A US political pundit’s social media rant about being moved seats on a flight has drawn a strong response from Delta Air Lines.

The carrier hit back at “unacceptable and unnecessary insults” made by outspoken conservative commentator Ann Coulter.

She criticised 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.

Coulter went on to complain that Delta “spends all this $$$ on beautiful aircraft & then hire Nurse Ratchets [sic] as flight attendants & gate agents,” a reference to Nurse Ratched, a strict character in the film One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest.

The airline, which had described what had happened as a mix-up, criticised Coulter for “posting derogatory and slanderous comments and photos in social media” about its employees and customers.

Delta said it was “disappointed” in 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.”

But the response further incensed 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, the Daily Telegraph reported.