Little girl listed on 'No-Fly' list pulled from flight
FT. LAUDERDALE, Fla. (WHDH) -- One little girl's parents say their 18-month-old was called a terrorist and put on the no fly list.
Riyanna has been called a lot of things: cute, adorable and now -- 'suspected terrorist.'
It happened Tuesday night at the airport in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Riyanna and her parents had just boarded a flight on their way home to New Jersey. That's when an employee told them they had to get off the plane and that agents from the Transportation Security Agency needed to speak to them.
"And I said ‘for what?’ And he said ‘well, it's not you or your husband. Your daughter was flagged as no-fly,’” Riyanna’s mother said. “I said ‘excuse me.’"
Riyanna's parents didn’t want their faces shown or their names reported. They said they are afraid of repercussions because they believe this happened because they are both of Middle Eastern descent.
Riyanna's mom wears a head scarf. That said, they're both Americans, born and raised in New Jersey just like their daughter.
"The whole situation was bizarre. It was completely bizarre. It made absolutely no sense."
Riyanna's parents say they were made to stand in the terminal while the TSA met with the airline -- nobody explaining to them what was going on.
About thirty minutes later, Riyanna's parents were told they could reboard the plane, but they say there was no apology and no explanation.
They refused; they were too embarrassed. Now they want to know who's responsible.
The airline said it's a TSA issue. TSA tells us it's an airline issue, and that since Riyanna and her parents all had boarding passes - that means they had been cleared by TSA and were not on the no fly list.
The airline issued a statement saying both it and the TSA are investigating. The TSA says it isn't involved because people aren't given boarding passes unless they are cleared and not on the no-fly list.
Riyanna and her parents were planning to fly back to New Jersey Thursday.