Although the recent crash of an American Airlines flight in New York and the Sept. 11 terrorist attacks have deterred many Americans from flying, many Yale students remain undaunted in their resolve to return home for Thanksgiving break.
Many students said airline travel was not particularly frightening for them. Some even took an optimistic view of the situation.
“I am flying out of La Guardia, but it doesn’t really bother me,” Will Tauxe ’05 said. “I’ll probably be able to stretch out; I’ll probably have a whole row to myself.”
Since the Sept. 11 highjackings, some have altered their travel plans, or at least entertained the idea of doing so.
“I wouldn’t have flown out of La Guardia or Kennedy,” Toby Merrill ’05 said. “I’m flying out of Hartford.”
Though Seth Gandara ’05 is not worried about flying, his parents are nervous.
“My parents wanted me to stay, but I’m flying anyway,” he said.
Josh Bendor ’05, who will also fly out of Hartford, said the danger of flying is relative to other everyday hazards.
“I’m not particularly worried. I think it’s safer than crossing the streets of New Haven,” he said.
But the lack of fear among Yale students does not extend to the rest of the country.
Statistics show that fewer Americans are flying since Sept 11. In a press release, American Airlines reported that its nationwide traffic decreased 27.9 percent from October 2000 to October of this year. In October 2000, nearly 73 million people boarded American Airlines jets. Last month, American had fewer than 67 million passengers
Not only the airline industry has suffered because of the attacks. Michael Booker, director of operations for Connecticut Limo, a shuttle service between several Connecticut cities and nearby airports, said his business has felt the decline in air travel.
“Our ridership is down 40 percent from last year, and that [decrease in business] began after Sept 11,” he said. “It is based solely on the attacks.”