TSA orders baby off plane

An 18 month-old toddler was ordered off a plane Tuesday at Ft. Lauderdale airport, after TSA representatives told airline employees they wanted to "speak" to her.

Riyanna's father was flabbergasted. "It's absurd," he said. "It made no sense. Why would an 18-month-old child be on a no-fly list?" Riyanna's parents, who asked not to be identified, said they think they know the answer to that question. They believe they were profiled because they are both of Middle Eastern descent.

They were detained for 30 minutes; no apology was forthcoming for the humiliating theatrics. The airline, JetBlue, says that the TSA asked for the baby's removal and that both it and the agency were investigating. The TSA said, however, that the event was an "airline issue" and that it was not investigating it at all.

Baby, 18 months old, ordered off plane at Fort Lauderdale airport [WBPF]


    1.  Yes it’s important to punish Jet Blue and the other airlines for going along with such stupidity. They need to be made to pay for their security theater. As the entertainment industry likes to tell us, entertainment is not free. If I were the parents I’d fuel up for a nice long set of complex law suits.

  1. “Look, I’ve heard Rihanna’s music. I’ve seen her videos. THIS little baby here is an impostor!”

    1. Cracking down on DWB is totally understandable though. Babies have pretty terrible motor skills and can’t really see over the dash anyways.

      1. Yeah, I was wondering whether ‘FWB’ stood for ‘Flying While Baby’.

        As someone who’s suffered through a few long flights in the Screaming Infants section of the plane, I’m not totally opposed to a crackdown on these tiny terrorists.

        1. The silver lining of flying in the Screaming Infants section is that flight attendants will sometimes comp you alcoholic beverages if you act sympathetic to THEIR plight.

          I once flew in front of a family with (I shit you not) *eight* poorly-behaved and/or crying children. 3 kids behind me, 3 kids behind me on the other side of the aisle, 2 parents w/ infants in laps in the row behind them.

          Best-tasting Heinekins ever.

          1. One word for you: earplugs. 

            Flying with them is a whole different experience.

    1. What are the chances that they haven’t removed Osama Bin Laden’s name from the do-not-fly list & that people with similar names are still being inconvenienced?

      1. I think you’ll find that the US is still bending over to accommodate the Bin Laden’s, even after what little Osama has done. They are after all filthy rich oil sheiks.

  2. Let me get this straight. The parents were free to fly, but they had to leave their baby behind. I suppose that as long as the unaccompanied minor isn’t flying, then it’s OK to leave her alone at the airport. 


    1. The [failed] policies of the TSA are full of so many contradictory double-think, you’d almost believe that they could start their own religion. 

    2. I was told to do that once, pre-9/11.  Was traveling as a group of 3 adults with a total of 6 children, one baby to age 12.  Airline had some glitch in the computer system and despite arriving in plenty of time we were told only 6 of us total could get on.  Specifically, the baby had one of the seats which had been canceled.  Two businessmen in suits, neither of whom had ever cared for a baby, and me.  Guess who got to take ALL of the kids vs. who was left behind to use their corporate accounts to score upgraded seats on the next flight?

      Fortunately the baby was young enough to take advantage of the (incredibly dangerous) baby-on-lap option.  The other 5 children were spread out all over the plane (apparently all of our seat assignments had also magically disappeared).  No other passenger would move.  Why people would prefer to sit next to an unaccompanied minor rather than move to another row, I will never understand.
      Fortunately all the children were seasoned travelers and caused no concern to the adults around them.  But I will never forget the ticket agent looking me in the eyes with a straight face and saying that the plane was loading and I had to leave the baby in the terminal because she no longer had a seat assignment.

  3. How about we disband the TSA and go back to wands and bomb sniffing dogs?  It’s just a bunch of clowns who couldn’t get a job at McDonalds, and a cash cow for former DHS Michael Chertoff who he sells his ineffective scanners to.

    1. Assuming you don’t mean wands in the Harry Potter sense, I’m sure that Michael Chertoff and others like him also have an interest in selling handheld scanners. ADE 651, anyone? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ADE_651

      And they’ll need a lot of McDonalds rejectees to wave all those homeopathic bomb-detecting wands …

    2. It’s just a bunch of clowns who couldn’t get a job at McDonalds

      Do you really believe that the nearly 60,000 workers, who deal with 2 million daily air passengers, for the most part with out any incidents,  are all “clowns who couldn’t get a job at McDonalds”?

      What exactly drives such classism, snobbery, and ugly arrogance?  Any of the *40* people who liked that jerky comment can feel free to pinch hit an answer as well.

      1. It was meant rhetorically, so chill out. The standards need to raised and procedures seriously reevaluated. Common sense should’ve kicked in at some point.

        1.  The standards need to raised and procedures seriously reevaluated.

          Procedures are dictated by well paid people at The Pentagon, not the poorly paid workers you see in the airport.  I’ll also add that politicians have fought tooth and nail from allowing workers to organize, something that would give them some say in dealing with some of these poor procedures.

          You’re vilifying the wrong people.

      2.  The answer is yes.  For comparison McDonald’s has 400,000 employees, and pay is around $8/hr.  The TSA pays $11/hr for considerably crappier work conditions.For comparison private security guards make about the same as a TSA agent under vastly better working conditions.  Security guards employed directly  typically make double that.

    3. The clowns are not the one that do the work but the ones that hired them with your money.

      Laughing yet?

  4. Okay, follow me here…

    “The airline, JetBlue, says that the TSA asked for the baby’s removal and that both it and the agency were investigating. The TSA said, however, that the event was an “airline issue” and that it was not investigating it at all.”

    JetBlue complied with a TSA request in removing the passenger, but TSA says this is entirely an “airline issue”; so to avoid future issues the airlines can ignore TSA requests without any kind of repercussions or reprisals? If so, why are we paying for the TSA, disband them now and as Skyhawk1 says, get rid of the ridiculous security theatre troup the taxpayers are funding and let me keep my shoes on and bring as many liquids as I want in my carry-on luggage; if not, THIS IS A TSA ISSUE.

  5. At this point I’m glad they didn’t lose the baby in a warehouse for a couple years.

  6. TSA Officer: “She won’t tell us anything. She mocks us by making funny noises”.

    1. “Interviewing agent reported that subject was uncooperative and declined to respond to questions. Although subject claims US citizenship, appeared unable to speak or understand English. No employment or credit history could be determined for subject. Subject appears not to have paid for ticket herself, and was traveling without luggage. Subject refused to give a US address or other identifying information.”

      1. “A full-body patdown revealed a substantial quantity of suspicious, malodorous, and possibly hazardous substance concealed in subject’s undergarments, whereupon subject was questioned further about possible ties to Umar Abdulmutallab.”

  7. It just keeps on coming and coming.  Report after report of stupidity and what do they do?  Double down!  Triple Down!  QUADRUPLE DOWN!

    Employees of this craptacular organization know that the chorus is rising against their existence, and that includes members of Congress.  Are they having some sort of “F— You!” final fling?

  8. First an airline claims that VoIP isn’t allowed because if FAA regulations and tries to have a guy arrested.  Turns out to be untrue, the FAA has no such regualtion.

    Now an airline claims TSA asked for the babies removal and was investigating.  Turns out to be untrue, the TSA had nothing to do with it.

    If they are given authority shouldn’t they also be given accountability?
    What is this, don’t trust the airlines week?

  9. She’s obviously the type who wouldn’t think twice about using whatever means necessary to get, like, another cookie or some more string cheese.

  10. These TSA uniforms must have powerful stuff impregnated on the garment fabric…

    To take such a complete leave of basic common sense, you gotta be HIGH, and I mean STONED. Or was the people redacting guidelines for not-so-bright TSA agents the one that was high? Is there some mob mentality or emerging behavior at work here?

  11. I call ‘misleading headline’ – not a baby. I wanted to read about a baby crawling off the plane in hangheaded ignominy. I wanted officials, with severe expressions, pointing at both it and its destination.

    Though technically an infant and so – by etymological definition – unable to speak for itself, you don’t discover this unless you step over the headline.

    V. disappointing.

  12. TSA Officer 1: “Alright, talk to me you little brat”

    Baby: “Goo goo da da.”

    TSA Officer 2: “I´m telling you, she´s laughing at us. This is no usable intelligence, she´s just feeding us bullshit!”

    Baby: “Wa wa gaga.”

    TSA Officer 2: “Just keep mocking us, but I tell ya,  I´ll be here all day, baby. I´m getting paid for this.”

    Baby: *farts*

    1. TSA Officer 3: “Let me look for the waterboarding manual then … I’m sure I had it somewhere in my desk”

  13. Those TSA agents are screwed.  Look at that “innocent” face.  You just know that she will come back for them in the night.  Sleep well, TSA…bwahaaaaaahaaaaa.

  14. I never thought I would say this but I’m actually with the TSA on this one. Thank you for protecting me in this one instance, oh wise and benevolent TSA, but I don’t  think you’ve gone far enough. Who knows when the baby menace will try and strike again? Clearly, the only sensible option is to add ALL babies to the no fly list. Especially ones with a history of screaming.

    1. Speaking as someone who flies a lot and is childless, I totally agree with you. Freedom isn’t free.

  15. When a nation trades freedom for security, they will have neither. I think Ben Franklin has been accused of starting that nonsense. I think everyone should be banned from traveling at all. This tendency to all anyone to go wherever they please is ridiculous. I believe there should be road blacks every half block in every city,town, and along every highway and road. That would create jobs and get america working again. Without travel people would be forced to use the POST OFFICE again. The roadblocks would create prime opportunities for street vendors to sell coffee and food along the routes. People who presently make their living with burglary and rape would join their pedophile cousins as TSA agents and help alleviate the crowding in our jails. Most of all we would be safe.

    1.  That reads like great novel! Will you write it? Dystopian future is all the rage now!

  16. It doesn’t surprise me that the TSA is not investigating the incident.  Their policy is apparently just to plow ahead, regardless of the complaint.

  17. I can understand mistakes — but what I don’t understand is how someone directly involved and working for the TSA doesn’t stop and think “wait, is this kind of fucked up? maybe we should stop and think about it” 

    Though, I imagine the hiring pool for the TSA is the same as the US Military — so I guess we’re not talking about the most independent thinkers here. 

  18. Maybe it’s part of a program where the government helps kids sue their parents for giving them stupid names.

    1. What if it actually was? What if one airline employee misinterpreted something as “TSA ordered your baby off the plane”. The TSA agents would have to come to the terminal, which they did. They tell the airline “you’re a bunch of idiots, there’s isn’t a no-fly on the kid, let them back on” and the case is closed.

      1. Is it not relevant that this kind of miscommunication is even possible? Everyone pretty much *expects* teh crazy from TSA, so it’s not really implausible that anyone at JetBlue genuinely belived it had happened.

        If the TSA weren’t so capricious, arbitrary, and so often just flat out wrong, then people – including those at JetBlue – would be more likely to stop and question. But as it is … “TSA want the baby off the plane? Ok, Jones; go get the baby.”

  19. Big, dumb government agencies will always be big and dumb.  There’s no incentive to improve performance, efficiency, or cost-effectiveness on the part of anyone from the top to the bottom.  There are regulations that essentially prohibit individual judgment calls and discretion.  There is no customer service culture.  There never will be any of those things.  And yet lots of people want more agencies with more funding and more power.

    1. Hand it over to private military/police contractors.  I hear they have great records dealing with people. Never mind that there were loads of complaints about the private security that did this before the TSA. Unaccountable security are awesome at customer service…..

      big dumb anti-government types will always be big and dumb….

      Speaking of “always dumb government agencies” the National Weather Service just warned people in Texas that heavy rains could bring flash floods today. Those stupid dummies!!!

    1. The death of several hundred people is a small price to pay for your convenience when you choose to fly. I mean you’ve earned it. It’s *you* we’re talking about here. Sick

  20. This must be a conundrum for the racist “anti-government” folks.

    I hate brown folks, but I hate the TSA too!  Anti-government man is conflicted!

  21. Wrongdoing and mistakes are impossible when you’re fighting terrorists. Don’t you guys know that?

  22. Has the no fly list ever been tested in court?  It seems like an obvious violation of due process.

    Curious that she was allowed to fly to Florida but not to New Jersey.  Does New Jersey have its own no fly list?

  23. After an intensive interrogation of the suspect, TSA officers first concluded she was under the orders of a certain ‘Al-Mohamed’.

    Later reviews determined ‘Al-Mohamed’ was in reality ‘Elmo’.

  24. I went to uni with someone who said he stopped getting cavity searched everytime he entered the UK, after he took the hyphen (after the Al-) out of his surname…

    1. Is it not relevant that this kind of miscommunication is even possible? Everyone pretty much *expects* teh crazy from TSA, and expects it often, so it’s not really implausible that anyone at JetBlue genuinely believed it had happened.

      If the TSA weren’t so capricious, arbitrary, and so often just flat out wrong, then people – including those at JetBlue – would be more likely to stop and question. But in /this/ universe  … “TSA want the baby off the plane? Ok, Jones; go get the baby.”

  25. “What are the chances that they haven’t removed Osama Bin Laden’s name from the do-not-fly list”

    It was made clear some years back that none of the really big-time people would be on the list or stopped as this would “tip our hand” that they were considered suspicious as though somehow those people would think they were unknown or indeed would be flying under their own names (the real failing of all this “no fly” nonsense).

    The entire thing is a charade and a not particularly good one as it makes the basic assumption that all evildoers are too stupid to get a fake I.D.

  26. Anyone else notice that it is never TSA’s fault? It always because of the airlines or that the passenger “felt they had a bad experience” but groping a four year old is or robbing elderly travelers perfectly okay.

    This bunch of of deviants need to be disbanded before they kill someone.

  27. Once you come to grips with the fact that government is nothing more than a gang of thieves writ large, and that the vilest among them always rise to the highest levels… You begin to understand that the thuggery we’ve seen of late out of the deviants working the TSA counters… is just the entry level tip-of-the-iceberg as it pertains to the federal mafia.

    1. See, until you agree that it’s not supposed to be one, and doesn’t have to be one, and propose something other than blowing it up, then I’ll be over here, not with you.

  28. If this doesn’t prove that TSA clearly cannot do their jobs, what will? They’re completely mental, bonkers, off their rockers, not playing with a full deck, lost their marbles, they have spiders in their attics.  Need I say more?

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