9/11 Passenger phone calls

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9/11 Passenger phone calls  (2001) 

Flight 11[edit]

Betty Ong, Cabin attendant[edit]

Betty Ong was Stewardess #3 on Flight 11, and phoned the American Airlines reservations desk to report the hijacking. The 9/11 Commission redacted the name of a stabbing victim to " protect one family member from unnecessary pain". This is the first half of her phonecall, in the latter half she was in a three-way call with Nydia Gonzalez and the Operations Centre


September 11th attacks
Transcripts
Flight 93 Cockpit Transcript
Flight 93 Transcript with air control
FDNY Radio Transcripts
9-1-1 calls from inside the towers
Aftereffects
Search warrant for Atta's rental car
9/11 Commission Report
Office of Special Counsel release
Speaker Transcript

Betty Ong

Number three in the back. Um, the cockpit’s not answering. Somebody’s stabbed in business class and um, I think there’s mace...that we can’t breathe. And I don’t know, I think we’re getting hijacked.

Reservations clerk

What flight are you on?

Betty Ong

Flight 12

Reservations clerk

And what seat are you at?

Reservations clerk

Ma'am, are you there?

Betty Ong

Yes...

Reservations clerk

What, what, what seat are you in?

Reservations clerk #2

Ma'am, what seat are you in?

Betty Ong

We're...we just left Boston, we're up in the air.

Reservations clerk

I know...

Betty Ong

We're supposed to go to L.A. and the cockpit's not answering their phone.

Reservations clerk

(insistent) Okay, but what seat are you sitting in, the number of your seat?

Betty Ong

Okay, I'm in my jumpseat right now, at 3R

911 Dispatcher 8695

Okay

Betty Ong

At 3-R

Reservations clerk #2

Okay

Reservations clerk

Okay, you’re the flight attendant? I’m sorry, did you say you’re the flight attendant?

Betty Ong

...hello?

Reservations clerk #2

Yes, hello.

Reservations clerk

What is your name?

Betty Ong

Hi, you’re going to have to speak up, I can’t hear you.

Reservations clerk

Sure. What is your name?

Betty Ong

Okay, my name is Betty Ong. I’m Number Three on Flight 11.

Reservations clerk

Okay...

Betty Ong

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.

Reservations clerk

Can you describe the person that you said...someone is what in business class?

Betty Ong

Um, I'm...I’m sitting in the back. Somebody’s coming back from business. If you can hold on for one second, they’re coming back.

unidentified passenger[1]

(in background) ...anyone can help her?

unidentified female passenger

(in background) ...who stabbed who, do you know?

unidentified passenger

(in background) I don't know, unintelligible but Karen[2] and  [3] got stabbed.

Betty Ong

Okay, okay, our number 1 is, got stabbed. Our purser[4] is stabbed. Nobody knows who stabbed who, and we can’t even get up to business class right now cause nobody can breathe. Our number 1 is stabbed right now. And who else is . . .

Reservations clerk

Okay, and do we...

Betty Ong

...and our number 5, our first class passengers are, our galley flight attendant and our purser has been stabbed. And we can’t get into the cockpit, the door won’t open. Hello?

Reservations clerk

Yeah, I’m taking it down, all the information. We’re also, you know, of course, recording this. Umm, at this point . . .

Nydia Gonzalez, Operations

This is Operations, what flight number are we talking about?

Reservations clerk

Flight 12

Nydia Gonzalez, Operations

Flight 12, okay...

Betty Ong

We're on Flight 11 right now. This is Flight 11.

Reservations clerk

It’s Flight 11, I’m sorry Nydia.

Betty Ong

Boston to Los Angeles

Reservations clerk

Yes

Betty Ong

Our number 1 has been stabbed and our 5 has been stabbed. (to passengers)Can anybody get up to the cockpit? Can anybody get up to the cockpit? (back to Reservations) We can’t even get into the cockpit. We don’t know who’s up there.

Reservations clerk

Well, if they were shrewd they would keep the door closed and...

Betty Ong

I’m sorry?

Reservations clerk

Would they not maintain unintelligible cockpit?

Betty Ong

I think the guys are up there. They might have gone up, jammed the way up there, or something. Nobody can call the cockpit. We can’t even get inside.

unidentified passenger

(in background) unintelligible sentence

Betty Ong

Is anybody still there?

Reservations clerk

Yes, we're still here

Betty Ong

Okay, I’m staying on the line as well.

Nydia Gonzalez, Operations

Hi, who is calling reservations? Is this one of the flight attendants, or who? Who are you, hun?

Reservations clerk

She gave her name as Betty Ong.

Betty Ong

Yeah, I’m number 3. I’m number 3 on this flight – And we’re the first . .

Nydia Gonzalez, Operations

You’re number 3 on this flight?

Betty Ong

Yes and I have...

Nydia Gonzalez, Operations

And this is Flight 11? From where to where?

Betty Ong

Flight 11.

Nydia Gonzalez, Operations

Have you guys called anyone else?

Betty Ong

No, somebody’s calling medical and we can’t get a doct...

'NOTE

AT THIS POINT THE LINE IS TRANSFERRED, AS NYDIA GONZALEZ PHONES AMERICAN AIRLINES EMERGENCY'

Chris Marquis, Operator

American Airlines emergency line, please state your emergency.

Nydia

Hey, this is Nydia at American Airlines calling. I am monitoring a call in which Flight 11 -- the flight attendant is advising our reps that the pilot, everyone’s been stabbed.

Chris

Flight 11?

Nydia

Yep. They can’t get into the cockpit is what I’m hearing.

Chris

Okay. Who is this I’m talking to?

Nydia

Excuse me. This is Nydia, American Airlines at the Raleigh Reservation Center. I’m the operations specialist on duty.

Chris

And I’m sorry, what was your name again?

Nydia

Nydia

Chris

Nydia. And what’s your last name?

Nydia

Gonzalez -- G-o-n-z-a-l-e-z.

Chris

Raleigh Reservations. Okay, now when you --

Nydia

I’ve got the flight attendant on the line with one of our agents.

Chris

Okay. And she’s calling how?

Nydia

Through reservations. I can go in on the line and ask the flight attendant questions.

Chris

Okay . . I’m assuming they’ve declared an emergency. Let me get ATC (air traffic control) on here. Stand by.

Nydia

(to Betty) Have you guys gotten any contact with anybody? Okay, I’m still on with security, okay, Betty? You’re doing a great job, just stay calm. Okay? We are, absolutely.

Chris

Okay, we’re contacting the flight crew now and we’re . . . we’re also contacting ATC.

Nydia

Okay. It seems like the passengers in coach might not be aware of what’s going right now.

Chris

These two passengers were from first class?

Nydia

Okay, hold on. Hey Betty, do you know any information as far as the gents . . . the men that are in the cockpit with the pilots, were they from first class? They were sitting in 2A and B.

Chris

Okay.

Nydia

(to Betty) They are in the cockpit with the pilots.

Chris

Who’s helping them, is there a doctor on board?

Nydia

(to Betty) Is there a doctor on board, Betty, that’s assisting you guys? You don’t have any doctors on board. Okay. So you’ve gotten all the first class passengers out of first class?

Chris

Have they taken anyone out of first class?

Nydia

Yeah, she’s just saying that they have. They’re in coach. (to Betty) What’s going on, honey? (back to operator) Okay, the aircraft is erratic again. Flying very erratically. She did say that all the first class passengers have been moved back to coach, so the first class cabin is empty. What’s going on on your end?

Chris

We contacted Air Traffic Control, they are going to handle this as a confirmed hijacking. So they’re moving all the traffic out of this aircraft’s way.

Nydia

Okay

Chris

He turned his transponder off, so we don’t have a definitive altitude for him. We’re just going by -- They seem to think that they have him on a primary radar. They seem to think that he is descending.

Nydia

Okay

Chris

Okay, Nydia?

Nydia

Yes dear, I’m here.

Chris

Okay, I have a dispatcher currently taking the current fuel on board.

Nydia

Uh huh

Chris

And we’re going to run some profiles . .

Nydia

Okay

Chris

To see what his endurance is.

Nydia

Okay

Chris

Did she ..

Nydia

She doesn’t have any idea who the other passenger might be in first. Apparently they might have spread something so it’s -- they’re having a hard time breathing or getting in that area. (to Betty) What’s going on, Betty? Betty, talk to me. Betty, are you there? Betty? (to Operator) Okay, so we’ll like . . . we’ll stay open. We, I think we might have lost her.

Chris

Okay.

Annotations[edit]

  1. Given the speaker's familiarity with the flight attendants, it is likely the speaker is also an attendant
  2. Karen Martin, one of the flight attendants
  3. Although the name is removed from the recording, flight attendant Barbara Arestegui and passenger Daniel Lewin were the other two stab victims. Since the speaker is familiar with the first names of both people, it is likely a reference to Barbara.
  4. A purser is typically the most senior flight attendant, responsible for filing the paperwork at the end of the flight


Annotations[edit]