On a US Airways flight from Newark to Charlotte, N.C., two days after the carrier's Jan. 15 splashdown in the Hudson River, I immediately noticed that the plane was full, and everyone around me paid really close attention to the pre-takeoff instructions.
When the flight attendant indicated that a life raft was under each seat, lots of people reached down to feel it. When she indicated where the exit rows were, heads swiveled, and when she demonstrated the oxygen mask maneuver, we glanced up at the console above each seat where the masks were stored.
Passengers even pulled the aircraft card from the seat pockets to read it. I looked at the diagram of the inflatable slides, wondering if my boots would poke a hole in the rubber as I slid down.
We visibly relaxed once takeoff was accomplished and we were at a cruising altitude.
The atmosphere changed visibly when the food for purchase ran out midway down the aisle, but that's another story.
-- Gay Nagle Myers