Mills students from other parts of the state, country and world have had a few changes in travel plans, given the events of September 11 and recent bombings.
Some students have cancelled their flights altogether, but for varying reasons. Some fear the airplane flight, others simply do not want suffer the experience of being in an airport with their “tedious” new security procedures. The airplane flight was a big concern for Bianca Hovda, a junior from San Diego. She had plans to go home for to visit family. Hovda’s flight was scheduled to leave the Friday after the bombings, but she cancelled her ticket. “My parents wouldn’t let me go,” says Hovda, “they were too worried.” This worry about the airplane flight is common, as is the worry about the worry about the airplane.
Alice Kaminski, a junior from Madison, Wisconsin had previously scheduled a flight for this weekend. After the bombings and subsequent increase in security, she cancelled her ticket and got a refund. “I just didn’t think it would be a good idea;” said Kaminski, ” I didn’t want to go stand around an airport all day just to get on a plane and worry for my life.”
Megan Delaney, a junior on the Tennis team, said she is worried about the tennis team trips. Delaney described herself as one who cannot stand being late. In the past, she says, members of the team were not quite as swift as she. While not blaming anyone in particular, Megan complains that for some Tennis trips, a few team members have procrastinated and not gotten to the airport early enough. In the past, one tennis player even brought along a hammer, causing a slight delay going through security.
“With heightened security, trips will probably take a long time anyway,” says Delaney, “I just hope we can all get it together and get to the airport on time.”
A first hand witness to the changes in air travel, including heightened security in airports, is Travis Walls, the boyfriend of junior Kara Blaney. Walls attends the University of Maine and usually flies out of Boston, Massachusetts. However, his flight from Boston was cancelled because his airline company cancelled all flights out of Boston and sent everyone a refund. The airport experience was just as difficult, says Walls, as some have rumored. He said the airline line was longer than usual and the security line was literally out the door, with an estimated 300 in line. A different reaction to the recent tragedy and change in airline procedure is to take advantage of reduced flight rates. Casey “CJ” Daly from Plymouth, Massachusetts, has family flying into the Bay Area soon.
“Tickets are wicked cheap now.” said Daly, ” Usually, the best deal you can get is $300 roundtrip. Now, flights are only about $150.”
Walls was on his own for finding a ticket to replace his cancelled flight, but was able to take advantage of the “steals and deals” offered by airlines. His replacement ticket was significantly less expensive.
The lines were long, but “most of the people in line were in good spirits.” says Walls, “There was a lady playing the piano right next to the line. In the line was a soldier and people were telling him, ‘God bless you.'”
The idea of dealing with any travel conditions at all seems all too stressful for some. Not everyone has to fly on an plane to see loved ones, the Mills students with permanent homes locally seem to be very glad to have home nearby.
Of traveling home, junior Rhea Thiele says, “I hop on my bike and ride to South Berkley, it’s very convenient.”
Senior Sara Shreve, asks sarcastically “Do I look nervous? No!” Shreve plans on going to Albeque, New Mexico this weekend. “I don’t know why everyone’s still so upset, I think the danger now is pretty low.” Says Shreve. She pauses a moment and adds, “No, I don’t think the danger’s pretty low, I think it’s completely gone.”