TSA, JetBlue detain 18-month-old traveler

(Associated Press)

(Associated Press)

(updated 1:05 p.m.)

This much is true: An 18-month-old was pulled from a JetBlue flight and her family was questioned by Transportation Security Administration agents because the airline said the child appeared on a “no-fly” list,  her parents said.

The parents said they were sitting on the plane Tuesday night at the Fort Lauderdale airport when a JetBlue staffer asked them to get off, according to a report by WPBF 25 News. The staffer told the parents that TSA agents wanted to speak with them – about Riyanna, their toddler.

“Excuse me?” the mother said she responded. “It made no sense,” the husband told the TV station. “Why would an 18-month-old child be on a no-fly list?” Neither she nor her husband wanted to be identified for safety reasons.

The TSA, however, denies the child was ever on a no-fly list. In a statement to The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, the agency said:

“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.”

The family was detained for 30 minutes before allowing them to re-board, the parents told the station. The couple, who are of Mideast descent but were born in New Jersey, believe they were singled out because the mother was wearing a hijab, a traditional head scarf. The couple said neither the TSA nor airline offered an apology.

When contacted, JetBlue told the station it was a TSA matter. In a later statement the airline said, “Our crew members followed the appropriate protocols, and we apologize to the family involved in this unfortunate circumstance.”

The family refused to get back on the flight.

66 comments Add your comment

TryMe

May 10th, 2012
12:22 pm

Let me be the FIRST to say…. BULL—-!!

Boy are we lost!

American

May 10th, 2012
12:30 pm

I have to agree with TryMe. I smell that sh*t from here. Some TSA staff think they are the absolute but it is just a JOB! They forget that. I’ll leave it there you are NOT even equal to a customes agent. Just do your JOB with out Prejudice. One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch.

Frank Furter

May 10th, 2012
12:33 pm

I know some 1 year olds that shouldnt be allowed to fly!
http://www.notquitedevils.com

Steve

May 10th, 2012
12:36 pm

Slight bit of confusion… it was the “No Cry List” that the baby was on.

punjabi

May 10th, 2012
12:37 pm

Now let’s assume for argument sake that the baby did have a bomb tied to his diapers and the plane blew up? Discuss

Spanky

May 10th, 2012
12:38 pm

TryMe, that is so right, it should be embroidered on a pillow at my Grandma’s house!! You know that was probably a rookie who has his/her own agenda, whilst shooting for another bar on the sleeve (sort of speak)…..wow,..18 month-old…just WOW!!!

Spanky

May 10th, 2012
12:39 pm

Steve, that makes way more sense!

Concerned1

May 10th, 2012
12:39 pm

Well, when you are a middle eastern descent and wearing a hijab, it does go with the territory that you should expect extra scrutiny.

Seriously?

May 10th, 2012
12:40 pm

Babies that age can not fly without their parents. Why weren’t the parents on the “no fly” list?

Evan

May 10th, 2012
12:42 pm

@punjabi haw about we assume the Caucasian guy with a confederate flag shirt on has weapon and wants to hurt those who are not of his race.
This is a complete mess!!! The TSA needs more training and the fact that witnesses saw this family pulled from the plane could open the TSA up for a lawsuit.

Furious Styles

May 10th, 2012
12:44 pm

@Concerned1 if that were the case shouldn’t the claim be that the mother was on the list and not an 18 month old? that would make more sense. maybe we should see what TSA does if a flash mob bought tickets on one plane and puts on hoodies.

Concerned1

May 10th, 2012
12:45 pm

The whole family should have been on the watch list. That’s the only gaffe I see may have occurred.

zoe

May 10th, 2012
12:47 pm

Scary and frightening. The US is becoming more and more a country of idiots. What’s next?

Len Griffin

May 10th, 2012
12:47 pm

Reminds me of Nazi Germany and the Spanish Inquisition. They have full control over you and no one has control over them

Tucker

May 10th, 2012
12:54 pm

A number of years ago a TSA agent in Pittsburgh picked out our 5 year old for a thorough screening. When we finally headed to our gate, a grandfatherly TSA agent followed us around a corner and apologized for his fellow agent’s overzealous actions.

Country Living

May 10th, 2012
12:55 pm

The TSA is the answer to unemployment–it began with the hijack flighst to CUBA. If you are really intelligent you can’t get hired.

TSA ThinksWeAreDumb

May 10th, 2012
12:55 pm

Wow!! And the lame excuse by the TSA spokesman….” TSA spokesman denied the child was ever on a no-fly list and told the TV station the family must have been cleared because they had boarding passes. No reason was given, however, as to why they were pulled from the plane. When contacted, JetBlue told the station it was a TSA matter.”…

Aren’t you supposed to show your boarding pass to get on the plane??? Someone need to get your story right..

Judge Smails

May 10th, 2012
12:56 pm

My doctor once put me on a “No Fries” list!

Seriously, the TSA needs to use a little common sense once in a while.

lylone

May 10th, 2012
12:57 pm

I don’t understand the TSA at all… We came back from Cancun 3 weeks ago and after going through the large X-ray scanner, I was told my legs had to be patted down. I was wearing shorts, so I guess they saw something in my skin that needed to be patted? I could understand butt, stomach or private area… but legs when I am in shorts?
Made no sense at all…..but whatever!

Anita

May 10th, 2012
1:02 pm

This sounds like a lawsuit to me. JETBLUE get a clue!

buy American Made

May 10th, 2012
1:03 pm

TSA only exists, because of the patriot act which bush signed into, and extended by Obama.

MrLiberty

May 10th, 2012
1:05 pm

Senator Rand Paul of Kentucky has introduced legislation to End the TSA completely. Please call the office of your senators (yes, those two guys that LOVE the police state america has become) and urge them anyway to support this bill and to support freedom. Also contact your representatives and urge them to introduce or get behind similar legislation in the house. We must roll back our nation’s police state. Take the first step by abolishing this worthless and abusive agency.

Who Cares?

May 10th, 2012
1:06 pm

More government in action. Yeah, we’re headed in the right direction. Sure.

whatstheproblem

May 10th, 2012
1:06 pm

I don’t see the problem. People get all upset because of a story that is half written so you only know half of what was going on. Let the TSA do their job, even if you think they are over doing it. The family was detained a mere 30 mins, not a big deal and allowed back on the plane when it was cleared up. That is there choice that they didn’t want to get back on. It is amazing to me how people jump on the race card so quickly. One bad apple is all it takes sometimes. I got stopped for having a snow globe in my carry-on luggage. I guess they thought I would bonk someone on the head and take over the plane with it… had to mail it home to myself. I didn’t scream that they were picking on the poor snow globe collector.

MrLiberty

May 10th, 2012
1:07 pm

This was not JetBlue’s fault. If they do not comply, they could be booted from the airport or even driven out of business. This as with all things related to the police state – is the government’s fault. Sadly too many like you will blame Jet Blue.

MrLiberty

May 10th, 2012
1:07 pm

whatstheproblem – police state lover.

snatchandgrab

May 10th, 2012
1:08 pm

First, terrorists don’t usually want tol draw attention to themselves, so chances are the mother wouldn’t be wearing a hijab. Americans will automatically think they are terrorists just because of the head dressing and most don’t know any better.

MrLiberty

May 10th, 2012
1:14 pm

If ye love wealth better than liberty, the tranquility of servitude better than the animating contest of freedom, go home from us in peace. We ask not your counsels or your arms. Crouch down and lick the hands which feed you. May your chains set lightly upon you, and may posterity forget that you were our countrymen.
– Sam Adams

The liberties of our country, the freedom of our civil Constitution, are worth defending at all hazards; and it is our duty to defend them against all attacks. We have received them as a fair inheritance from our worthy ancestors: they purchased them for us with toil and danger and expense of treasure and blood, and transmitted them to us with care and diligence. It will bring an everlasting mark of infamy on the present generation, enlightened as it is, if we should suffer them to be wrested from us by violence without a struggle, or to be cheated out of them by the artifices of false and designing men. – Sam Adams

whatstheproblem – I think he was speaking to folks like you.

whatstheproblem

May 10th, 2012
1:14 pm

MrLiberty… I already hate flying so if it gives me a little more security that a bunch of overzealous TSA dimwits take there job seriously, fine. You can’t make everyone happy. People are going to complain that going through TSA check stations are a pain…but those same people will be complaining when someone doesn’t do well enough and another high-jacking takes place.

It happens

May 10th, 2012
1:16 pm

We spent 45 minutes checking in with Delta a few years ago. My 3 year old’s name was on an FBI watch list, it took the Delta agent that long to convince TSA she has a 3 year old standing in front of her and she needed him cleared to board. He has a common “American” name.

Shwarma

May 10th, 2012
1:19 pm

Take the towel off your head next time and see if things work out better for you.

Court

May 10th, 2012
1:23 pm

No, they were probably detained for having a name similar to someone on a watch list. Not because they’re of that nationality. They probably have names similar to someone on the do not fly list. This is stupid that stuff like this is on the news. It was a computer system pop-up and they probably pulled them off the plane to make sure it wasn’t the same person. Give the airlines a break, geez.

bob from account temps

May 10th, 2012
1:28 pm

have no fear, the TSA policies are “EVOLVING”!!

This is how it is

May 10th, 2012
1:29 pm

And if they were terrorist and made it on the plane and another 911 tragedy happened you dumb arses would be complaining the TSA isn’t doing there job.. There is no making you bunch of ef sticks happy.. I think the TSA is doing a hell of a job.. In fact I wrote a letter thanking them for the job they do… If you don’t like the way you are treated in the USA then leave otherwise thank the people that keep you safe from the idiots in the world.. Further more when one of you D Bags take charge over a country only to have a bunch of camel Jockies steal some planes and murder thousands of inocent people within 9 months of you taking office happens then keep your mouth shut on how Bush handled it.. Cause it hasn’t happend since Pearl Harbor and the american people didn’t whine and cry when we went after those responsible… You people make me sick! Why don’t we just all convert to muslims and give the damn country away..

me too

May 10th, 2012
1:30 pm

My son was stopped because his name, when he was less than 1 year old. The TSA declined to do a full-diaper search, but did go through my diaper bag an extra time. Funny thing is, he’s never been stopped again in the 8 years since.

nunya

May 10th, 2012
1:31 pm

Yes, they made my eighty year old mother surrender her shoes and her plastic crochet hook and get out of her wheelchair to be groped while the next guy in line carried a mandolin case and wore a turban. I asked if he would be scrutinized like my mother and was given a snotty non-reply.

[...] talking-tot movie Baby Geniuses. Luckily for us, the TSA is on it. Last night, the agency pulled an 18-month-old baby off a JetBlue flight in Fort Lauderdale, reportedly because she was on a “no-fly” list. The family was [...]

DebDoes

May 10th, 2012
1:48 pm

I’ve had to stop wearing baggy linen clothes because I get pulled over every time and patted down! When I don’t wear them, they leave me alone. I use to dye my hair darker because 11 out of 13 flights (yes I counted) I was singled out….blondes are targets as well.

1234

May 10th, 2012
1:56 pm

Two words….diaper bomb!

HaHaHa

May 10th, 2012
2:01 pm

My Doctor once put me on the “No Pie” list.

fes

May 10th, 2012
2:06 pm

whatstheproblem/thisishowitis, you are delirious if you think they are doing a good job. they haven’t stopped squat since 9/11 (because there hasn’t been a credible threat on our soil, going thru our security areas since). go back to your outhouse you racist bumpkin.

newtale

May 10th, 2012
2:09 pm

don’t with these tsa thugs—they can make up charges and mess you up good and keep you off all flights.

Michael

May 10th, 2012
2:09 pm

I think all kids under 3 should be on a no fly list. This is basesd on numerous experiences flying with undiciplined brats.

Kat

May 10th, 2012
2:13 pm

It happens: Yes, but WHEN (hopefully just IF) there is another attempt, it won’t be by a 3 or 6-year-old kid.

Only in America

May 10th, 2012
2:15 pm

All the people that are saying this should have not happened, obviously have never been in a terrorist situation. As much as we hate to single people out, the fact remains that when terrorist (which are middle eastern decent) want to blow something up or make a statement they will use any means necessary including a child. I applaud TSA for watching out for the American People….

This is how it is

May 10th, 2012
2:24 pm

fes you are soooo right.. omG thank you for all of your wisdom.. I am so thrilled to be in the company of such greatness… You are the man!!

[...] did not flag this child as being on the No Fly list,” the group said in a statement to the Atlanta Journal Constitution. “TSA was called to the gate by the airline and after [...]

realist

May 10th, 2012
2:46 pm

Many of you have never worked in a Federal Law enforcement position in your life. It is an extremely difficult job. There are billions of people in this world that have to be patrolled. These people were pulled off because the toddler’s name was a match to a suspect on any number of wanted watch lists. Once it was confirmed that it wasn’t the suspect, they were released. It doesn’t matter if the individual being questioned is 1 or 101. It is a security check that is vital. As a federal LEO, you cant afford to fall asleep at the wheel or become lax. Typos are entered in databases all the time, the wrong DOB is entered, and names are even spelled incorrectly. TSA did nothing wrong here. They owe no one an apology for doing their job. Its unfortunate it was an inconvience for the family and that it was a baby. You all have no clue how many passengers are name matches on the watchlist that we detain on a daily basis. No one reports that in the papers, and thats fine, we don’t need them to. No system is perfect, but its the one we have right now, and for the most part it works, even if it hampers people a short while on their trips. You all also dont have a clue to the many methods that we catch passengers trying to smuggle items into the country. Everything is not reported in the news. Its just sad that many of you will never be happy. You all want governance in your lives, but only when the governance is suitable for you and doesnt affect you directly, or if it only affects you in a positive way. If someone attacks us again you will complain that no one did their jobs, but when people do their jobs, then you complain about that also. American culture, 24 hr news, and media in general is destroying our country as we know it. We are turning into a bunch of whiners and spoiled brats. I am a federal leo for the record. We get compliments from individuals all the time from other countries on how they wish they had the same quality of security that we do. Its only the citizens of our country who do most of the complaining. Let them do their job and be happy nothing has happen again thus far. They get paid next to nothing, but they still try and do the job that they are asked to do. None of these experiences with TSA have altered anyone’s life to where they are unable to function. Its just an inconvience. I pray for us all.

pb

May 10th, 2012
2:53 pm

I think TSA does a good job overall, considering it is a thankless, tedious job. But some of them have an attitude problem., Act as if they are saving the world, and “don’t dare question me”. Pretty bold considering some of them look like they are rejected job applicants from McDonald’s or Burger King !

MrLiberty

May 10th, 2012
3:10 pm

If we don’t stop crapping on everyone in the middle east they will NEVER stop trying to harm us. We have been killing and meddling in their affairs since the early 1900s. They do not come here because we are free. They come here because we are over there killing them, propping up their corrupt governments, instituting coups and installing horrible scum like the Shah, imposing sanctions that killed over 500,000 children in Iraq, etc.

There will never be any point in all of our lost liberties or these abuses until we stop provoking terrorists with our own terrorism in the middle east.