"Ever since 9/11 something needs to happen," said Midland resident Tony Ash. He pondered the meaning of the March 17th deadline over a smoke break at the South Plains Mall.
"It's real tricky, 'cause they say they have all these cells in America, so let's say we do go in, is this going to be an ongoing thing? After we go in, what's going to happen? Are we going to have all types of terrorist attacks here in America afterwards?," asked Ash.
Attacks which may occur during spring break, the very same week of March 17th. "People used to book six to nine months out," said Envoye Travel Agency owner Dilford Carter. He says Americans are also being more selective where they're going. "People are booking more trips closer to home, and some cruise lines have pulled ships out of the far east," he says.
Despite an ever increasing climate of war, travel agents say bookings have not declined. Instead, consumers respond by buying more travel insurance. "If a terrorist act were to occur then it would be covered," said Travel Agent Stephen Maddox. He says sales for vacation insurance against terrorism are up. "It covers trip cancellations and interruptions, and what you would do is re-book," said Maddox.
It's important to note that the insurance does not cover war. So, for example, if your family was in Hawaii or Disneyland and war was declared, and flights were grounded for safety, you would not get your money back.
Overall, the consensus for the March 17th deadline was one of welcomed reception. The thought of war unpleasant, but the time to plan and prepare is preferred to the continued state of uncertainty.