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Friday, 5 October, 2001, 18:06 GMT 19:06 UK
Has the airline crisis affected you?
Ailing carrier Swissair has run out of cash and suspended all its flights "indefinitely".

In the past two weeks, US and European airlines have announced a total of more than 100,000 job losses, including cuts from British Airways and Virgin.

The losses come in the wake of the terrorist attacks on the US which plunged the global aviation industry into crisis.

Many of their business travellers are not flying and holiday makers are cancelling booking to destinations they feel would be unstable if military action was to take place.

Have you been affected by the chaos? Are you still using airlines or have you decided to stay at home?

This debate is now closed. Read a selection of your comments below.


Your reaction

As an airline pilot and a business man I am amazed at the way the major carriers are handling the current 'crisis'. The major overriding concern of most travellers is still cost. Instead of grounding aircraft and laying off staff the airlines should grab the bull by the horns and halve all airfares. It's better to have a 100% load at half price than incredibly expensive aircraft sitting on airport aprons. I for one would not hesitate to fly to New York or anywhere else should I be asked.
Mark Jennings, UK

It's a tough world and the airlines have been hit with the good old adage of supply and demand. They should not be subsidised any more than farmers should be. When engineering firms go bust no-one wants to bail them out so why should airlines be treated any differently?
Alan C, Poland


Did we really think that paying minimum wage to an aircraft cleaner was a sensible thing to do?

Daren, US/UK
I think the changes in response to the attacks are correct. However, my biggest concern is that the real problem is those who have access to 'sensitive' areas of the airport and can deposit all the terrorist needs to perform their heinous crimes. Did we really think that paying minimum wage to an aircraft cleaner was a sensible thing to do?
Daren, US/UK

At the end of the day right now is probably the safest time to fly in years. If I had the cash I'd be jetting round the world. I refuse to live in fear of what might happen and find the whole business of people buying gas-masks and the like a bit silly.
Cath, UK

There is an upside to all of this. With all the increased security at Heathrow and other airports, there's NO way that the airlines can lose your baggage now! In fact, I was in London on 11th September and flew back with Virgin a week later. It was the best flight I've ever had, no delays, good food and entertainment on the plane PLUS I felt the most secure that I've ever been. NOW is the time to fly, because security is SO tight.
Susan , USA (formerly UK)

I am seriously considering cancelling my holiday because of the recent terrorist attacks. It's all well and good people saying we should not give in to the terrorists but I bet they're not flying anywhere soon!
Cassie, England


With so many lay-offs in the tourism industry it is very hard to find employment again

Jemma A. Hamilton-White, USA
As the tourist capitol of the world, Florida is really suffering economically. I lost my job at the airport and with so many lay-offs in the tourism industry it is very hard to find employment again. Also after waiting 5 years to visit me my niece in England had to cancel her vacation. She was due to arrive yesterday and is heartbroken.
Jemma A. Hamilton-White, USA

I'm due to fly in two weeks time and I'm not at all scared. Of all the thousands of planes that take off daily, only a handful get hijacked - what are the odds of being on one of them? But then, I also play the lottery every week.....
Ben, Japan

I've worked at an online travel agency since June and it hurts to see people going home without a job who have worked here for years. Hopefully people will get the confidence to fly again and to take a break soon before I have to go home without a job.
Michael, USA (Netherlands)

I live in Dulles, Northern Virginia, 5 min from Dulles airport where the plane which smacked the Pentagon took off from. I am scheduled to fly out of there tomorrow and look at it this way. How many fatalities are on the roads every day?
John Monro, Australia


Airlines will just have to re-invent themselves

John, Chicago, USA
I have not been affected by the airline crisis because I stopped making business trips when we learned how to use the internet. E-mail and file copies etc have also replaced business trips. Our appetite for leisure travel is unaffected but airlines in their current form cannot survive on leisure travel alone. By my estimation the airline crisis started a year ago but was greatly accelerated by the terrorist attacks. The airlines have been weakening all year; they only needed a little push to fall. Airlines will just have to re-invent themselves to accommodate to the new technologies and market place.
John, Chicago USA

I still fly. I have to - it's my job. I am much more worried about the way that airlines put seats too close together to adopt the crash position they teach than over a few minutes more delay here and there. OK, if a few rich people want to travel by passenger liner instead of aircraft, so much the better! But I have to get to work and have no choice in the matter.
Bob Harvey, Merchant Navy Officer UK

It's about time the Government scrapped travel tax and visa charges. It's the least that governments throughout the world could do to encourage travelling.
AJ, UK

I work in the airline industry and have talked to many people since 11th September - only one person was actually scared of travelling. For the most part, passengers have been understanding of extra security and longer check-in times. Passenger numbers will steadily increase again, they understand that flying is still the safest form of travel. As far as jobs in the industry are concerned, it saddens me that I have to wait to see if my colleagues still have a job in the coming months while people in other industries are seemingly happy at the demise of the country's flag carrier. BA will survive, her frontline staff are proud and happy to work for the company even under stressful conditions. I am sure other airline staff feel the same.
IM, UK

Having been a Muslim-American citizen for over 25 years, I've felt as if I have lost my citizenship. I don't venture out at night, and make sure I always carry sufficient amount of IDs. It is difficult to get through my daily chores, facing some discrimination from banks and insurance agencies. Focusing at work is almost impossible. For years I took pride in teaching my fellow Americans what my religion really is about but now this task seems much more difficult.
Ibrahim, USA


Swissair was not just another airline for us, it really was a national symbol

Christoph Häemmerli, Switzerland
The Swissair disaster really shocked the people of Switzerland. Swissair was not just another airline for us, it really was a national symbol. I am very angry and disappointed with the former board of directors who managed to waste more than 11bn Swiss Francs. I think they should pay the bill. So many employees will loose their jobs but they have received a golden handshake. It is a national tragedy. This and the horrible events in the USA have really stolen my confidence in air travel.
Christoph Häemmerli, Switzerland

We were delayed at Orlando International airport for about five hours. However, like everybody else I'm sure, I would rather have gone through the security checks than to feel unsafe and unsure about flying. I now have to treat myself to a new pair of tweezers, as my originals were confiscated. Eyebrow maintenance is a small price to pay for airline safety.
Rebecca, UK

I moved to Seattle, USA in March to work for Boeing. After September 11th, Boeing announced that they would be laying of 30,000 people. I am one of those people. I now have to leave the country within 30 days of being laid off due to my Visa restrictions. I am not looking forward to travelling back to the UK, but I have no choice.
Louise, USA


I'm not flying until security is maximised

Istvan Farkas, UK
Like thousands upon thousands of other people, I have decided to take the train instead of a flight I had planned six months ago. The postings on this site are not representative otherwise the airlines wouldn't be closing down one by one. The threat of terrorism will not be diminished by a determination to fly, no matter how bold and courageous it may sound. I'm not flying until security is maximised, period.
Istvan Farkas, UK

The biggest impact for me is that the cutbacks in schedules by all the major carriers means that there is much less flexibility around what time of day to travel when planning business trips. That said, I have not cancelled any of my recent trips since flying is just as safe now as it was a month ago.
John, UK


The airlines sacked as many employees as possible using the attacks as an excuse

Bart Leigh, UK
The latest slump proves that people don't really need to fly that badly and that we won't really go back to the Dark Ages if we fly a little less. The airlines, however, were quick to sack as many employees as possible using the terrorist attacks as an excuse - something many of them were planning anyhow. Who wants to bet that all these Swiss Airs and Sabenas will come back under new names once their current CEOs have landed with their golden parachutes?
Bart Leigh, UK

I work in the airline industry and after everything that happened in the US passengers still haven't lost confidence in flying. I think if we let the terrorists know that we are scared to fly then we will be playing into their hands. Although passenger numbers may have dropped, those that are still flying feel safer than ever, and I have to agree that it is probably the safest time to travel, with all the increased security measures being taken.
R Patrick, UK

The only way this tragedy is going to personally affect me is through my taxes, and I'm more than happy to pay them to help out the citizens who need it. That said, I am not happy to be bailing out airlines who are trying to use this tragedy as a lever to vault themselves out of financial difficulties they were experiencing before the attacks occurred.
Kathy, Minneapolis, USA


I have had to stay at home in fear of my life from racist thugs

Arif Uz Zaman, UK
I have had to stay at home in fear of my life from racist thugs because I am a Muslim. This is not fair for me as I have done nothing and the Government does nothing to protect us. Our mosque recently got robbed and the police came and said that they had better things to do than to deal with that. Is this fair?
Arif Uz Zaman, UK

My fear is not that my plane would be hijacked so much as that the images of what happened on the doomed flights would haunt and torment me. It's one thing to have these images in your mind while in the "safety" of your home, but another to have them rise up while in a plane.
Marianne, USA

My wife and two daughters will now not be travelling from London to New York this month. Our fear is the plane full of fuel taking off from America.
Darren Webb, Manhattan, USA


Surely prices should be falling?

Stephen Crehan, England
I have to fly to Toronto for a wedding this month. I checked out prices and thought they would be falling with passenger numbers declining so much. Prices were as high as ever on 1st October. I reserved the cheapest BA flight for £398. Thinking prices may fall this week I checked again on 3rd October and found the prices had risen to £474. What on earth is going on? Surely prices should be falling in the short term rather than rising.
Stephen Crehan, England

As a ex-pat living in Japan I cannot help feeling that my next flight home will not be as comfortable as in the past. I kept hoping nothing else would happen but after just reading of a Russian jet going down in the Black Sea I think I'll find it hard to muster the courage to bring my wife and young son back home for the holidays.
Jeff, Japan

Speaking as a regular flyer of Sabena and one of the frequent euro-travellers I feel the current crisis has just accelerated what has always been a shoddy service. Flight delays, baggage handling delays, strikes and poor customer services have always marked Sabena's operations Now they have declared bankruptcy I must say I'm not shocked. I have two weekends to fly with them and then I'll move to BA who treat you politely and operate secure flights but just need to consider that people fly from other places in the UK than Manchester and London.
Mark, Belgium


Everything had to go in hold after being X-rayed

F, Switzerland (ex-UK)
I flew back to the UK a few weeks ago for the weekend. Queues for check-in were long, slow, but meticulous. The usual dimensions for hand luggage had been scrapped in that apart from a small bag, everything had to go in hold after being X-rayed. During the flight, an announcement was made, apologising to those in business class for the necessity to use plastic cutlery, instead of regular cutlery. I noticed this in Heathrow too - plastic cutlery. Flights were on time or early, as there was presumably less congestion in the air. Will I be put-off from flying? No. It's still probably the safest way to travel. Life is too short to be paranoid, else you'll end up never taking a bus again either!
F, Switzerland (ex-UK)

Speaking as someone travelling to the US in the next week, I certainly have no objection to checking in three or four hours prior to departure, or having my bags or person properly searched, if this results in a safe journey. I'm sure that most of us feel the same way.
Allen, England

Allen - you are not concerned about checking in three to four hours before departure? You must never have travelled with two small children.
Carl, UK

My flight and holiday plans to Australia have not been affected by the terrorist attacks except from an earlier check in time. In light of what has happened I feel government should abolish airport tax for the time being to help the tourism and airline industry.
Scottish Lass, UK

To Scottish Lass in UK: would you mind explaining how abolishing airport tax is going to help the airline industry? If that happens, charges to carriers will be jacked up to make up the difference - either increasing ticket prices, which won't help the tourist industry, or increasing costs for the airline companies, putting them in a worse situation than they already are!
Matt, London, England


I lost my brother in the tragedy but I will still fly

Chris, UK
I lost my brother in the tragedy but I will still fly. We cannot allow terrorism to dominate the free world.
Chris, UK

I am due to fly out on Friday 12th October firstly to Singapore and then onto Australia. I have been looking forward to this holiday for too long and there is nothing going to spoil it. I think this whole situation is an excuse for airlines to cut back. Ryan Air and Easy Jet are raking it in because they cut the flight prices. British Airways is only using it as an excuse as they were on their way out anyway!
H, Scotland

We flew with Sabena from Seville to Belgium, then on to London on Monday. When we landed in Belgium, Sabena were cancelling lots of flights. Our immediate thought was of a second terrorist campaign, but this time over Europe.
Malcolm Robson, England

Yes - it has affected me in a way. I'm due to fly a non-transatlantic flight in a week's time and we just don't have enough information on what new rules have been imposed because it seems that every airline has a different level of security. But there is no way that I am cancelling my holiday because of this. We cannot and should not let these terrorists succeed in altering how the western world operates.
Wayne, England


Airports should learn from Northern Ireland where security is traditionally tight

Caroline, Scotland
I am heartened by most of the comments published here. Having grown up in Belfast I firmly believe that once terrorists or criminals can dictate your behaviour, they've won. I haven't hesitated to fly during the past month. Maybe all airports should learn from Northern Ireland airports where security is traditionally tight, but with the minimum of inconvenience to the passenger. Call me cynical, but I've always believed that the idiotic check-in times called for by airlines, was more to do with selling food and entertainment at extortionate prices to captive and bored passengers.
Caroline, Scotland

My husband had planned a surprise 30th birthday treat for me to New York in November. We feel very strongly against the attacks on the US and feel that continuing with the trip rather than cancelling will show our support. We refuse to give in to the fear that had been created in these attacks and still hope to enjoy the trip as much as possible.
Karen W, UK

My fiancée is taking two flights today from San Jose and I'm flying tomorrow. I'm sure I can speak for both of us when I say we're nervous about the coming weeks and months, but we must not allow the terrorists the gratification of changing our lives more than they already have.
Doug, USA

I was supposed to be interviewed for a flight attendant position with United Airlines for their non-stop polar service from Chicago to New Delhi. The interview was supposed to be on Sept 17 in New York City, but now all that's been scrapped.
Amit Tonse, USA

Less flying means less pollution, less noise, and less wasteful fuel consumption. Why is the air industry exempt from the huge taxes other sectors have to pay for fuel?
John Bowen, Sussex, England


Miami airport car park was almost empty

Phill Dyble, UK
I recently flew over to Miami with BA. I felt a little apprehensive. There were only minor changes in security checks at Heathrow. I actually forgot about a corkscrew I had in one of my carry-on bags, this bag was not however searched. The biggest change that I had noticed was upon my arrival in Miami. The airport car park there was almost empty. Normally I can only park on the 6th Floor. I will be flying back to Miami in ten days time. Even if the war kicks-off, I am determined not to have my life affected by such barbarians.
Phill Dyble, UK

I'm flying back home to Johannesburg later this month. It's a strange feeling to feel safer going that way than coming to the UK!
Leesie, UK/South Africa

I find it strange that Lessie should find it safer going back to South Africa than coming to Britain ! This is a world problem with terrorism, not just affecting the USA and Britain. I feel perfectly safe.
Matt, England


I flatly refuse to sit at home cowering under the bed

Alice, UK
Yes, I have been affected. I'm due to fly to Madrid on Friday morning, with my boyfriend, as a reward for him finishing his doctoral thesis. We knew the flight was early, but with this extra security, we have to get up at three am to get there on time. But will this cause me not to go? No. Would I prefer that security was less tight? No. I flatly refuse to sit at home cowering under the bed. The attack on the 11th was an attack on our way of life, and I am not prepared to give in that easily.
Alice, UK

My wife and I have planned a holiday to Vietnam, Hong Kong and Bali in November. We have cancelled the Bali portion of our holiday and will instead travel to Phuket, Thailand. Although Bali is a Hindu island in the Indonesian Muslim Archipelago, we were advised not to travel to Bali as there are apparently pockets of Muslim fundamentalists in there. The unfortunate losers will be those people who depend on tourism for their livelihood.
Rakesh Anand, USA

My daughter had been offered a job with BA, subject to a medical the week before the disaster. The job offer has now been withdrawn. This would have been her dream job after graduating from university.
Jennifer, UK

As an American living in the UK, I look forward to flying to my hometown in Ohio for the Thanksgiving holiday. My chosen carrier that I have been using on this route has discontinued their direct flight to Cleveland. Therefore, my choice has become limited. I do hope that this is temporary as I wouldn't want to be faced with all of these restrictions on my freedom to fly in the future. I still feel that flying is the safest and most enjoyable way of travel.
Terri Meehan, England


My husband does not feel New York will ever feel the same. I hope and pray that it will.

Tracy Rivers, UK
My husband and I had arranged a trip to New York for February next year to celebrate a special birthday, I still feel that we should go but my husband is more cautious - not because he thinks there will be any more attacks but because he does not feel New York will ever feel the same. I hope and pray that it will.
Tracy Rivers, UK

I am leaving from Boston/Logan Airport this Friday for a vacation in Cyprus that was planned prior to the atrocities of September 11. I will not assist this band of murderers in their psychological goals by cancelling my plans.
David Scott, United States

I am alarmed and saddened at the panic this incident has caused across the western world. Anyone who responds to the tragedy by altering their behaviour is insulting those who were murdered in the massacre. Starve the terrorists from the oxygen of publicity someone once said - wise words and ones we ignore in peril.
Terrance Chapman, Kuwait

Do something for the environment. Travel by train!
Andy, Switzerland

Flew recently to Hanover, Germany. People were moaning that they had to wait so long as a result of heightened security...unbelievable mentality. It was also disturbing to see every Arab looking individual getting sidelined as a potential terrorist...ignorance is prevalent.
Garry Brown, Scotland, UK


Fear is the opium of terrorists - it's essential we maintain normality.

Alex, UK
My family and I flew from Gatwick a week ago, security was meticulous, delay minimal. Fear is the opium of terrorists - it's essential we maintain normality.
Alex, UK

I am a frequent flyer with a number of national and international airlines. Following the attacks and once the FAA opened up the skies I began travelling. Sure there were initial fears, but I can honestly say that it feels safer, every flight I took was on time, people were friendlier than ever. Last week I flew over 10,000 miles. This is not the time to stop flying and stop doing business, quite the opposite.
Mark, New York, USA

I flew to Ireland on 12th September and there were no problems apart from extra security. My wife is flying to Spain today and I'm of to Ireland again in a few weeks. The only affect on me has been cheaper flights and restrictions on people bringing on hand luggage, which I think is a positive advantage. I feel extremely sorry for Jay in the USA but I'm afraid security at Logan and Newark (which I use regularly) has always been spasmodic at best. I hope that the people of the USA can soon get used to increased security and try to resume their lives accordingly.
Andy, UK


We must together change the world for the better by removing this fear from society

Simon Ward, England
I regularly travel particularly between UK and Geneva and have not changed my arrangements at all. My opinion is that with 100s of thousands of planes flying every day, you stand as much chance being in a fatal car crash as an incident on an aircraft. I say to everyone, why change your opinion on the safest form of transport when security levels have been increased to make it even safer than it already is?

I flew with Air France on the exact same Concorde that crashed last year about 6 weeks prior to the tragedy, and would willingly board the plane again and hope to see it flying scheduled services soon. The best form of response to these catastrophic events is for the public and authorities to help each other find those responsible and continue with daily life in the process. We must together change the world for the better by removing this fear from society and share the wealth from rich to poor societies for the sake of our survival.
Simon Ward, England

Myself and three friends were on the tarmac at 9 am waiting to take off at JFK Airport in New York as the attacks on the World Trade Centre took place. We were stuck in New York, missing our flights to Las Vegas and later onto Miami. We hired a car and completed the last leg of our trip under our own steam. However disruption to our travel plans meant little as we could so easily have been in the air heading towards some other target that morning.
Chris Hustings, UK

It took me over 7 hours to get onto a plane last weekend. I was leaving Las Vegas for Oakland, it took 3 hours to get into the terminal the line was long and in 90 degree heat it was no fun for anyone. Complete chaos.

I think if this is going to be the norm in Vegas they may as well close some of the casinos right now. I fully understand all of the issues but this is going to kill the gambling industry and the job losses will be huge.
Rob Jones, USA


Why is a decrease in flying seen as a bad thing?

Matt, US
Why is a decrease in flying seen as a bad thing? We can see in the sharp decline of business travel since September 11 that most such travel was unnecessary to begin with. Of course, these days any argument can be batted away by saying "That's giving victory to the terrorists!" But look at the facts: less flying means less pollution, less noise, less wasteful consumption of fuel, less airport congestion for those who really do need to fly.
Matt, US

We cannot leave terrorists influence or even decide about our travelling and lives. Nevertheless, difficulties when travelling are reality and I am reverting to safer airlines and destinations.
Fulvio Sansone, Belgium

Air travel continues to be the safest form of transport despite what happened on September 11th. I flew to Copenhagen a couple of weeks ago and wasn't worried at all. If we stop flying, the terrorists are effectively achieving one of the things they set out to do, and we shouldn't let that happen.
Jim Pannell, UK

As a Brit living in the USA, I'm not letting the terrorists interfere with our plans: that means they have won. We flew back from Africa through London last week, and are travelling to London tomorrow. I do however stick to BA, when flying internationally.
Liz Salmon, USA


Tragic as the events in the USA were, I believe people who have stopped flying as a result are over reacting.

Paul, England
Tragic as the events in the USA were, I believe people who have stopped flying as a result are over reacting. The impact of this on me has been, thanks to RyanAir's special offers to keep the airline flying, my family (5 of us) will get a holiday in Europe this year which we would not otherwise have been able to afford.
Paul, England

I shall be going to the States, it's my holiday. Unless the airline cancels I'm going.
J Bassett, USA Florida

I am still confident that air travel is safe and will not let the recent events put me off travelling. I am flying to Canada and the US for Christmas and New Year. Fingers crossed that American Airlines will still be trading then.
Jonathan, England

I'm taking my family to Thailand in a month's time with only a little trepidation. Let's face it, the chances of September 11 happening again so soon are slim. If not then it just goes to show that airlines really are putting profit before safety.

What I can't understand is that every airline is suddenly going introspective and cutting back. Wouldn't it make more sense to create some loss-leader discounts to encourage people back in the air? If we stop flying or doing anything we normally do then the terrorists have won. Can't the American public see that? If you're gonna go, you're gonna go - staying at home is not the answer!
Tim Pilcher, UK


My flight plans have definitely been affected. I've been buying more plane tickets than I have all year because they are so cheap!

Jordan Medeiros, USA
My flight plans have definitely been affected. I've been buying more plane tickets than I have all year because they are so cheap! The lines at the airport are much longer. But not because of tightened security, because so many people were fired. I waited in lines for 1.5 hours at O'hare airport not because of intense security check points, but because the checkout counters were under staffed. I don't see how airlines can justify such massive layoffs when the airports when checkout lines are 1.5 hours long. If I do reduce my travel, it will be because of the airlines poor service rather than a fear of terrorists.
Jordan Medeiros, USA

My friend from California is coming to stay with me from Saturday 6th October. We discussed the situation and we both refuse to have terrorists rule our lives with fear. To let them do that is to let them win.

Secondly though, I feel that our own public could destroy the aviation industry with pathetic crusades against aircraft noise. These people choose to live near airports - did they think that planes would fly with "mufflers" on the engines? It just shows how ridiculous the European Court of Human Rights is when they don't throw the case straight out of court!
Michael, England

I am flying with Unijet in December and have made no plans to change my arrangements. However the airline did change their plans on the 8th of September, by adding in an extra stop, informing me 3 weeks later. If I wanted to join at the subsequent airport preventing the 2-hour delay I would be charged! Airlines have a lot to answer for. My only hope is that the business brains behind Swiss Air join Unijet in January.
Philip Levy, UK

I was initially affected as I was meant to be flying out to see my girlfriend on the 14th Sept. I've rescheduled for the end of October and I won't be changing my mind unless further terrorist action happens.
Steve, England


Air travel is no more dangerous now than it was a month ago.

John, UK
I travel a lot as part of my job, mainly to Europe and North America. The "crisis" has not caused me or any of my colleagues to alter our travel plans. Why would we choose not to fly? Air travel is no more dangerous now than it was a month ago.

The reduction in schedules by BA, Virgin and other carriers is frustrating, because it limits flexibility when planning trips, but having said that I support the airlines in their decision to make cutbacks - they need to stay in business after all.
John, UK

Yes I will be cautious in flying again especially in the US where the security in still very slack compared to the rest of Europe.
Ranjit Dutta, UK

Travelling via London Stansted the day after the attack, I wasn't sure if I'd still be able to fly. My first flight was cancelled which almost caused me to miss my next (non-connecting) one. I'd left four hours between but because of delays at security I made it only just. Still, the main thing was that we got there safely.
Yvonne Duffy, UK

Just got back to Toronto September 30 from Glasgow with Air Canada, apart from a 30-minute wait to get through customs at the Canadian end of the journey we experienced no problems at all. D. Head.
Douglas Head, Canada.


If we stop travelling now the terrorists will have won

Christine, UK
I've just come back from a long weekend overseas. This was my first time flying since September 11, and in the back of my head I still thought of those events. But if we stop travelling now the terrorists will have won! Do we really want to live in a world where we're afraid of doing what we love just because some lowlifes with no respect for freedom and democracy decide that their way is the only right way? I refuse to do that! We should always exercise caution when we travel, and maybe more so now than before. But let's not let the terrorists win. If we change our lifestyles because of them, then we'll be letting all the thousands of people who died on September 11 down. Let's not let their murderers win this war!
Christine, UK

I welcome the 'chaos': the airspace over my home has been a lot quieter recently. Long may it continue.
P, UK

I fly on business on a weekly basis. Given that we are likely to be faced with tougher market conditions, any reduction in my flights will be as a result of a downturn in business and not as a result of an increased terrorist threat. I have strong confidence in the security measures on European carriers and airports and feel that we need to be seen to carry on with business as usual wherever possible.
Peter Bellamy, UK


It looks like the fall guy has been fingered out

Abby Taylor, England
I can't believe the only neutral and terrorist-free airline has folded. I have always flown on Swissair for their service. After September 11 I had made up my mind that it was the only airline I would fly wherever I could because of safety concerns. It looks like the fall guy has been fingered out.
Abby Taylor, England

I was going to fly home to New Zealand from London with United Airlines via Canada and America in November. However due to all of the turmoil at the moment I have changed my plans to fly directly home with Singapore Airlines in October. I don't want the terrorists to have affected my original plans, but I feel that the world is too unsettled at the moment to feel safe travelling.
Debbie, UK

My wife was too frightened to travel to Florida in mid-October so I had to cancel my holiday two weeks ago. My big fear is that we will never win against terrorism as any nut with a grudge to bear will always threaten people's lives and cause some form of disruption.
David Cairns, Scotland

Yes I have been affected. I have a job with global responsibilities. I normally travel on a plane twice a week to visit one of my companies' offices or a customer's site. I have not been on a plane since September 11 and I travelled to Holland this week by car and ferry. Security on planes and at airports needs to reach new levels of effectiveness and innovation. Then we may all return to something most of us took completely for granted.
David Cooke, UK

The airline crisis has affected me in that it has cheered me to see BA and some other carriers in trouble. While I'm not pleased to see BA staff laid off, god knows they've suffered enough under the yoke of BA's management philosophy, nor am I glad of the circumstances that brought these troubles to a head, I am truly happy at any discomfort felt at the top of the company hierarchy. I fly over eighty times a year on business and have always found BA's corporate smugness off-putting. They are driving away the economy class traveller in favour of business and first class customers. It was bound to backfire and I'm glad it has.
Andrew Cover, UK


Retreating indoors will add to the impact of their vile actions by creating a recession

Alison, UK
My husband and I travelled to Canada for a holiday on September 19 and back on September 25. There were delays but apart from that no real problem. I noticed that any Arab-looking person waiting to check in caused alarm. Although the events of September 11 had a very depressing effect on us, we decided not to cancel our trip as this would be giving into the terrorists. Retreating indoors will add to the impact of their vile actions by creating a recession.
Alison, UK

Yes, I have been affected by the chaos. My flight to Bangkok was cancelled by Finnair after the attack on the US. They were able to get me on one of their other flights fine though. I am still happy to fly but hope conditions don't get worse and that safety will soon be completely restored.
Jamie Trelogan, Scotland

I went to Gatwick last Monday, fully expecting heavy delays, especially as we were catching a charter flight. We did experience some delays but these were due to a technical fault. Our carriers BWA, handled us admirably and we were soon on our way. On the way home we saw no delays at all. The only inconvenience was that we were only able to take a small bag on for hand baggage, but other than that it seemed to be business As usual.
Julie, UK

I will be flying from London to Scotland next month, my parents are currently in Greece, and friends in the US are still intending to take their holiday in Ireland. Since I don't usually travel to places that are affected by any military action, why should I be afraid? Security levels at airports are probably higher now than they ever have been, and with more checks on passengers before boarding we should be safer on the flights too.
Keith Legg, UK

As an organiser of overseas business delegations, we have been hit hard with many companies pulling out of proposed trips. One MD told us he did not care where his staff were planning on travelling and ordered them to remain in the UK. This is from the MD of a big multi-national company so what hope have us mere mortals got of trying maintain normality?
Elaine, Dorset UK


It will be a long time before I fly again

Jay, USA
My husband was a regular traveller before the attacks. His company stopped all work trips for about 10 days afterwards. Now employees are beginning to travel by air again. The airport we regularly use is Boston Logan airport. As one of the airports used in the attacks Logan is having ongoing problems with security. Travellers are walking through unmanned security checkpoints. One guard left his post to "stretch his legs". I read in the news this morning that he has been fired, but how many more are there like him? Logan is a disaster as far as security goes. The acting Governor has put the police in charge of the airport now, and I hope that move works. It will be a long time before I fly again and I hope it is a long time before my husband has to fly again. We are living on a knife-edge here in Massachusetts. Our lives are changed completely.
Jay, USA

Far from it. As I see it there are cheap flights and better security. What better time to get away.
Bryn Mill, UK

I am one of those people that will never let disasters affect my travel plans. To do so in this case is to admit that the terrorists have won. That said, it does make me a lot more nervous about travelling, but then I am still more likely to be killed crossing the road than flying. I would also rethink my holiday destinations in light of the attacks and believe that we all have a role to support British industries to keep the economy going. Fly to Scotland and spend the money there. That way our tourism and our airlines benefit.
Rebecca Mitchell, UK

I flew with Ryanair on Sunday, a bit more security, but no problems at all.
Alan, Sweden

See also:

03 Oct 01 | Business
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