‘No fly’ foul as girl, 6, put on list

Sunday, April 18, 2010 , Posted by TJ at 11:34 AM

Meet America’s tiniest terrorist: 6-year-old Allison Mosher, who’s landed on the nation’s No Fly List alongside mad bombers and other villainous thugs in a mind-boggling snafu that could scuttle her family’s Grand Canyon vacation, her outraged dad says.

“It’s flabbergasting,” Peter Mosher, 41, a software engineer from the Worcester area, told the Herald, recounting his pitched battle yesterday to clear his daughter’s name so they can catch their 6:10 a.m. United Airlines flight this morning at Logan International Airport.

Fearing that red tape would ground their trip, Mosher made a desperate call to U.S. Sen. Scott Brown, whose aide phoned Transportation Security Administration brass at Logan to alert them to the maddening mix-up and ask them to straighten out the mess.

“We gave them a heads-up down at TSA. They will try to do everything they can to accommodate the family,” aide Jack Richard said.

“Sen. Brown’s office came through for us,” Mosher told the Herald late yesterday afternoon - or so he hopes. He won’t know for sure until he gets to Logan today.

United Airlines said it didn’t know Allison was just 6. “The TSA manages the list,” explained spokeswoman Robin Urbanski, who said Allison likely will have to submit to extra screening.

“I am very sorry she is on the list,” Urbanski said. “But when that happens, we are required to conduct a secondary set of security steps.”

Mosher’s ordeal began yesterday when he went online to print out boarding passes for his family’s long-planned trip to Phoenix via San Francisco.

He had no trouble getting passes for himself, his schoolteacher wife, Lynne, and their 9-year-old daughter, Gabrielle.

But when it came to pint-sized Allison, he hit a dead end. So Mosher phoned United, where an agent told him his daughter had “been flagged by TSA security,” probably because she didn’t have a frequent-flyer number.

“I said I would be glad to get her one,” Mosher said, which he did, but to no avail.

The agent looked into it further and said, “She’s still flagged. She’s on a No Fly List.”

“But she’s a first-grader!” Mosher said he pleaded, noting that the airline had her date of birth and middle name. But the agent told the frustrated father there was “nothing (he) can do,” Mosher said.

Mosher turned to the TSA to report the mistake but was informed that Allison still needed to clear airport security to get a boarding pass.

Ann Davis, a TSA spokeswoman, said that because there are no children on the No Fly List, airlines can let kids younger than 12 bypass the tighter security. “If they observe a 6-year-old standing before them, they can forgo additional procedures,” she said.

When he was last contacted, however, an exasperated Mosher said he would have to wake his kids at 2 a.m. to get to Logan hours early to deal with the foul-up.

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