It now seems as if the reason 47 people were forced to sit overnight in a cramped regional jet parked at the Rochester, Minn., airport was simply that nobody cared enough to get them off. The airport now says Continental, which sold tickets for the ExpressJet flight, could have brought the jet to a gate and offloaded the passengers, Joe Sharkey of the New York Times reports. ExpressJet says it’s sorry, which it ought to be. Enough already. Time to pass the Air Passenger Bill of Rights.
On Sept. 18, 2001, exactly one week after the 9/11 terror attacks, I flew from Connecticut to Albuquerque with my mother for a week-long tour of the Southwest.
I could not count how many people expressed amazement or horror that we took that trip, which we had been planning for months. (You’re brave. You’re crazy. It’s dangerous.) And yet logic suggested to us that we were not brave or crazy and it was not particularly dangerous because the terrorists who launched the attack were dead and air security was suddenly everyone’s top priority.
That came to mind today when I read an entry in the New York Times’ Freakonomics blog about a story that suggests business is just fine for sightseeing helicopters after a fatal collision with an airplane over the Hudson River. European tourists, especially, seem undaunted. Are these tourists applying the same sort of logic my mother and I did? Or are they some combination of brave, crazy and uninformed about the news?