18-month-old baby on no-fly list ordered off plane
Toddlers may be jokingly called terrors when they hit the “terrible twos,” but one little girl’s parents said their daughter was accused of being an actual terrorist.
The family said the Transportation Security Administration and JetBlue have some explaining to do after ordering their 18-month-old daughter off a plane at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport.
The couple, who asked not to be identified, said they were pulled from the plane because officials told them the toddler’s name was on a no-fly list.
“It’s absurd,” said the girl’s father. “It made no sense. Why would an 18-month-old child be on a no-fly list?”
“The whole situation was bizarre,” the toddler’s mother added. “It was completely bizarre.”
After standing in the middle of a terminal for about 30 minutes, the girl’s parents were told they could reboard the plane. But they refused, saying they were too embarrassed.
The couple said they think they were targeted because of their Middle Eastern descent. But they were both born and raised in New Jersey.
“We were put on display like a circus act because my wife wears a hijab,” said the toddler’s father, referring to his wife’s headscarf traditionally worn by Muslim women.
“TSA did not flag this child as being on the No Fly list,” said Ann Davis, the public affairs manager for the TSA’s northeast region. “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.”
JetBlue issued a statement saying both the airline and the TSA are investigating the case.