10-18-2001, 06:35 PM
Join Date: Sep 2001
| | Passengers turning into air police
| Combat-ready passengers |
Perhaps nowhere has America changed more since Sept. 11 than in the cabins of commercial jets. For many passengers, fear of flying has a new rival: fear of each other.
Many say they feel as though the aviation security system failed in allowing hijackers to commandeer the four flights. Now, if they want to keep their flight safe, some passengers figure they'll need to do it themselves
| Flight attendants on edge |
That makes flight attendants such as Kim McAlister feel better. During her 11 years as a flight attendant for United Airlines, McAlister says she has always looked for potential helpers, particularly those seated in exit rows, in case of in-flight emergencies. "Now, I look at everyone as a whole, at how people will interact," she says. "We're in a silver tube very high up and unfortunately, we've seen the damage it can do."
She and her flight attendant colleagues are in an especially difficult position. In pre-flight briefings for crewmembers, "some of the pilots come right out and say, 'if someone goes for the cockpit, you put your body in the way, and if it's a choice between the flight and you, protect the plane,' " says Jeff Zack, a spokesman for the Association of Flight Attendants.