JetBlue Pulls Toddler From Flight for Being on No-Fly List
The federal government's no-fly list is meant to deter terrorism aboard domestic and international flights. But the system failed massively earlier in the week when a passenger was mistakenly pulled from a JetBlue flight. Oh, and did we mention that the person in question was an 18-month-old toddler? Duh. Way to keep the skies safe, guys.
A family of Middle Eastern descent was about to fly from Florida to New Jersey on Tuesday when a JetBlue employee asked them to leave the plane, claiming that their daughter, who was identified only as Riyanna, appeared on the government's no-fly list.
The Transportation Security Administration, meanwhile, said it never flagged the girl as a risk and blamed JetBlue for the mistake. "TSA did not flag this child as being on the no-fly list," said TSA spokeswoman Sterling Payne. "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."
Later, the airline said the mistake was due to a "glitch" and expressed its regret. "We are investigating this particular incident. We believe this was a computer glitch," said JetBlue spokeswoman Allison Steinberg. "Our crew members followed the appropriate protocols, and we apologize to the family involved in this unfortunate circumstance."
But the family believes they were singled out because of their heritage. "We were put on display like a circus act because my wife wears a hijab," the father said.