By Chris Graham
Delta Air Lines has hit back at "unacceptable and unnecessary insults" from political pundit Ann Coulter after she ranted on social media about being moved seats on a flight.
The outspoken conservative commentator had lambasted the airline over the weekend after she was removed from a seat that she said she had specifically booked for a flight from La Guardia Airport in New York to West Palm Beach, Florida.
Ms Coulter went on to complain that Delta "spends all this $$$ on beautiful aircraft & then hire Nurse Ratchets as flight attendants & gate agents," a reference to Nurse Ratched, a strict character in the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest.
She also posted on Twitter a photo of the passenger she said had taken her seat, explaining that the person who got her seat was not "elderly, child, or sick".
The airline, which had described what had happened as a mix-up, criticised Ms Coulter for "posting derogatory and slanderous comments and photos in social media" about its employees and customers.
Delta said it was "disappointed" in Ms Coulter and called her actions "unnecessary and unacceptable."
Promising to refund her $30 for the preferred seat she bought, it added: "Delta expects mutual civility throughout the entire travel experience."
The response further incensed Ms Coulter, who tweeted: "Delta now dictating acceptable conduct off the plane. NOT fascist at all. #Resist"
She also ridiculed the $30 refund, saying it had cost her $10,000 of her time to select the seat she wanted.
In an email quoted by the New York Times, she wrote: "I spent time 'reserving' - that term has a flexible meaning at Delta - a specific seat, and that's my hourly rate. I looked up the aircraft, considered my options and booked the seat I wanted. I checked back to see how the flight was filling up to review my options again. I had reasons for choosing 15D, not 15A, or any other seat."
Delta hit the headlines in May after a family from California were removed from their flight - and threatened with having their children taken into care if they did not comply.
A strong have controversies this year have fuelled a growing row about the treatment of passengers by airlines in the United States.