Travel Terror Gauge!
August 10, 2006 3:51 AM   Subscribe

I have a 16 year old daughter traveling from Newark Airport to London Gatwick on Sunday ...

-- her first trip alone -- to stay with family friends in Brighton for two weeks. Given this morning's news, should I let her go? How freaked out am I?
posted by thinkpiece to Travel & Transportation around London, England (17 answers total)
Link to "this morning's news."

Now thinking that it may be unhealthy to read Ask MetaFilter before anything else in the AM.
posted by k8t at 3:54 AM on August 10, 2006

And, yes let her go.
posted by k8t at 3:54 AM on August 10, 2006

k8t, I'm sorry about the unsettling wake-up, and thank you for linking for me ... I'm quite distracted by this!
posted by thinkpiece at 4:00 AM on August 10, 2006

If she's going too Gatwick, then there shouldn't be any problems, assuming flights are back to normal (or at least not badly delayed) by Sunday. The big queues and suchlike at the moment are all people waiting to depart and having to check their hand luggage and go through extra security - I don't think there are any problems with arrivals (except of course that many incoming flights have been cancelled - I would guess this is only a temporary thing though).

In two weeks this will have all died down and LGW will no doubt be back to normal. Hope your daughter can make it over, Brighton is lovely this time of year :)
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:01 AM on August 10, 2006

Link to BBC report on the "travel chaos" (we love that phrase) at Gatwick, something that's not really mentioned in the US reports.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:03 AM on August 10, 2006

Oh, I got confused - it's Heathrow that has cancelled incoming flights, not Gatwick. Sorry.
posted by EndsOfInvention at 4:05 AM on August 10, 2006

There will be a knock-on effect at Gatwick (and all other UK airports) but it should be cleared by Sunday (and yes, she should go and have lots of fun!)
posted by ceri richard at 4:08 AM on August 10, 2006

Agree with Ceri - everything will have calmed down by Sunday - the only slight risk is that they might keep the draconian hand luggage restrictions in place - although to be frank I doubt that too. Let her go - she'll have a great time (weather might even be nice!)
posted by prentiz at 4:16 AM on August 10, 2006

I imagine all should be well again by Sunday - the Gatwick Airport website is here, keep checking it and I imagine they'll update as things get back to normal.

And yes, she'll have a lovely time in Brighton.
posted by altolinguistic at 4:52 AM on August 10, 2006

She'll be fine. I could quote all sorts of statistics and the fact that this plot was foiled rather than successful, but very simply, flying is very safe. I fly transatlantic several times per year as part of my occupation, and it's really no different than driving. I'd rather have a foiled terrorist plot than potential drunk driver affecting my transportation. And your daughter will have a great time - I only wish I could have done something like that at her age.
posted by The Michael The at 5:01 AM on August 10, 2006

If she still wants to go, then absolutely let her. With everyone on edge over this incident and the airports using elevated threat level procedures, air travel in the coming days is going to be safer than ever. I'm also flying out of Newark on Sunday and feel fine about it.

If you or she decides not to travel, though, tell the airline why when you cancel. I had a friend cancel a flight after a terrorism scare and the airline waived the standard cancellation and flight change fees.
posted by chickletworks at 5:06 AM on August 10, 2006

Any suggestions for an outbound international flight this evening from JFK?
posted by thebabelfish at 5:38 AM on August 10, 2006

We let our daughter go to Spain shortly after the bombing in Madrid. She was fine. You will die a thousand deaths before she gets home, but she will, no doubt, be fine. This is just the world we live in, now. There will always be a bombing or a foiled threat somewhere.

Are you more afraid of the chaos or of the risk?
posted by clarkstonian at 5:40 AM on August 10, 2006

I would assume that just after a thwarted plot would be the safest time to fly.

Hold on to the silly "out of sight, out of mind" idea of safety when you're not messing with someone else's life.
posted by dagnyscott at 6:20 AM on August 10, 2006

Now that I've come to my (post 3rd cup of coffee) senses, of course she'll go. Clarkstonian, I think I was just dying the first of the thousand deaths (for this particular parenting challenge anyway). It was anxiety about both the risk and the chaos and also, as ever with teenagers, my having to release (imaginary) control to the fates. So there it is.

I myself arrived home from a few weeks in Sicily just last night (a great driving tour) and I haven't shaken my jet-lagged airport-hassle hangover yet.

Thank you all!
posted by thinkpiece at 7:13 AM on August 10, 2006

thinkpiece, I'm just south west of Heathrow but Brighton's only an hour or so's drive away in an emergency - email's in my profile in the extremely unlikely event that you or she need it :-)
posted by ceri richard at 10:23 AM on August 10, 2006

She is more likely to be injured in a car wreck on the way to the airport than she is to be injured in a terrorist attack on the aircraft. The point of terrorism is to terrorize. Mission Accomplished. =(
posted by ilsa at 2:34 PM on August 10, 2006

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