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JetBlue blames 'computer glitch' for removing toddler from flight

May 11, 2012|By Mary Forgione | Los Angeles Times Daily Travel & Deal blogger
  • JetBlue Airways removed an 18-month-old girl from a flight in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., saying she was on the No Fly List.
JetBlue Airways removed an 18-month-old girl from a flight in Fort Lauderdale,… (Noah Berger/Bloomberg…)

JetBlue Airways blamed a computer glitch for an 18-month-old girl being removed from a plane in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., because the carrier's employees thought she was on the no-fly list. The girl and her parents were removed after the flight bound for Newark, N.J., had boarded, media reports say.

In a statement made Thursday, JetBlue said it was looking into the incident that happened Tuesday. It also said its employees "followed appropriate protocols" and included an apology to the family.

"Upon boarding Flight 510 at Fort Lauderdale International Airport on Tuesday evening, a customer’s boarding pass was flagged in our system as being on the No Fly list," the airline's statement reads in part. "We notified and collaborated with TSA. TSA cleared the customers to travel on JetBlue."

The parents, however, told ABC-TV affiliate WPBF that they believe they were singled out because the girl's mother wore a head scarf. The interview says in part:

"We were put on display like a circus act because my wife wears a hijab," the baby's father said, adding that he thought his family was being profiled because they're of Middle Eastern descent.

The family was cleared to re-board but didn't, saying they were too embarrassed, according to the Associated Press.

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