As the news of Osama bin Laden’s death traveled the world Sunday night, people gathered together to both celebrate the end of his reign of al-Qaeda and reflect on what the decade since September 11, 2001 has brought.
The same types of questions were cropping up among Facebook and Twitter users as the news began to sink in. Questions that showed the impact those terrorist attacks, al-Qaeda and bin Laden have had on travelers.
“Will we be able to take liquids on planes now,” John from WI
“Will there be any retaliation?” Christy from TN
“Will security on travel be increased?” Becky from NY
These concerns do more than put into words what is currently on the minds of travelers, they also vividly show the difference in the mind of the average American traveler between today and a decade ago. Those changes immediately following the attacks have continued through the years to affect travelers lives.
After the attacks on September 11, air travel was immediately impacted, both in terms of safety measures taken by consumers and in regards to the fear that travelers felt. Those first days after the attacks there was no air travel. Once it had resumed, many feared traveling by air due to the nature of the attacks and chose to utilize other methods of travel. Ticket sales dropped dramatically. Many airlines suffered financial loss. Some never were able to recover. Some are still struggling.
Even today, almost 10 years later, air travel is much different than it was before 9/11. As evidenced in John’s concern, many items have been banned from planes. Security measures have been increased. Only passengers are allowed past security and they must go through a full security check to do so. Throughout the years there were varied security alerts that would change from time to time. Travelers had to always be cautious as to what level the alert was at.
Air travel was not the only means of transportation impacted by September 11. The War on Terror has driven up the price of oil and left gas prices fluctuating dramatically throughout the years. At well over $4 a gallon right now, we are seeing our highest prices to date. This makes a difference on all methods of travel as the cost for even bus tickets will increase to cover the cost of fuel.
Over the last decade, travelers have seen the ups and downs that followed the tragedy of September 11. So it is natural as news of bin Laden’s death spreads for those same travelers to feel excited, yet concerned. People gathered at the White House, Times Square and Ground Zero to celebrate. Crowds joined together to sing “The Star Spangled Banner”. Even local venues organized parties and celebrations the day afterwards to commemorate the momentous occasion. Yet amidst it all, travelers wonder the same thing. Will this bring better or worse news?
As of now there are no new airport security warnings in relation to the death of Osama bin Laden. However, the same precautions that have been in effect for nearly a decade will remain so.