Leave your Economic Modeling at Home when flying the “Doing What We Do Best” Airlines
Which appears to be taking ethnic looking civilians off their flights.
Perhaps economists should not do their modeling on American Airline flights or for that matter other airlines. It seems one 40-year-old man with curly dark hair and olive skin coloring was quietly sitting in his seat scribbling calculations on a notepad. His seatmate on this puddle-jumper from Philadelphia to Syracuse was a young 30ish blonde haired woman carrying a red tote bag.
As the story goes, the young woman was curious about his unrecognizable note taking. After being rebuffed by a simple “no” from the man about whether his home was Syracuse, she took to her book and jotted down a note and gave it to the flight attendant. The plane door shut and after a delay on the tarmac, the plane began to move to the runway to take off only to be diverted back to the gate.
At the gate, the woman who had said she was sick earlier (in her note to the flight attendant) was taken off the plane. A short time later, the pilot came back to the unsuspecting man and he was escorted off the plane and asked what he knew about the 30-something blonde haired woman who sat next to him on the plane. He admitted to not knowing anything other than her acting strangely.
The woman had seen his note taking and did not understand the equations he was writing. In her note to the flight attendant, she stated she was ill. Not understanding the equations he was writing on his notepad, she suspected it to be secret code for some plot to be hatched on Flight 3950 of American Airlines. Upon deboarding the plane, she explained to the officials what she suspected; “she believed him to be a terrorist and his note taking a secret code.”
Wearing “navy Diesel jeans and a red Lacoste sweater, a look he described as ‘simple elegance;'” the Carlo Alberto Medal winner, University of Pennsylvania Economist, Italian by birth, and tenured Professor Guido Menzio was working on “some properties of a model of price-setting he was to present” at Queens University. Apparently, like many Americans, the young woman with blond hair did not understand differential equations and mistook the equations to be secret codes.
After some embarrassing moments for the officials and the pilot listening to the Professor’s explanation on mathematical modeling, Guido Menzio was allowed to reboard the plane. He and the other passengers took off to Syracuse more than 2 hours late. The woman responsible for his being removed from the plane and questioned had taken another flight. If you ever come to a similar problem, check this link https://euflightcompensation.com/reviews/airhelp/.
“Ivy League economist ethnically profiled, interrogated for doing math on American Airlines flight,” Washington Post, Catherine Rampell, May 7, 2016
That woman needs to be tracked down and charged with making a false report
“That woman needs to be tracked down and charged with making a false report.”
No. Emphatically not. She reported that “she believed him to be a terrorist and his note taking a secret code,” and I’m sure that she did in fact believe that. Of course she is an idiot and what she believes about anything should be ignored – which seems to have been what the airline crew and the officials did after investigating. It would have been much better if the crew had been able to investigate before her report interrupted the flight, but it was resolved fairly quickly as such things go.
Perhaps the woman will become publicly humiliated as a half-wit, although crazed terror-mongers would then take to the interwebs to defend her.
I agree. I suspect she is probably not happy with her mistake. I would think American Airlines might take a different and more careful approach to the ethnicity of its customers. This is the 4th time for American Airlines. There appears to be a practice and a pattern.
Ah yes, but then we have this from my part of the country.
A woman, apparently with a disability was in a minor wreck. She wasn’t hurt but needed a tow. The tow truck driver, a “good Christian, by his own reckoning and a Trump supporter showed up and refused the woman service because she had Sanders stickers – apparently he doesn’t do business with “socialists”.
Lions, tigers, bears, terrorists, socialists Oh My!
Obviously that dreaded Al-Gebra terrorist now humorously making the internet rounds. An ignorant woman doesn’t explain the 2 hour delay needed to clarify the situation. Madness.
Madness, indeed. Two hours for these airhead–I mean airline–employees to figure out that someone writing some mathematical equations on a sheet of paper called for nothing more than for them to see that what was at issue here was that a passenger was writing mathematical equations on a piece of paper? Two hours for this? Really?
London elected a Muslim mayor!
Paranoia issued by runaway imagination and a total lack of any rational processes is now the official and sanctioned form of behavior. Reminds me of the Jews pictured looking like rats in Nazi Germany… same reasoning used (propaganda) as that used by the blond lady.
I didn’t know that we were at war with olive skinned, black haired people… I guess I’d better inform my wife and daughter-in-law that they’re now suspect of being enemies of the state. Gee what would we do if Sweden became a belligerent communist nation and wanted to destroy the capitalist kingdom of the US? Blond hair, blue eyed, pale skins … wouldn’t that be fun?
By the way, this blond lady (anybody want to insert some dumb blond jokes here?) wasn’t even rational in logic. A guy writing “code” on a paper while seated on the airline can’t blow up the flight without detonating a bomb or brandishing a lethal weapon. So this bomb or lethal weapon would have to be concealed in some fashion on the guy’s person (not likely after TSA screening since you have to take off your shoes for x-rays), or it would have to be stored in the luggage area and remotely detonated. Why then would this “terrorist” need to writing down a lot of code on a piece of paper? The lady didn’t trust TSA screening procedures obviously either. So doesn’t this mean maybe she shouldn’t have been on the flight herself? I mean if she doesn’t trust TSA screening, doesn’t trust olived skinned, black haired people, then isn’t she dumb to get on the plane herself or even remotely around olive skinned, black haired people… and heaven forbid if they spoke broken English or any foreign language.
The airline pilot could have simply asked the guy to see his “coded papers”… a 2 minute exercise and plane could have taken off on schedule without the dumb blond. If the airline pilot didn’t recognize the “code” was simple calculus math symbols then I’d say there was a real problem… how[d the pilot ever get to that occupation without having ever seen or experienced math symbols used in calculus or the use of Greek letters?
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Not general knowledge but I pilots in the
USA can carry guns on commercial flights. Special safety training
yada,yada. Nothing can possibly go wrong. Few other countries agree
and allow this practice
At the start of March a pilot on a USA international flight was arrested in Mexico just before takeoff delaying the flight for several hours for
having a gun in the cockpit. WTF is that training or was the pilot
just feeling exceptional?
A far more serious breech occurred in Philadelpia in mid March when a pilot in the secure zone left the bag containing his gun unattended and it was stolen by a janitor. It was recovered but WTF!! We passengers must empty our pockets, take off any metal objects such as belts and remove our shoes and then go through a metal detector but some *trained* person can carelessly lose a loaded weapon in the zone?
Commercial pilots are allowed by law to carry. My son-in-law does. It is a throwback to 911. Federal Sky Marshalls came into being in the early seventies after numerous high-jacks. They were seated in planes anonymously. Just the nature of the beast.
Yup, Run, things have changed since 9/11 but not always for the better.through rigid rulrs.
I can afford to fly general aviation but become apoplectic over the price premium.
I fly often to fish. Used to be that I could store my expensive rods in the hang clothing bin. After 9/11 no longer so they now need go into the airplane’s belly.. Thankfully none has been damaged similar to the guy with his guitar. All my aluminum protection tubes are now dinted and dented.. It is hard for me to visualize how a Hardy rod is dangerous-to other than a fish.
I understand. Almost stayed in to be a Sky Marshal as they were recruiting from the ranks. Didn’t think another 4 years were worth it. The issue here is a lack of understanding by people and acceptance of others who appear to be different. Not every person is a terrorist and the probability of meeting one are extremely small. Locked cockpit doors led to the deaths of an entire plane load of passengers as the pilot flew into a mountain. It can come from anywhere and from the least expected.
Why is it always a woman who does this kind of thing? And, yes, in instance after instance, it’s a woman who has done this.
And, as another commenter here has said, this should have been resolved in a few minutes. Why on earth did these airline employees think that someone writing some mathematical equations on a sheet of paper called for them to go beyond seeing that what was at issue here was that a passenger was writing mathematical equations on a piece of paper? Two hours for this? Really?
You are fixating. The gender is meaningless. For example, my coworker and I landed in Manila as two white and rotund males were critiquing the Philippines. The last thing you want to do is piss off the locals. So I apologized to the flight attendants telling them we appreciated their hospitality on Philippine Airlines Business Class. What they did was stupid too.
I have no way of knowing the percentage of women, ditzy or not, making foolish claims, Beverly. I am however willing to wager on the higher percentage of men directly responsible for establishing stupid rules;-)
Airline security is rigidly stupid.
A friend was boarding an airliner recently when one of the passengers joked through the still-open flight deck door “Hope you guys aren’t drunk this morning, haha.” An FAA inspector happened to be seated on the plane, and merely because someone had uttered the word “drunk” he ordered everyone off the plane and sobriety-tested the pilots, delaying the flight over an hour. Insane.
I just keep my mouth shut as I pass through security (Pre-approved) and board the plane. It does not take much to get them going in the wrong direction.
I keep up my VFR license. My wife spent her career in the operational side of the industry. Lots of airplane stories.
Before her death Carol was diagnosed with peripheral neuropathy and required a cane for balance to walk. Six years ago we were departing from Houston (IAH). She had to send her cane through the hand luggage scanner. She then was refused her cane back before walking through the personal scanner..and there were no precleared complimentary canes for her use. That was our last flight on a commercial airline in the USA. An incomprehensible *rule* that had us switch to super expensive near sked .general; aviation for the last years of her life…
Sorry to hear this. I have seen some dumb things also. Mostly rudeness.
Two hours isn’t that long a delay, considering. First you need to question the passenger (“What is this, please?”). Then you need to report it upstream (|”He says it’s mathematics.). Then you need to get someone who is mutually viewed as trustworthy (a pilot, perhaps?) to look at the file and verify matters (“Integral equations. I’m a bit rusty but his solutions look valid.”). Then this info has to go up the line to the folks who make the go-no go decisions. (Tell him we\re sorry. Refuel the plane. Tell the pilot and crew this is all straight time for billing.”) And then you can re-assemble the passengers and get them all back in their seats and get the plane in line for takeoff again.
Two hours is QUICK. Suppose you had a similar panic at a movie theater or a fancy restaurant?