JetBlue issued an apology on Thursday to 18-month-old Riyanna, the toddler wrongfully placed on the no-fly list on Tuesday and pulled off a flight from Florida, and her family citing a computer glitch for the mistake removal.
According to The Associated Press, JetBlue blamed the mistake on a computer glitch, adding that employees followed the proper protocol in removing the girl from the flight.
We are investigating this particular incident. We believe this was a computer glitch. Our crewmembers followed the appropriate protocols, and we apologize to the family involved in this unfortunate circumstance, an official statement from JetBlue read.
However, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration told The AP the girl was never flagged nor was her name on the list.
TSA did not flag this child as being on the no-fly list, Transportation Security Administration spokeswoman Sterling Payne told CNN. 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.
Airline officials informed the family of 18-month-old Riyanna that her name was placed on the no-fly list issued by the federal government that names thousands of known and suspected terrorists. She was immediately removed from the flight from Fort Lauderdale before its departure en route to Newark, N.J.
The family believes their toddler's name was never on the list, but rather they were profiled for being Middle Eastern, despite having lived in New Jersey all of their lives.
We were put on display like a circus act because my wife wears a hijab, the father, whose name was not released, told ABC affiliate WPBF.
Riyanna and her family were allowed to re-board the flight after TSA and JetBlue cleared them, but they were reportedly too embarrassed to get back on, The AP reported.
The father of Riyanna said they still have never received a personal apology from JetBlue and do not believe the incident was caused by a computer glitch.
I highly doubt that it would have been an automatically generated computer glitch, the father told WPBF, noting that he is a computer engineer.