ome of you who have read my earlier
columns might recall that I am something of a nervous flyer. I can
tell you that Sept. 11 has added mightily to my jittery nature
My mother, however, is a different story.
Long before Sept. 11, she booked an early October flight to
Indianapolis, where a sister of mine lives.
Despite all the security concerns, the long lines, the potential
for more crisis situations and her own somewhat frail condition,
she would not entertain the idea of canceling or postponing the
So off she went, in the company of another family member.
She said later that they were impressed by the security at both
the Newark and Indianapolis airports.
They were repeatedly asked for identification -- at the check-in
desk, at the security checkpoint and again at the departure
Everyone's carry-on bags, she said, were twice put through the
x-ray machine, and security workers stopped the machine to look
closely at each and every bag.
She liked seeing a uniformed presence at the airports, saying
she found it very comforting and reassuring.
The flight back to Newark was entirely pleasant, she said, and
the plane landed 20 minutes ahead of schedule.
My mother is one of many thousands who have had agreeable
experiences with airlines and aircraft since Sept. 11.
We mostly hear the bad news stories, such as the one about an
unstable passenger who tried to push his way into the cockpit of an
American Airlines plane and was tackled by other passengers, and
about the unfortunate situations that have erupted when people
refuse to allow passengers who appear to be of Arab descent to
remain on their aircraft.
We need to start hearing about some good, uneventful flights,
like my Mom's.
I told her I thought she was brave to go forward with her trip,
and that I was summoning up the courage to fly in the
I'm looking forward to visiting Europe again, but I haven't set
the date -- yet.
Donna Tunney is executive editor of Travel Weekly, Travel
Weekly Crossroads and Travel Management Daily.