Infants have been stopped from boarding planes at airports throughout the United States because their names are the same as, or similar to, those of possible terrorists on the government’s ”no-fly list.”
Because of these screenings, parents have missed flights while scrambling to have babies’ passports and other documents faxed to allow them to board.
Ingrid Sanden’s 1-year-old daughter was stopped in Phoenix before boarding a flight to Washington at Thanksgiving.
”I completely understand the war on terrorism, and I completely understand people wanting to be safe when they fly,” Sanden said.
”But,” she added, ”focusing the target a little bit is probably a better use of resources.”
”It was bizarre,” Sanden said. ”I was hugely pregnant, and I was like, ‘We look really threatening.’ ”
Sarah Zapolsky and her husband had a similar experience last month while leaving Dulles International Airport outside Washington. An airline ticket agent told them their 11-month-old son was on the government list.
They boarded their flight after ticket agents took a half-hour to fax her son’s passport, and fill out paperwork.
”I understand that security is important,” Zapolsky said. ”But if they’re just guessing, and we have to give up our passport to prove that our 11-month-old is not a terrorist, it’s a waste of their time.”