One year later


A look at last September 11 through the eyes of one of the thousands of ground-level airline employees

I've worked for United Airlines for 17 years. I'm one of 400 phone sales agents who work in United's telephone sales and reservations group in Seattle. My job is to help frequent flyers in our Mileage Plus program with their international award trips.

The airline industry can be quite competitive, but in many ways the whole industry feels to me a lot like a family. If your own or another airline suffers what we call an "incident," every worker feels the loss, and messages of condolence and support are exchanged. Of the four airliners hijacked last September, two were United planes and two were operated by one of our major competitors, American Airlines. The whole airline family felt the hurt.

I'm also a volunteer Employee Assistance Program coordinator; one of two EAP volunteers provided by my union to help fellow employees cope with their difficulties, grievances, and anxieties. I share this responsibility with one other employee—she works days, and I work the swing shift.

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Why we are NOT helpless
September 9, 2002

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