18-month-old child pulled from flight at Fort Lauderdale Airport in Florida
By Nina Mandell / NEW YORK DAILY NEWS Published: Thursday, May 10, 2012, 12:08 PM
25 WPBF News- Eighteen-month-old Riyanna was pulled from JetBlue flight at Fort Lauderdale Airport after her name popped up on TSA “no-fly” list.
She may not be old enough to speak in full sentences, but one 18-month-old child was ordered off a plane by airline officials who claimed she was on the ‘no fly’ list, her parents said.
The toddler, Riyanna, was on a flight at the Fort Lauderdale Airport when a JetBlue employee approached her parents and asked them to get off the flight to speak to representatives from the Transportation Security Agency, her parents told WPBF-TV.
“I said ‘For what?’” Riyanna’s mother told the TV station. “And he said, ‘Well it’s not you or your husband. Your daughter was flagged as a no fly.’”
The child’s parents, who did not want to be identified by the TV station for fear of repercussions, are both of Middle Eastern descent and her mother wears a head scarf, according to the report.
After speaking to TSA agents and waiting for 30 minutes in the terminal, they were allowed to board the flight, they said. But they declined and left the airport.
“We were put on display like a circus act because my wife wears a hijab,” Riyanna’s father said.
In a statement to the Daily News, a JetBlue spokesperson blamed a computer glitch, which the company believes flagged the toddler’s boarding pass as being on the TSA’s No Fly List.
“We notified and collaborated with TSA. TSA cleared the customers to travel on JetBlue,” the airline said, later adding that the crew members followed the proper protocols.
“We apologize to the family involved in this unfortunate circumstance.”
In a statement to the Daily News, the TSA denied that Riyanna was on the No Fly list.
“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 agency said.
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