Airline mistakes toddler for terrorist
- Toddler pulled off flight by JetBlue employees
- Family believes it is because they are Muslim
- Airline blamed glitch over no-fly list confusion
“An 18-month-old New Jersey toddler was booted from her flight in Florida after officials told her family her name was flagged on the US no-fly list.
The girl, identified only as Riyanna, and her parents were set to fly home from Fort Lauderdale on Tuesday when a JetBlue official boarded their plane and removed the family, they told WPBF-TV.
“And I said, ‘For what?'” Riyanna’s mother – who declined to be identified – told the TV station. “And he said, ‘Well, it’s not you or your husband. Your daughter was flagged as no-fly.'”
The airline employee dragged the tot’s parents off the plane as JetBlue and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA) hashed out the family’s situation, the New York Post reported.
“It’s absurd,” the girl’s dad said. “It made no sense. Why would an 18-month-old child be on a no-fly list?”
The dad said he believes his family was targeted because they are of Middle Eastern descent – though they were born and raised in New Jersey and speak English without any hint of an accent. Riyanna’s mom does wear a traditional head scarf.
The TSA said in a statement obtained by WNYW-TV that it “did not flag this child as being on the no-fly list” and that “the airline had mistakenly indicated the child was on a government watch list.”
But JetBlue maintained that the girl’s boarding pass “was flagged in our system as being on the TSA’s no-fly list.”
It added, “We believe this was a computer glitch. Our crew members followed the appropriate protocols, and we apologize to the family involved in this unfortunate circumstance.”
Source: The News.Com.au