A New Jersey couple was booted off of a Jet Blue airline while boarding a flight in Ft. Lauderdale, Florida after being told that their 3-year-old daughter was on the no-fly list. Some say the policy is a violation of Muslim-Americans' civil rights.
A family has stated that they were taken off a Jet Blue flight when their 3-year-old daughter Riyanna appeared on the airlines "no-fly" list. The family later stated that they felt they had been discriminated upon because they are Muslim, and Riyanna's mother wears a hijab. Although the couple is of Middle Eastern decent, all members of the family are American citizens.
The TSA later argued that it is not possible that Riyanna was one the "no-fly" list because if she had been, she and her family would never have made it past security.
"TSA did not flag this child as being 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," a statement from the agency read.
JetBlue, on the other hand, insisted that a number of customers had been placed on the TSA list and stated that it was a precaution for the safety of all customers.
"Upon boarding Flight 510 at Fort Lauderdale International Airport last evening, several customers were flagged in our system as being on the TSA's No Fly list. There are layers of security checkpoints in place -- from booking a flight to checking-in, clearing security and boarding an aircraft -- that are enforced by the airline in collaboration with airport authorities and the Transportation Security Administration to ensure all customers enjoy a safe and secure travel experience," the JetBlue statement read.
The policy was argued this week as some say it is a violation of Muslim-American rights, according to Oregon Live.
The no-fly list is being used as a "cudgel" against Muslims traveling abroad to get them to give up their rights as U.S. citizens in exchange for the right to return home, a Portland-area attorney said Thursday night in a meeting with U.S. Department of Homeland Security representatives.
Riyanna's parents, however, have no idea how their 3-year-old would have landed on such a list and now want answers. After being knocked off the flight for over 30 minutes, the couple, who did not wish to be named, was allowed to return but became so furious that they instead decided to leave the airport.