5/20/2011

9/11 Flight Numbers Briefly Reused

Those of you that can remember numbers 911 (September 11, 2001) will also be familiar with the numbers 93 and 175. Of course flight 175 was used by terrorists to plunge Flight 175 into the south tower of the World Trade Center. Flight 93 was when passengers first really started the fight against terrorists by trying to take back control of the jet airliner. Flight 93 plunged into a field in Pennsylvania. Those numbers are etched upon the minds of Americans forever. As a result, those two numbers, along with Flight 11 and Flight 77 have been forever forbidden to be used in designating flights in the United States. That has been the policy for almost ten years until yesterday (May 18, 2011).

Wednesday, due to a computer glitch, United Airlines had the numbers 93 and 175 assigned to two flights. It was obviously an error. United apologized profusely for the mistake. United said the numbers will remain off the books. They also admitted they should have caught the mistake earlier to prevent this from happening. I absolutely agree. The mistake was actually caught before any complaints came into the headquarters of United Airlines. That's a good thing. People are still sensitive about 911 and with good reason. It makes me recall the number of errors that happened that day. I think it was Flight 93 that was warned about terrorists breaking into the cockpit. The pilots, apparently, tried to get verification. I am not sure if they got verification before the terrorists broke into the cockpit or not. But, there were many other things that happened that day that were not due to computer error. This was a day like no other in the continental 48 states. It was a day that "will live in infamy."


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