Coast Passengers Prepare For 9/11 Flights - WLOX.com - The News for South Mississippi

09/09/02

Coast Passengers Prepare For 9/11 Flights

Brian Letourno is a Keesler hurricane hunter, and a Delta Airlines pilot.

He's on call this month, waiting to see if Delta's limited schedule around September 11 will have him in the cockpit. If Letourno is asked to fly a year after the terrorist attacks, he'll gladly pack his bags. "The skies are as safe as you could possibly get them at this point," Letourno said.

Dean Parker experienced that safety on a flight from Atlanta to Gulfport. A business call forced Dean Parker to fly home two days earlier than he was scheduled. Originally, Parker was booked on a September 11th flight. "I thought about it," Parker said, referring to the September 11th date. "But you just have to let things happen. You can't change them sometimes."

That's how Dave Grover felt as he stood in a rental car line. Grover flew from Florida to Gulfport for an annual conference. An American flag was in his shirt pocket. "Most people would be afraid to fly I think this time of year," Grover said. "But I think it's our patriotic duty to fly."

Grover was actually in Biloxi a year ago -- attending the same conference -- when terrorists took over the skies. "I'm still pissed off about that, about them blowing up the buildings," he said.

Because of that terrorist act on 9/11, America has changed its airport security procedures. This September 11, fewer planes will be in the skies. Dave Grover will be on one of the flights that does take off. And he's not worried. "Not at all," he said.

Security procedures at Gulfport's airport the next few days won't change very much. Only passengers will be allowed past security checkpoints. If you have a ticket to fly on September 11th, call the airline Tuesday night, and make sure your flight is still taking off.

by Brad Kessie

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