After the kids informed the crew about what the Iranian Teesside University student was doing, about 15 students were taken off the aircraft and put on a later easyJet flight because they were uncomfortable flying with the man.
“The guy had a notebook and people were looking over at it as it had both Arabic writing and English words. One of the students called a flight attendant over and pointed it out,” Adam Robson, who was sitting next to the Arabic writer, told Gazette Live.
“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.”
While the children and their luggage were being removed, the other passengers remained on the plane.
“It turns out he was an Iranian Masters student at Teesside University and the reason he was in Amsterdam was because his wife was studying there as she’d been unable to transfer to a North East university,” Robson said. “He makes the trips regularly and he said he always carries his notebook, which he showed me.
Robson said the man was writing in Arabic to teach himself the language.
“He was really genuine,” Robson said. “Thankfully he wasn’t aware of it and he didn’t understand what was going on.”