I flew over the weekend and could definitely tell that flight attendants were more “alert” than usual. Pilots on three of my four flights also made announcements reminding people to stay seated unless they absolutely have to be up, with much more emphasis than usual. One even said that “today it’s mandatory that you keep your seatbelts fastened at all times, and please don’t stand in the aisle.” Ironically enough on that same flight the first officer was in the galley for at least 15 minutes chatting with the flight attendant, all while the beverage cart was blocking the aisle.
Thank God nothing happened this weekend and that everything went smoothly, aside from a handful of harmless diversions or reports of suspicious activity.
That being said, my favorite story has to be the Frontier flight from Denver to Detroit. The plane was apparently escorted in by two F16s, and a SWAT team raided the plane upon landing to take the three suspicious passengers off the plane in handcuffs, all while having the other passengers keep their hands on the seats in front of them.
What did they do, you ask? Well, I’m not exactly sure, since the reporting on this story is all over the place. Some say that two of the passengers were making out in the lavatory. If that’s the case I have a few questions:
a) How the hell do two people fit in an airplane lavatory?
b) How does the third person fit into this?
c) How beyond stupid do you have to be to make out in a lavatory on 9/11?
Others are reporting one of the passengers was sick, and the other two were just trying to help her out. I certainly hope that’s the case.
While I’m all for erring on the side of caution, especially on a day like yesterday, I’ve gotta wonder whether all this was really necessary, especially since I’m sure it wasn’t cheap.
The thing is, lavatories have privacy locks, not security locks. That means anyone can open a lavatory from the outside. So it’s not like the passengers could actually have trapped themselves inside the lavatory and the flight attendants had no way of stopping them. I have to wonder how much of a communication failure there must have been for something like this to happen.
You’d think that someone from the party could have let the flight attendant know their friend was sick, and the flight attendant could have “supervised” it all. Conversely, you would think the flight attendant would take it upon themselves to oversee the situation and ask what’s going on.
Ultimately I’m not judging here either way, but rather I’m just curious about the real story. There’s a difference between erring on the side of caution and costing the government a LOT of money (fighter jets, SWAT team, etc.) and causing three people a LOT of embarrassment (being dragged off a plane in handcuffs just because someone may have been a little sick).