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8:19 a.m. September 11, 2001: Flight 11 Attendant Ong Phones in Hijack Report, Officials Doubt Validity Edit

in a template thumb|100px|right|Betty's Ong's 9/11 call


Flight 11 attendant Betty Ong calls Vanessa Minter, an American Airlines reservations agent at its Southeastern Reservations Office, using a seatback Airfone from the back of the plane. Ong speaks to Minter and another employee, Winston Sadler, for about two minutes.

Then, at 8:21 a.m., supervisor Nydia Gonzalez is patched in to the call as well. Ong says, “The cockpit’s not answering. Somebody’s stabbed in business class and… I think there’s mace… that we can’t breathe. I don’t know, I think we’re getting hijacked.” Asked what flight she is on, she mistakenly answers, “Flight 12,” though a minute later she corrects this, saying, “I’m number three on Flight 11.” She continues,

“And the cockpit is not answering their phone. And there’s somebody stabbed in business class. And there’s… we can’t breathe in business class. Somebody’s got mace or something… I’m sitting in the back. Somebody’s coming back from business. If you can hold on for one second, they’re coming back.”

As this quote shows, other flight attendants relay information from the front of the airplane to Ong sitting in the back, and she periodically waits for updates. She goes on, “I think the guys are up there [in the cockpit]. They might have gone there—jammed the way up there, or something. Nobody can call the cockpit. We can’t even get inside.” Ong’s emergency call will last about 25 minutes, being cut off around 8:44 a.m. [see 1]. However, the recently installed recording system at the American Airlines reservations center contains a default time limit, and consequently only the first four minutes of it will be recorded. Gonzalez later testifies that Ong was “calm, professional and in control” all through the call.[1][2][3][4];[5]

9/11 Commissioner Bob Kerrey, who will hear more recordings than are made public, later says that some officials on the ground greeted Ong’s account skeptically: “They did not believe her. They said, ‘Are you sure?’ They asked her to confirm that it wasn’t air-rage. Our people on the ground were not prepared for a hijacking.” [6]

(8:44 a.m.) September 11, 2001: Flight Attendant Betty Ong’s Call to American Airlines Ends Edit

in a template This article has been assessed as havingUnknown importance.

Good scope?NoN Timeline? +YesY wikified? +YesY red links < 10?NoN all red links fixed?NoN referenced?NoN Illustrated?NoN Googled and added info? NoN Checked 9/11 records archives? NoN Checked Wikinews? NoN Checked Wikisource? NoN For the last 25 minutes, Flight 11 attendant Betty Ong has been speaking by Airfone to three employees at the American Airlines Southeastern Reservations Office in Cary, North Carolina Wikipedia [see 2].

As Flight 11 approaches New York and the World Trade Center, it appears to be quiet on board. Vanessa Minter, one of the employees receiving Ong’s call, later recalls, “You didn’t hear hysteria in the background. You didn’t hear people screaming.” In a composed voice, Ong repeatedly says, “Pray for us. Pray for us.” Minter and Nydia Gonzalez, the reservations office supervisor, assure her they are praying. Seconds later, the line goes dead. [7]

At 8:44 a.m., according to the 9/11 Commission, Gonzalez confirms, “I think we might have lost her.”[8] Amy Sweeney, another Flight 11 attendant, has also made an emergency phone call from the plane. This also ends at 8:44 a.m. [see 3]

  1. "Betty Ong audio recording". 9/11/2001. 
  2. 9/11 COMMISSION (1/27/2004). "9/11 Public Hearing". Retrieved 10/10/10. 
  3. "Stewardess ID'd Hijackers Early, Transcripts Show". NEW YORK OBSERVER. 2/15/2004. Retrieved 10/10/10. 
  4. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 5, Page 453
  5. 9/11 Commission Report,26 July 2004,Page 8, Page 9
  6. "Pre-9/11 Files Show Warnings Were More Dire and Persistent". NEW YORK TIMES. 4/18/2004. Retrieved 10/10/10. 
  7. ABC NEWS. 7/18/2002. PACIFIC NEWS SERVICE. 9/8/2004. 
  8. 9/11 Commission August 2004 Staff report,26 August 2004,Page 14

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