Airport Travel

The one-year anniversary of the attacks did not cause local fliers to stay away. In fact, it appears to have done just the opposite.

"Actually we've got more people flying today than usual," said airport authority CEO Tom Williams.

With a flight capacity of 25, Williams said each of the day's flights were nearly full. On average, he said there were about 20 passengers on each flight.

Although it was business as usual in Meridian, passengers say it was quite a different story in some other cities.

"In Boston this morning there were no lines at all. It looked like there were only 30 people in the airport. That's very unusual," said air traveler, Cleanthy Powell.

"When I left Corpus Christi, it was just me and two other people on the plane, which was an eerie feeling," said Mike Matthews.

Despite the eerie feeling experienced by some in other areas, that did not stop fliers locally.

"I'm completely comfortable flying. I feel like security has improved this past year," said Linda Humston of Nashville.

"Everybody was looking out and being very cautious about everything. So, this was probably the safest day to fly," said Kalyn Kovacik of Ohio.

"The security requirements we've had in place for some time were not escalated for this day," said Williams. "I think more has changed in our minds than anything. Unfortunately, it made a black mark against air travel and that's not fair. Air travel really didn't have anything to do with what happened."

Due to slow advance bookings, Meridian's airport, like others nationwide, reduced its number of flights for Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday of this week. Instead of the usual 14 incoming and outgoing flights, there are 10 scheduled for each of the three days. However, on Friday, Meridian Regional Airport will join airports throughout the nation in resuming its normal schedule.

Meanwhile, because of the attacks, Williams said at least one other change will be made at here. Within the next two months, airline officials will no longer check passengers luggage. Federal employees will take over the task.


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