Viewpoints About Air Travel 

Air travelers from four commercial airline flights were among the victims in the September 11, 2001 tragedies against the World Trade Center and the Pentagon.  These tragic events have made us all wonder, Is Air Travel Safe?  We recently asked a pilot with a major airline, who wanted to remain anonymous, a series of questions.  We asked the same questions of a frequent traveler, as well as,  the travelers responses are denoted in purple.  

The first question we asked our  pilot was related to the issue of pilots bearing arms.  We asked, "Should pilots have guns in the cock pits?"  

The pilot answer was an emphatic "No."  

The passenger answered, "Whatever they need to do to keep me safe is alright with me. 

We probed further, "Why?" 

Pilot's  response was, "It would be a shame to have pilots in the air with the potential of killing each other.  If you get somebody in a cockpit that is a little unbalanced, the potential to explode is too great with a gun."

The traveler responded, "If the pilot could kill a terrorist or some other hijacker that is alright with me!"

We asked, "You mean there are some unbalanced pilots?"

Pilot responded, "No, never!  I am just considering all the possibilities." 

We moved on to another question,  "Should planes have reinforced doors?

Pilot responded, "Yes, that is a good idea.  It would make it more difficult for planes to be taken over by hijackers and terrorists."

The traveler responded, "Planes should have reinforced everything.  I think the plane should be made out of whatever they made those black boxes out of... they seem to survive.  Hey and back to the other question, it would be okay to give the flight attendant or two a gun."  

What do you think about federal marshals on the flights?

Pilot's  response, "That's a good idea.  They are  trained to use weaponry correctly.  I have recently had some on  my routes and everyone seemed a little calmer and more reassured knowing they were on board.  I seems to be a  good idea. 

The traveler responded, "The more the better.  It would be nice to sit them by all suspicious looking people."

Will air travel be safe again?

Pilot's  response, "What is safe?  It will be different."

The traveler responded, "I hope so, but right now, I don't know." 

Are you afraid to fly?

Pilot's response, "No."

Traveler's response, "Yes, I don't plan to any time soon."