Flying on 09/11/11

I took my last four vacation days during the Labor Day week and used the time to go to my home town and visit my family.  I originally booked the flight to leave late the afternoon on Friday, the 2nd and return the following Saturday.  But, those plans had to change when my car ended up in the shop and had to be picked up late on Friday.  So, I just shifted the whole vacation one day – leave here on Saturday AM and return the following Sunday.  I paid no mind to the dates – just the days.  It wasn’t until I got up to Mom’s and she said “do you realize you are flying on 9/11?” and I said, “oh, yeah, I guess I am…….and it is the 10th anniversary, too!”

I wasn’t all that concerned about any potential dangers……although, it was a rather eerie thought!  I was concerned, though, about additional security, hassles, long lines, and delays!  I figured it was likely going to be a frustrating trip!

Quite the contrary, it turns out!

I got to Buffalo airport about an hour and a half early, was able to walk right up to a kiosk without having to wait, sailed right through security (they did look through my purse, but it only took an extra minute or two – no big deal), and found a nearly empty terminal!  The plane was only a little over 1/2 full and left and arrived on time!  So far, so good!

Baltimore/Washington was a little more populated, but not as crowded as usual.  I had an hour layover, so I wasn’t too surprised to find only a handful of people at the gate.  That didn’t change much, though!  The plane coming in was about 10 minutes late, but they said they would still be able to get us out on time.  There did end up being a delay, but it had nothing to do with security — the walk-way thingy that connects the gate to the plane for boarding wasn’t working right, so they couldn’t let the passengers off.  They determined about 20 minutes into trying to fix it that the plane should go ahead and change gates.  So, we all walked from B14 to B8.  Once we got to B8 and got all lined up, they announced that they got the thingy fixed, after all, so we needed to return to B14!!!   So, we were late leaving.  That plane had even fewer people on it than the one from Buffalo — it was just barely 1/2 full!

When we landed in Raleigh, I noticed that there were no planes at any of the gates as we taxied to our destination gate.  Where we pulled up to the gate, there was one other plane there.  As I got off the plane and walked through the terminal, it almost looked like it was closed — gate after gate with no one around and only the passengers getting off the two planes that just arrived walking through the terminal.  AND – the flight attendant announced that there were NO through passengers on to the next destination and there were only a handful seated at the gate waiting to board.

So – no added security hassles and no crowds and it seems that there weren’t many who thought flying on the 10th anniversary of 9/11 was a good idea!  Other than all the TV monitors in all three airports televising the ceremonies and replays of 9/11 (which was a little unsettling to watch, seeing as I was in airports, going to be flying, and that my layover was in such close proximity to Washington DC), it was actually one of the more pleasant experiences from a security and crowd standpoint of any flight I’ve ever been on……..

Go figure!

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