Sept. 11 story reminds writer good people still exist

This is a true story by flight attendant Jerry Brown, on Delta Flight 15, on September 11, 2001.

On the Morning of Tuesday, September 11, we were about five hours outside of Frankfort, Germany, flying over the north Atlantic. All of a sudden, I was asked to go to the cockpit immediately to see the captain. As soon as I got there I noticed that the crew had that “all business” look on their faces and the captain handed me a printed message. It was from Delta’s office in Atlanta and simply read, “All airways over the continental United States are closed to commercial air traffic, land ASAP at the nearest airport. Advise your destination.” We knew it was a serious situation and we needed to find an airport quickly. The captain determined that the nearest airport was 400 miles behind us, in Gander, New Foundland.

While the flight crew prepared the airplane for landing, a new message arrived form Atlanta telling us about some terrorist activity in the New York area. A few minutes later, word came in about the hijackings. It was decided to lie to the passengers while we were still in the air. We told them the plane had a simple instrument problem and we needed to land at the nearest airport to get it checked out. We promised to give them new information when landing in Gander. There was a lot of grumbling by the passengers but that was nothing new. To view more, please log in or subscribe to the digital edition.