ORLANDO, Fla., Jan. 2 /PRNewswire-FirstCall/ -- AirTran Airways, a
subsidiary of AirTran Holdings, Inc. (NYSE: AAI), today issued the following
statement regarding AirTran flight 175 originating at Ronald Reagan Washington
National Airport on January 1, 2009.
At departure time, the Captain of flight 175 informed the airline that
there were two federal air marshals onboard who contacted local and federal
Washington law enforcement officials for a security related issue onboard the
aircraft involving verbal comments made by a passenger and overheard by other
passengers. The airline then advised the Transportation Security
Administration (TSA). It was determined that all 104 passengers onboard must
deplane and passengers, crew, baggage and the aircraft should be re-screened.
After the re-screening of the passengers, crew, bags and the aircraft, 95
passengers were allowed to reboard the aircraft and nine were detained for
interrogation by the local law enforcement officials, the FBI and the TSA.
Flight 175 departed nearly two hours late and arrived safely at its
Later in the day, six of the nine detained passengers approached the
customer service counter and asked to be rebooked to Orlando. At the time,
the airline had not been notified by the authorities that the passengers were
cleared to fly and would not rebook them until receiving said clearance. One
passenger in the party became irate and made inappropriate comments. The
local law enforcement officials came over and escorted the passengers away
from the gate podium.
AirTran Airways complied with all TSA, law enforcement and Homeland
Security directives and had no discretion in the matter. The nine passengers
involved were all offered full refunds and may fly with AirTran Airways again
after having been released from questioning and cleared by the law enforcement
Flight Details for AirTran Airways flight 175 on January 1, 2009:
Origin: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
Destination: Orlando International Airport
Scheduled Departure Time: 12:59 p.m.
Scheduled Arrival Time: 3:15 p.m.
Actual Departure Time: 2:54 p.m.
Actual Arrival Time: 5:13 p.m.
Aircraft Type: Boeing 717
Media Contacts: AirTran Airways
SOURCE AirTran Airways
CONTACT: AirTran Airways, Tad Hutcheson, +1-678-254-7442