Airport Travel Steady on 9/11 - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

9/11/02

Airport Travel Steady on 9/11

For the most part, it was business as usual at Lubbock International Airport. People came in and out all day for business and pleasure flights, and none of the people NewsChannel 11 talked to seemed concerned about flying on the 11th day of September.

It was the sound of planes in the sky that had many people looking up and feeling safe on Wednesday. The flag was at half staff atop the Lubbock International Airport, but inside, it appeared to be business as usual.

"It's a little slower day than normal, as far as passenger traffic goes, and the airlines anticipated that there were fewer passengers booking than you would usually see," says Mark Earle, LIA Aviation Director.

But the passengers that were flying weren't intimidated by the date.

"Today's gotta be the safest day to fly in the world. I mean, there's nobody in the airports, and they have the full on security in Dallas. They had me down to my skivvies to get here. There's no problem flying today," said Bill Jacobson, who flew from Dallas to Lubbock.

With the numerous security changes throughout the year, travelers feel the airlines are doing what they can.

"I'm pretty comfortable with the transportation system. I think what happened last year was a once in a century occurrence, and I felt very comfortable. It was very easy to get in and out of Intercontinental Airport in Houston, and of course, you can see it's pretty empty here, so I didn't have any problems with it," said Bill Kuehl, who flew in from Houston.

While it looked empty at LIA, traffic was actually about normal. There are four airlines here, Southwest, American Eagle, Delta Connection, and Continental Express. All together they have 32 flights into Lubbock a day, and 30 flights out of Lubbock a day, and on Wednesday, only one of those flights was canceled for low booking numbers.

"American Airlines cancelled one flight. It was due to low bookings similar to the Friday after Thanksgiving. For instance, you'll see flights cancelled that day simply because there are not enough people flying, so they'll take the few people flying and combine them on other flights," said Mark Earle.

There were also no security concerns or scares at LIA, and they expect it to stay that way, since the airport is already operating at the highest possible level of security.

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