3:11 PM PT -- A rep for JetBlue tells us Brown was "removed from the aircraft prior to departure after crewmembers observed indications of intoxication. The decision to remove a customer from a flight is not taken lightly. In this instance, the customer was offered a seat on a later flight. The customer declined and was issued a refund."

1:15 PM PT -- Sources with direct knowledge and witnesses tell TMZ ...they believe JetBlue jumped the gun by throwing Bobby off the plane. Passengers sitting around Bobby say he was not disruptive and did not interfere with the flight crew. Although he admitted to drinking before boarding, he was not being difficult and did not make a fuss when he was told he couldn't have a drink. We don't know if Bobby was "drunk," but even if he was, he was passive.

Bobby Brown[1] was removed from a flight and the incident ended with everyone having to deboard while cops sorted out the mess ... causing Bobby to miss his flight.

Sources onboard the jet -- which was scheduled to leave LAX for Boston Monday morning -- tell us ... Brown was sitting in first class when he was involved in some sort of altercation before the plane took off.

We're told the incident led to the airline ordering everyone off the plane. Brown was held at the entrance door while everyone else got off, and cops were called to the gate to speak with him.

Our sources say, once he was off the plane, Brown could be heard yelling at the officers that he had to get to his brother's funeral. At one

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