Toddler on No-Fly List; Removed from Jetblue Flight
A family was ejected from a Jetblue flight after mistakenly being told their 18-month-old daughter Riyanna was on a government no-fly list.
The family and their toddler, all of Middle Eastern descent boarded the flight to New Jersey last Tuesday evening when an airline staff asked them to step off the plane.
“I said, ‘For what?’” Riyanna’s mother recounted. “He said, ‘It is not you or your husband. Your daughter was flagged as no fly.’”
The family was initially incredulous, but then outraged by what they believed was racial profiling. “We were put on display like a circus act because my wife wears a hijab,” Riyanna’s father said, adding that the family resides in New Jersey and are all US citizens.
“The whole situation was bizarre, it was completely bizarre and absolutely made no sense,” the mother also added.
TSA was later brought to the boarding gate where they confirmed that the airline had indeed made a mistake.
“TSA did not flag this child as being on the no-fly list,” TSA spokeswoman Sterling Payne later explained. “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.”
As for Jetblue, they are currently investigating the situation, but have admitted that this was a computer glitch on their end.
“Our crewmembers followed the appropriate protocols,” JetBlue Spokeswoman Allison Steinberg explained. “And we apologize to the family involved in this unfortunate circumstance.”
While it is prudent for airlines to follow certain protocols, when does common sense begin? Because honestly, does this adorable toddler look like a threat to our national security?