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Airline Passengers: Our Unsung Security Heroes

passenger airline security heroes

This “heroism” idea occurred to me after reading yet another tale of a passenger creating a disturbance aboard a plane.

In this case, a United Airlines flight was heading from San Francisco to Washington Monday – until the captain detoured to Omaha after a woman allegedly screaming about terrorists pushed her way to the front of the plane.

She was quickly subdued by two passengers.

Everything changed for travelers after 9/11 – passivity, it seems, is no longer an option for many who bravely act as a sort of “last line of defense” for their aircraft’s security – and their own – without being asked, without any drama, and without any expectation of thanks.

We saw it with the alleged Christmas Day bombing attempt when a handful of passengers literally helped to save the day – we saw it on this week’s United flight – and I’m sure we’ll see it again and again.

In the meantime, to all those selfless passengers – thank you.

3 Responses to “Airline Passengers: Our Unsung Security Heroes”

  1. William Beem says:

    Before 9/11, we were always told to offer no resistance to hijackers. That didn’t work out so well.

  2. Rick Seaney says:


    But for the most part – for decades in fact – the strategy of non-resistance did work. Then everything changed.


  3. Mark Helmich says:


    I wouldn’t allege that the strategy of non-resistance worked very well. Many lives were lost between 1970 and September 11, 2001 due to hijackings, not to mention a lot of time, money, and property. It could be argued that the losses may have been greater without the policy of non-resistance, but that would be difficult to substantiate.


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