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Suspicious Activity On Spirit Airlines Flight At BWI Was Passenger Watching News

LINTHICUM, Md. (WJZ) -- In the wake of the Paris massacre, there is a heightened sense of awareness when it comes to traveling. There were several unfounded incidents Tuesday involving airplanes, including a scare at BWI.

Rick Ritter with what happened, and the precautions taken.

One passenger described it as the scariest moment of her life. It appears the suspicious activity was only a passenger using their phone to look at a media report.

Intense moments on board a BWI Marshal flight left passengers rattled like never before.

"The scariest moment in my life," said Jenna Farella, passenger. "I've been through some scary times. This was the worst. I have never prayed so hard in my life."

Just minutes before the Spirit flight took off for Chicago Tuesday, a passenger alerted a flight attendant of another passenger acting suspiciously. She told the captain, who then turned the plane around and brought it back to the gate.

MDTA Police removed four passengers from the flight.

The entire plane eventually had to empty for a TSA search before the flight took off hours later, landing safely in Chicago.

"I just assumed the worst. With everything that's going on, and your plane's about to take off--so my nerves were already shot just from flying," said Farella.

Vernon Herron with the University of Maryland Center for Health and Homeland Security says what we're seeing is a country that is hyper vigilant.

"I think we should be cautious and we should remain vigilant. If we see something, say something," said Herron.

He says it's better for there to be a false alarm than a tragedy.

"The police department is relying on the citizens to help us to prevent another terrorist attack," said Herron.

MDTA Police released the three men and one woman after questioning. No charges were filed--but the flight wasn't the only one making headlines.

Also Tuesday, a woman had to be restrained on a British Airways flight to Boston after authorities say she tried opening an exit door mid-flight.

"There's more and more things happening. It's a tough time to live," said Barbara Quenneville.

Heightened security nationwide has many hearts racing, hoping the unimaginable in Paris doesn't repeat.

Spirit Airlines says what was done Tuesday was out of caution.

Authorities say being vigilant is key, and that it's better for there to be a false alarm than not saying anything at all when you see something suspicious.

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