Guido Menzio’s, an Italian economist’s, nightmare came true when a fellow woman passenger mistook his mathematic equation for some ‘terrorist code’.
The man was flying from Philadelphia to Syracuse to give a talk at Queen's University in Ontario, Canada when the woman sitting next to him saw him working on an equation which she thought was some kind of a secret terrorist code and she alerted the cabin crew after which 40 years old Guido who is an associate professor at the University of Pennsylvania was taken off by agents of Philadelphia in order to question him.
According to the cabin crew of American Airlines, Air Wisconsin fight 3950, the woman first pretended to be ill but later she passed a note to a member of the cabin crew expressing her suspicions.
After that, the plane which was ready to take off returned to gate. While the woman left, Guido was asked to de-board the flight and was taken away and made to meet some men who looked like ‘FBI agents’.
Then the whole matter was discussed with him. He was told that he was mistaken by the woman as a terrorist because he was writing.
The incident was strange and unbelievable but American spokesperson, Casey Norton supported the crew by saying that the crew was following the basic protocol to take care of an ill passenger.
Guido Menzio was astonished by the incident and expressed his astonishment through Facebook where he called the incident to be ‘unbelievable’ and made him laugh.
"It's a bit funny. It's a bit worrisome. The lady just looked at me, looked at my writing of mysterious formulae, and concluded I was up to no good," he wrote.
He told Washington Post that he was treated respectfully throughout the process.
The flight got delayed by two hours due to the incident while the woman was re-booked on a later flight.