Florida: Airline defends stance on removing 3-year-old and family

A couple and their daughter were removed from an AirTran Airways flight when the girl refused to take her seat before takeoff, airline officials said Tuesday. But the parents said they just needed a little more time to calm her down. She was removed because “she was climbing under the seat and hitting the parents and wouldn’t get in her seat” during boarding, AirTran spokeswoman Judy Graham-Weaver said. AirTran officials say they were only following Federal Aviation Administration rules that children age 2 and above must have their own seat and be wearing a seatbelt 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.The mother said she asked the attendants if the girl could sit on her lap, but they said no. The family flew home the next day. The Orlando-based carrier reimbursed the family the cost of the three tickets, and offered them three roundtrip tickets anywhere the airline flies.Read the full story here.

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