Tourist becomes terror suspect

A WOMAN was forced to cancel a dream holiday to New York after mistakenly telling US immigration officials she was a terrorist.

According to The Sun, Mandie Stevenson, 28, was applying online to enter the US when she clicked yes to the question: “are you involved in terrorist activities or genocide?”

She only realised the blunder two days later when her application was rejected.

It meant she had to postpone her bucket list break and make an emergency trip to the US embassy in London to persuade officials she’s not a security threat.

Manhattan and the Empire State Building. Mandie Stevenson had to postpone her dream trip because she ticked the wrong box on her ESTA form. Picture: iStockSource:Supplied

Her new visa was rubber-stamped just one day before she was due to fly out — meaning she had to pay £800 ($A1437) to rebook everything.

Ms Stevenson, of Falkirk in Scotland, said of her blunder: “I think when I’ve scrolled through the web page it has clicked yes by mistake — and on that question which is the worst of all.

Mandie Stevenson had always dreamed of going to New York. Picture: FacebookSource:Supplied

“It’s been so stressful. I can laugh about it now but it’s a lesson to take more care.”

Ms Stevenson planned the trip after being diagnosed with breast cancer at 26 and had been due to fly out with boyfriend Ross Malcolm last Saturday.

Mandie Stevenson and her boyfriend Ross Malcolm had to cancel their dream trip to New York after she ticked a box on a form declaring herself to be a terrorist. Picture: FacebookSource:Supplied

The pair will be able to make the trip next month after US authorities accepted she made an honest error on their Electronic System for Travel Authorization form.

Ms Stevenson said: “It’s cost me an extra £800. Because of my illness I need special travel insurance so I couldn’t claim on that either.

“But I’ve managed to change everything, extend the tickets and reschedule our meals out.

“And I’ve not had Ross complaining — he’s just been laughing.”

“Even in the times when it was really stressing me out, and finding out on a Friday and not being able to fix it until the Monday led to a very stressful weekend — he was making me laugh about it.

Mandie Stevenson had to shell out about $1500 rebooking all her planned activities in New York. Picture: iStockSource:istock

“The annoying thing is we changed all our plans and re-booked for October because the Embassy assured me it wouldn’t be processed in time.

“Then my passport arrived with the visa last Friday — the day before we were meant to go.

“Thankfully I’ve managed to change everything, extend the tickets and reschedule our meals out.

“The only thing we’ll miss is a New York Rangers ice hockey game we had tickets for.

“I can laugh about it now but it’s a lesson to take care on these forms and a warning for others to triple check.”

This story first appeared in The Sun and is republished with permission.

Source: Read Full Article