Video: Family thrown off flight after tantrum

updated 1/26/2007 6:13:27 PM ET 2007-01-26T23:13:27

AirTran Airways on Tuesday defended its decision to remove a Massachusetts couple from a flight after their crying 3-year-old daughter refused to take her seat before takeoff.

AirTran officials said they followed Federal Aviation Administration rules that children age 2 and above must have their own seat and be wearing a seat belt upon takeoff.

"The flight was already delayed 15 minutes and in fairness to the other 112 passengers on the plane, the crew made an operational decision to remove the family," AirTran spokeswoman Judy Graham-Weaver said.

Julie and Gerry Kulesza, who were headed home to Boston on Jan. 14 from Fort Myers, said they just needed a little more time to calm their daughter, Elly.

  1. Don't miss these Travel stories
    1. Lords of the gourd compete for Punkin Chunkin honors

      With teams using more than 100 unique apparatuses to launch globular projectiles a half-mile or more, the 27th annual World Championship Punkin Chunkin event is our pick as November’s Weird Festival of the Month.

    2. Airports, airlines work hard to return your lost items
    3. Expert: Tourist hordes threaten Sistine Chapel's art
    4. MGM Grand wants Las Vegas guests to Stay Well
    5. Report: Airlines collecting $36.1B in fees this year

"We weren't given an opportunity to hold her, console her or anything," Julie Kulesza said in a telephone interview Tuesday.

The Kuleszas said they told a flight attendant they had paid for their daughter's seat, but asked whether she could sit in her mother's lap. The request was denied.

She was removed because "she was climbing under the seat and hitting the parents and wouldn't get in her seat" during boarding, Graham-Weaver said.

The Orlando-based carrier reimbursed the family $595.80, the cost of the three tickets, and the Kuleszas flew home the next day.

They also were offered three roundtrip tickets anywhere the airline flies, Graham-Weaver said.

The father said his family would never fly AirTran again.

Copyright 2007 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Discuss:

Discussion comments

,

Most active discussions

  1. votes comments
  2. votes comments
  3. votes comments
  4. votes comments