Guido Menzio, an economics professor at the University of Pennsylvania, said the plane—which was flying from Philadelphia to Syracuse—returned to the gate after the woman seated next to him gave a note to the flight attendant.
Casey Norton, a spokesman for American Airlines, said the woman reported that she felt sick and wanted to get off the plane, prompting its return to the gate. As she was leaving the Air Wisconsin-operated flight, the woman expressed concerns about Menzio’s behavior, and an airline security official was called, Norton said.
Menzio, who did not immediately respond to a request for comment, told the Associated Press that he was questioned by the pilot and an official after the plane returned to the gate. “I thought they were trying to get clues about her illness,” Menzio said, according to the AP. “Instead, they tell me that the woman was concerned that I was a terrorist because I was writing [strange] things on a pad of paper.”