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CNN LIVE EVENT/SPECIAL

America's New War: Fearful Flyers

Aired September 28, 2001 - 05:06   ET

THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.


THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
LEON HARRIS, CNN ANCHOR: In a show of confidence in the safety of the airlines, President Bush is putting members of his cabinet on commercial flights today. But does the American public believe it's safe to fly again?

CNN's Rusty Dornin takes a look at that question from the San Francisco International Airport.

RUSTY DORNIN, CNN CORRESPONDENT (on camera): The counter here is quiet -- eerily quiet. It's business as usual for right now at San Francisco International Airport, where planes often leave the runways half-empty -- numbers of passengers down about 50 percent.

Now, while travelers were unanimous in applauding President Bush's efforts to bolster security, they were not quite so unanimous when it came to saying whether they think it will restore confidence in flying.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE TRAVELER: I'm a little apprehensive in leaving this morning, but everything looks pretty much as usual, and (UNINTELLIGIBLE) secure.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE TRAVELER: I'm a white-knuckle flyer anyway, and then this just added to, you know, the anxiety.

DORNIN: Knowing that the military could be given approval for a commercial jetliner to be shot down if it was hijacked, and if it was endangering an American city, was a sobering thought to some.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE TRAVELER: I think everybody is, you know, going to be nervous about that, but we can't let this stop our economy and stop business and stop our lives.

DORNIN: So it wouldn't stop you from getting on a flight?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE TRAVELER: I just quit my job because I got tired of all of the traveling and the nightmare and change so I wouldn't have to travel. The only reason I'm traveling now is because I'd like to get home to my father's funeral.

DORNIN: But will increased security measures encourage you to fly more?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE TRAVELER: No, not necessarily. DORNIN: Not good news to airport officials here or anywhere else in the country. San Francisco International is expected to have an $85 million budget shortfall this year as a result of the attacks. Airport officials say it will just take time to restore people's confidence in flying, one flight at a time.

Rusty Dornin, CNN, San Francisco International.

(END VIDEOTAPE)

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