Suzanne worked in the travel industry in Los Angeles on September 9-11-01. Here are her memories of that day and how our travel lives have been affected since.
How did you hear about the events of 9/11. Where were you?
I got up and went to work as usual that day. I did not watch TV since I was getting up early. I took the train as usual but no one mentioned anything on the ride to the office, except once we got to Union Station, they made an announcement that we should check to make sure the office was open. I took the metro to 7th street and did not see anything odd except maybe less people.
Once at the office our boss called in and told us to leave immediately. My husband had left several message on my voice mail and it was only then that I found out exactly what happened. I did not have a ride back to Santa Clarita so I stayed in the office to take care of a few things, then left as my train back home was scheduled around 10:45AM. The platform was filled with people, everyone nervous about going home. We had a couple days off from work but had to go back that weekend to take care of our passengers stranded overseas by protecting them on future flights since so many of our flights were canceled after the events of 9-11.
How has 9/11 changed the way we travel?
Restrictions were vigorously enforced (carry on lighters, liquids, etc.). There were now incredibly long lines at the TSA and passengers were now required to carry their luggage to security points BESIDES initially checking them in at the counter. This especially applied to passengers travelling over seas.
How has your personal travel been affected by the attacks?
Travel is more restricted. Simple things I enjoyed bringing back from France with me, were not possible anymore. I.e, food such as pates, French butter, liquor (other than what could be purchased in duty-free stores after going through security), cosmetics, etc. Now it is prudent to dress simpler so as to make it easier to go thought the metal detectors and of course things as simple as a wine opener were strictly forbidden to take on board in our carry-on luggage.
. Is there anything else you’d like to add about travel or 9/11?
Unfortunately, we are now living in a world where these restrictions on traveling are necessary, but we have to accept them and co-operate with the restrictions while maintaining a normalcy as best we can. If not, then the terrorists have won and we cannot let that happen.
Thanks to Suzanne for her recounting of her personal experiences from that tragic day. Safe travels for us all.