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Old 03-30-2009, 10:21 PM
 
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What was it like boarding an airplane right after the 9/11 attacks?
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Old 03-30-2009, 10:54 PM
 
Location: Ballwin, MO
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We were in Puerto Vallarta during the 9/11 attacks on a MLT Vacations (now Worry Free Vacations) 7 night trip at the Sheraton Buganvillas and supposed to go home on the 12th. We finally were able to get on a charter bound for Chicago two or three days later that would stop in St. Louis to let us off. I remember they lined all the luggage up in front of the check-in area and we all had to open our bags for them to check the contents and then it went through the scanners. Not a big problem but it took a few hours for the plane load of people. They didn't allow pictures to be taken at the airport either. You could cut the tension in that plane with a knife during that trip. When we landed in St. Louis the entire plane broke out in applause. Everyone was so happy to get the call to go to the airport as we had no idea when we would be able to get on a plane back.

On a side note, the hotel gave us the rooms for a reduced rate, which I guess helped them too because nobody was arriving ether, but I felt sorry for people who couldn't afford to stay the extra nights. I also remember walking down the malecon looking for a shirt with an American flag on it because I was told that everyone was going to wear one to show their pride on whatever day it was and the shirt vendor started to tease me about why I would need a shirt like that. When I started to say why, he realized what was going on, got very serious and I thought he was going to cry he was so sympathetic. We did end up finding one that I could use.
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Old 03-31-2009, 08:31 AM
 
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We flew in November 01 to a friend's wedding in FL. I was several months pregnant at the time, and actually had to show my stomach to a female attendant at security. I just remember it was very quiet. Everyone was almost whispering, and the lines took forever, with all the new security procedures. When we landed in Orlando there were military/police with machine guns and dogs roaming the airport, trying not to be to obvious, but of course you saw them there. Reminded me of being in the Cancun airport. Hard to believe, but 100% true!
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Old 03-31-2009, 12:44 PM
 
Location: Durham, NC
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We flew from Colorado to the east coast for a wedding in early October 2001. For our first leg from DEN - DFW, we were in first class. Waiting at the gate, a man sat down near us, took out the Koran and began prayers. Neither my wife nor I said anything to each other nor thought it especially odd despite the recent events of 9/11. After a few minutes though, his cell phone rang and he began looking around the terminal while talking to someone. Presumabely after making visual contact with someone he hung up and walked away. We boarded the plane and were in the first row at the bulkhead. The same man boarded and sat across the aisle from me in, also in the first row (and in very close proximity to the cockpit!). During the boarding process, his cell phone rang again; he took the call, collected his things, and walked off the plane. Before I had a chance to talk to a flight attendant, they were at the seat searching the floor,under the carpet, under the cushion, in the overhead, etc... Nothing was found and someone else ended up boarding and sitting there. From thence the flight was uneventful, except for the safe touchdown at DFW for which I was quite relieved and grateful!!!
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Old 03-31-2009, 09:40 PM
 
Location: Seaford, Delaware
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I was in china on 9/11. I was not able to return to the US until about 2 weeks after 9/11. Only US citizens were allowed ont he plane. We were taken to the Hong Kong airport by bus. the Chinese Army guarded the bus and escorted us into the airport. Everything was searched. They took nail files and other seemingly harmless personal articles. We were escorted to the gate and waited. The soldiers guarded us and the plane. We could see the plane surronuded by soldiers with guns. There was about 100 people on a 747.
We didn't have seat assignments. We were told to sit where we wanted but it was suggested we all sit in the front. We tried to make it a fun trip but everyone was a bit nervous about what to expect on arrival. We arrived in Detroit.
The plane again was met by military, the US kind. They had thier guns pointed AT us. It was a bit nerve wracking.
I flew from Detroit to San Antonio (home) and never saw anythng so quiet, and subdued.
Both airports were quiet and not at all crowded. Very eerie!!!!
Since then i have flown to Europe and Central America. It seems things are back to almost normal, except the extreme security.
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Old 03-31-2009, 10:06 PM
 
Location: East Tennessee
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about 2 weeks after 911 I went to Nepal overland to India (against my families wishes) then flew to Australia before coming home
remember the airport lines slower and carry on items limited
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Old 04-01-2009, 07:50 AM
 
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I take it you mean right AFTER the attack - not two weeks or two months after....I was stuck on the west coast, i was actually on my way to the airport when 9/11 happened, preparing to fly home, and was stuck of course for the 5 days until the airports opened back up. I remember more on 9/11 that morning calling my wife and work and assuring them I was NOT on a cross country plane heading for the WTC. I took one of the first planes back after the airports opened. I can't remember any anticdodal events other than general chaos as happens whenever flight are delayed - like after big storms. It was probably a little more subdued, given the chaos, with people a little more calm and not so angry. As you can imagine, everyone was just trying to get home.

A week or month after 9/11 things were back to normal except for the hightened security that continues today. For about 6 months there they had armed soldiers in airports, with M16's. That was strange.
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Old 04-01-2009, 11:39 AM
 
Location: Oxford, England
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We flew to Boston a few days afterwards and it was actually quite "nice" because a lot of people had obviously cancelled so the airports /planes were a lot more quiet. Security was about the same actually , it probably was our quietest flight in years. I did notice the Muslim people in traditional outfits were stared at a lot more and some people were looking at them suspiciously.

I was shocked at how many people refused to fly after 9/11 and how many people still worry about it.

As far as I am concerned that is exactly what the murdering bastards wanted to achieve. If I alter my lifestyle and let fear win then the terrorists have won. Which would mean having lived with terrorist bombings for years ( IRA, ETA etc...) I would never step out of my front door. Not likely.

Fear breeds fear and I refuse to play that game.
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Old 04-01-2009, 01:13 PM
 
Location: Houston, TX
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I traveled often on business and remember the pilots walking around the boarding area to see who was getting on. I usually sat in the first couple rows of coach, and was welcomed by several pilots as they toured the cabin before takeoff. I think it was for being on the aisle at 6'1" 250 rather than customer appreciation.
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Old 04-03-2009, 08:03 AM
 
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Default It was slow...

I was out of town on business, arriving one day prior to the attacks; I had to pick up a co-worker the next day at the airport, and on the way to the airport that morning, I heard on the radio that a small plane had crashed into a building. A few minutes later, the DJ said it was a large jet. I had to call my boss in Houston to ask him if he'd heard anything, I thought the radio was playing a joke. Unfortunately, it was true.

My co-worker was on one of those flights that were ordered to land at the nearest airport when all flights were cancelled. Fortunately for him, he was close to the airport already. When he got off, he saw crowds gathered around the TV in the hall, he thought nothing of it until I told him what happened only minutes earlier in NY.

When we arrived to the office to do our work, there were people gathered at all the conference rooms watching TV. Some silently crying, everyone else in disbelief. It just so happened that while we were all watching, the towers began to collapse. Unreal.

Fortunatly I had a vehicle I rented, we both were supposed to take a flight the next day back to Houston, but we decided to drive back to Houston as I had an international flight that weekend. The car rental agency called to ask if I was bringing back the car, I told them no. I drove us to Houston, many people asked to go with us, but we could not take everyone. So we spent the next day driving non stop to Houston. Upon arrival, the rental company wanted to charge me a huge fee, I complained about it, and they kept the original fee. My employer asked me if I was gouged anywhere, I said no, but told them about the car rental, and they contacted the car rental company to complain as well.

Our flights were automatically re-scheduled a week later when flights resumed; there were National Guard troops at the airport with machine guns. The same when we arrived in Europe. Security lines were a mess, they checked everything, but as others mentioned, it was very quiet, no one spoke, no one complained.
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