9/11 Passenger phone calls

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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
Flight 93 Cockpit Transcript
Flight 93 Transcript with air control
FDNY Radio Transcripts
9-1-1 calls from inside the towers
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...
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.


  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