An easyJet flight from Amsterdam to Newcastle was delayed for more than two hours on Monday because a teenager got nervous because a man was writing in Arabic.
A group of students aged 14 to 16 alerted the flight crew right before the flight was supposed to take off because one of them got nervous over a fellow passenger who was writing in Arabic script. The student, who had anxiety over flying in general, became even more nervous when he saw the writing, the Daily Mail reports.
The captain examined the man's notebook and didn't find anything wrong with it but the students was too scared to travel. Eventually the student, along with 15 others from the group, were allowed to leave the plane. However the other 152 passengers on the flight were delayed for two hours and 20 minutes so an investigation could be done and the students' bags could be removed from the plane.
The 16 students who got off of the flight were booked on to another easyJet flight to London Stansted which arrived the next day.
The airline released a statement according to the Telegraph, which reads, "easyJet can confirm that flight EZY6554 from Amsterdam to Newcastle yesterday evening was delayed while some passengers disembarked.
"The delay was the result of a nervous young passenger who raised a security issue prior to take off. The safety and well-being of our passengers is always easyJet's priority and captain fully assessed the issue before clearing the flight for take-off.
"The flight was delayed by 2 hours 20 minutes while the issue was investigated and 16 members of the group and their baggage were offloaded. We have offered to transfer their flights free of charge."
Passenger Adam Robson, 21, was sitting next to the man and in front of one of the students who was kicking his seat because he was having a panic attack.
"'The guy had a notebook and people were looking over at it as it had both Arabic writing and English words," Robson said according to the Daily Mail. "One of the students called a flight attendant over and pointed it out. 'She went away, but just as we were about to take off there was a kicking and banging on my seat from behind us and the student was having a panic attack. He went from the window seat into the aisle and ran to the back of the plane. The next think we know the pilot has come on and said for safety reasons we were going back to the terminal."
The suspicious man turned out to be completely innocent. He was a Teesside University masters student of Iranian descent who was in Amsterdam to see his wife who attended another school.