eugdog
Posts: 426
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2001 11:32 pm

UAL And AA Reservation Sys Help Terrorists?

Thu Nov 01, 2001 7:34 pm

This topic may have been raised before so if so I apolagize.

I could not help thinking that all the aircraft used for the suicide attack on 11 September were virtually empty - 44 passengers on a 757 etc. This cannot be a coincidence! The hijackers delibrately chose airlines with few passengers because they did not have guns or other really lethal weapons.

How did they know which flights to choose?

Both United and American allow you to pick your seats from a seat map when you book on the internet. I think Delta have the same system. From this you can tell if the flights were full or not. Also you pick your seats BEFORE you make payment so you can pick the most empty flight. I have used this to pick lightly loaded flights myself!

Much as I find this system helpful maybe it should be abolished! Make it one more hurdle the terrorist need to overcome!

I was just on packed NWA DC-10 flight - It is hard to imagine so this plane being taken over unless the hijackers had guns.




 
Guest

RE: UAL And AA Reservation Sys Help Terrorists?

Thu Nov 01, 2001 10:22 pm

There are 2 reasons why this didn't help much:

1) Many seats are not taken b/c they are assigned by travel agents or the people are getting seats at the airport.

2) They did this on a Tuesday, which is the least traveled day of the week, in a month which doesn't have many bus. travelers, and on flights heavily populated by them.
 
eugdog
Posts: 426
Joined: Mon Apr 02, 2001 11:32 pm

RE: UAL And AA Reservation Sys Help Terrorists?

Fri Nov 02, 2001 12:18 am

I have seen many flights on the UAL website in which almost every seat is taken. I was looking for a flight to SFO from LHR and had to turn down the most convieniant flights because it would have meant a seat in the middle of a five seat group.

I am pretty sure that UAL assign seats as soon as they are booked.

Perhaps there are few empty seats delibrately set aside and are blacked out on the web site.

 
transswede
Posts: 969
Joined: Fri Sep 21, 2001 9:30 am

RE: UAL And AA Reservation Sys Help Terrorists?

Fri Nov 02, 2001 12:26 am

According to some sources, they had flown those flights earlier on "practice runs", and knew that there wouldn't be too many people on board who could stop them.
 
nwa747-400
Posts: 1325
Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2000 2:54 am

RE: UAL And AA Reservation Sys Help Terrorists?

Fri Nov 02, 2001 2:08 am

How was your trip with Northwest? Please post a trip report if you get time.
 
Guest

RE: UAL And AA Reservation Sys Help Terrorists?

Fri Nov 02, 2001 8:27 am

In order to view seat maps on aa.com, you have use your frequent flier number with a registered pin number to view the seat map. Now this wouldn't have really helped to prevent what happened, but now I'm sure every airline has scanned their frequent flier database from possible terrorists and aliases.
 
cedarjet
Posts: 8103
Joined: Mon May 24, 1999 1:12 am

RE: UAL And AA Reservation Sys Help Terrorists?

Fri Nov 02, 2001 8:34 am

I think it more likely that the lack of passengers on those flights was proof that the industry's woes predated the attacks, rather than the hijackers having access to res info. The flights all had to leave within minutes of each other, I don't think they had much choice which aircraft to take.

Doesn't matter if there's 44 or 220 people on a 757. If a hijacker kills a flight attendant and a pax (which they did, proving they weren't bluffing) and has a knife at the throat of another flight attendant, who (other than MAYBE a marshall) is going to approach him, try and disarm him? Not me (of course, now knowing the hijackers' intentions, I and all of you would do anything to stop the hijackers but that's a different conversation).
fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz

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