorb menstrual blood since tampons and pads are so expensive.
“If you’re a person who’s living under the poverty line, feminine hygiene products are seen as a luxury,” she says.
Good for all of these women for speaking up and spreading awareness — and anonymous airport tampon fairy, we salute you!
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