FORT LAUDERDALE, Florida — Officials say an 18-month-old girl was mistakenly pulled off a JetBlue flight before it left Fort Lauderdale because airline employees thought her name was on the U.S. no-fly list.
The child’s parents told ABC television network affiliate WPBF they believe they were targeted because they are of Middle Eastern descent and the mother wears a hijab.
An airline employee boarded the Newark, New Jersey-bound flight before it departed Tuesday evening, telling the family their toddler was on the federal list that includes thousands of known or suspected terrorists.
JetBlue on Thursday blamed a computer glitch, saying employees followed proper protocol. The U.S. Transportation Security Administration says the girl never was flagged by the agency.
The family was cleared to re-board. But they declined, saying they were too embarrassed.