Two sisters flying from Atlanta caused their taxiing plane to stop and return to the gate, because of their tiny two inch turtle. The flight attendants told the girls that they could not get back on the plane with the pet. AirTran only allows cats, dogs, and household birds in the cabin during flights. Makes sense, and AirTran's reasoning behind the no reptile policy is that they might carry salmonella and that they would rather risk lice, flees, tics, ringworm, and cat/dog salmonella. Apparently the reptile version of salmonella is a more deadly strain.
Now this part of the story is up in the air. The girls are saying that they were instructed/told to throw the animal away by employees. AirTran of course refuses this to be true and says that they only told the girls they could not come back on the plane with their pet. They offered the sisters to take a later flight back at no charge, but the girls refused. The eldest sister Rebecca asked the employees to watch the turtle as their father was coming right back to the airport to pick it up, but apparently AirTran doesn't have the staffing nor the facilities to take care of people's pets; even for thirty minutes.
So the poor tiny turtle ended up in an airport garbage can. Where he would hopefully be discovered by the father and apparently AirTran does have staff to help people look for tiny stashed turtles in the garbage, but not to watch them. Thankfully the ramp supervisor had rescued the turtle and given it to another employee, who took it home to her 5 year-old son.
Eventually the two inch turtle made it back to its rightful owners, flying cargo of course.
PETA's [field day]