by Chi Ibe
A New Jersey family was left in shock at an airport recently after they were told by officials that their 18 month old daughter could not go on the plane with them. They indicated that the toddler was on a no-fly ‘anti terrorism’ list.
Although JetBlue has apologised for what the airline calls a “computer glitch,” the family of Middle Eastern descent declined to continue on the flight; the father stated he felt humiliated.”We were put on display like a circus act because my wife wears a hijab,” he said.
Their daughter identified only as Riyanna was with her family boarding a JetBlue Flight 510 from Fort Lauderdale, Florida, to Newark, New Jersey, when an airline employee allegedly asked them to get off the plane.
Her father was told that it was neither him nor her mother that had an issue but she was flagged as no-fly.
The Transportation Security Administration released a statement afterwards saying it was a technical mistake.”TSA did not flag this child as being on the no-fly list,” Sterling Payne, TSA spokeswoman said.”TSA was called to the gate by the airline and after talking to the parents and confirming through our vetting system, TSA determined the airline had mistakenly indicated the child was on a government watch list.”
The outraged family of Middle Eastern descent said they were U.S. citizens and have lived in New Jersey all of their lives.
About 20,000 people are on that list, according to a counterterrorism official, including 500 Americans and you can bet whoever the real Riyanna is will consider another means of transportation from now on.