AirTran Airlines responds to flight attendant kicking off passengers

WEST PALM BEACH, FL (WFLX) - After outrage from three women who were kicked off an AirTran flight at Palm Beach International Airport Monday afternoon, AirTran is responding.

The women, who are strangers to each other, were headed to White Plains, N.Y. on AirTran flight 1451.

The trouble started when one of the women told a flight attendant to be careful with her carry-on bag because she had breakables in it.

Then, one of the other women told the same flight attendant her seat was broken.

Witnesses said the flight attendant got angry and ordered the two women to leave the plane.

At that point, the third woman spoke out in defense of the passengers and was also kicked off. "We know that travel is no longer enjoyable, but this was the opposite end of that. I mean this was totally, I've never seen anything like it," said Carol Gray, one of the passengers booted off the plane.

Southwest Airlines, which acquired AirTran in 2011, released this statement:

Our Employees are responsible for the safety and comfort of everyone onboard a flight. Our goal is always to mitigate any uncomfortable situation prior to departure. Our crew assessed the environment onboard and ultimately decided to accommodate the passengers on an alternative flight. In addition to booking new travel arrangements, we compensated the passengers - offering a gesture of goodwill for their inconvenience. We always prefer that a passenger walk away with a positive experience when flying our airline, we regret that didn't happen in this scenario. As we often do in these situation, we will take this opportunity to review the reports and take away any key learnings that we might uncover.

-Brandy King, Southwest Airlines spokeswoman.

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