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No common ground in airline tantrum spat

UPI News Service, 01/24/2007 

A Florida airline is refusing to apologize for kicking off a 3-year-old girl having a tantrum and her parents from a flight already delayed by the child.

Julie and Gerry Kulesza have taken to national television to tell the story of how their daughter Elly was upset on Jan. 14 as the AirTran flight was preparing for takeoff in Fort Myers, Fla., bound for Boston.

The child refused to sit alone in her seat and wouldn't stop crying, and after takeoff had been delayed 15 minutes, the family was asked to leave the aircraft, the Orlando (Fla.) Sentinel reported.

Judy Graham-Weaver, spokeswoman for the Orlando airline, said the action was taken for several reasons, including safety and timeliness.

"Children can't sit on a parent's lap," said Graham-Weaver. "(And) we have an obligation to the other passengers to move the plane."

As a courtesy, the airline reimbursed the cost of the family's tickets and offered them free round-trip tickets to any of its destinations but Judy Kulesza said the family would never fly AirTran again, the report said.

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Copyright 2007 by United Press International

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