– French mother, 33, denied access to the United States for family holiday because ‘the name on her passport sounds like Al Qaeda’ (Daily Mail, April 26, 2014):
A young French mother who was flying to New York via Switzerland for a holiday with her husband and two children was told she not allowed entry to the United States, seemingly because her name sounds suspiciously like Al Qaeda.
Aida Alic arrived with her family at Geneva airport on Wednesday preparing to board a connection to JFK.
However she was told by Swiss Airlines officials that her access to the country had been denied.
Forced to cancel their trip and return to their house near Chambery in the French Alps, it wasn’t until the 33-year-old got home and started googling for answers that she realized her name appears surname first on her passport and reads ‘Alic Aida’.
‘Religious profiling’: Aida Alic (not pictured) was denied access to the United States because, she believes, because her name appears on her passport as ‘Alic Aida’, which is suspiciously similar to Al Qaeda
Ms Alic feels there is no other explanation for being turned away by customs.
‘Alic Aida, Al-Qaeda.,’ she told the French news website Dauphine Libere.
‘When friends make the play on words to wind me up, I am used to it, but not this.‘Especially as my name is pronounced Alitch.
‘It is of Yugoslav origin.
‘And now here I am labelled as a risk.’
The family are out of pocked almost $3,800 on the trip because their return flights to the states were not refundable.
Ms Alic continues to make inquiries about the trip but is yet to receive any answers.
The US embassy in Paris said it does not comment on individual cases of people appearing on the US no-fly list.
As of 2012 there were over 21,000 names on the list which has been accused of religious and racial profiling and discrimination.