On December 15, a British Muslim family of 11 was barred by U.S. authorities from boarding a flight from London’s Gatwick to Los Angeles, where they were planning on visiting Disneyland. No explanation was given to the family for the decision, the Guardian reported.
According to the Guardian, the family had been granted online authorization to travel the week before the trip, and was surprised to be pulled out of line at the airport. “I have never been more embarrassed in my life. I work here, I have a business here. But we were alienated,” Mohammad Tariq Mahmood, one of the family members, told the Guardian. He said that the airline told the family their tickets would not be refunded.
“We were devastated,” Mahmood added to ITV. “We’d planned this trip for two months, the kids were excited, and all of a sudden some person just comes and says ‘you’re not allowed to board the plane’, with no explanation.”
The Washington Post notes that it is unclear whether any members of the family were on a no-fly list, or whether all 11 were British citizens. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security did not respond to the Post’s or the Guardian’s requests for comment.