A French woman traveling with her husband and two small children was not allowed to board a flight to New York last week, possibly because her name sounds too close to Al Qaeda.
Aida Alic, 33, says she’s been blacklisted by the U.S. because her last name said before her first name -- as it appears on her passport -- sounds too close to the international terror group.
Alic arrived with her family for their connecting flight at Geneva airport last Wednesday, headed to New York for vacation, Britain’s Telegraph reported. But Swiss Air officials told her they had received word from U.S. border authorities that she was barred from entering the U.S.
The airline did not provide any other specifics, so the family had to return home to the French Alps. The couple had paid more than $3,700 for their lost flights.
Later at home, Alic searched official U.S. travel sites to try to determine why she was stopped, and realized that it must be her name.
“Alic Aida, Al Qaeda. When friends make the play on words to wind me up, I am used to it, but not this,” Alic told Le Dauphiné Libéré newspaper.
Alic was born in Bosnia, but is now a French national. “Especially since my name is actually pronounced 'Alitch.’ It is of Yugoslav origin. And now here, I am labeled as a risk,” she said.
The American Embassy in Paris would not comment on specific cases of people on the U.S. no-fly list. Alic says she plans to pursue why she’s been banned with U.S authorities.
She had painted her fingernails with American flags for her visit, but now will have to wait to see the States.