This Mathematics Professor Was Questioned On A Plane For Doing Math During A Flight

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A man says he was literally questioned by an airline security staff after his efforts to solve a mathematical equation prompted fears from a fellow passenger that he was acting suspiciously and writing in a foreign script. Hold on to your seats because this actually happened and is serious concern.

Guido Menzio, an Italian-born University of Pennsylvania economics professor, was questioned prior to the takeoff of his American Airlines regional flight from Philadelphia to Syracuse. American Airlines spokesperson Casey Norton told BuzzFeed News a female passenger reported feeling sick prior to takeoff and asked to be removed from the Air Wisconsin-operated flight.


Once the plane returned to the terminal and the woman disembarked, she then told airline staff she had concerns about the behavior of the man seated next to her.

"At some point during this process [Menzio] got up and expressed concern to the pilot for her wellbeing and wanted to know if she was OK," Norton said. "At that point there was a conversation and [staff] talked to him and the captain quickly determined there was no validity to her concerns."


"Nobody was detained or interrogated," Norton said. "This was a conversation about these concerns. Any time a customer raises concerns, that is something we are going to have conversations about,".


Menzio did not immediately return a request for comment from BuzzFeed News, but told the Washington Post the pilot seemed embarrassed when Menzio showed him the equations on price-setting that the woman seemed suspicious of.



“What might prevent an epidemic of paranoia? It is hard not to recognize in this incident the ethos of [Donald] Trump’s voting base,” he told the newspaper.

"A security protocol that is too rigid — in the sense that once the whistle is blown everything stops without checks — and relies on the input of people who may be completely clueless," he said.




Norton told BuzzFeed News the flight eventually took off more than two hours after its scheduled departure. The woman, whom he declined to name, took a separate flight later that night.

Comments

  1. She should be named and ridiculed

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  2. Crazy how someone could think algebra and mathematics on a sheet of paper could cause them any harm

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    1. What's even crazier is that she couldn't een identify it as math!

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  3. Another example of our wonderful school system. Gag!

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  4. Blaming Trump. Really? What a pathetic moron.

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    1. It has to be Trump right, because all Democrats are SOOOoooo smart.....

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  5. Economics Professor not Mathematics Professor. There's a difference and it matters.

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  6. We are laughing at her stupidity but what we should be asking is 'What if he *had* been writing in Arabic?' The real issue here is that some people think a man is a security risk for having a middle-east style beard and writing in a foreign language!

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    1. Even he'd been writing in Arabic, Chinese or any other language, it's no reason to be afraid, or to believe he was a security risk.

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  7. Algebra? That word comes from Arabic! He must be a terrorist!

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  8. If you like Algebra you are a Terrorist :)

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. √-1 2^3 Σ π and 我喜欢它

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    3. ॐ मणिपद्मे हूँ :-)

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  9. This is elevating the common fear of Mathematics to an absurd level :-) folks need to know it can't actually kill you...at least not directly. dare I say E = m c^2 though?

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