The crew of Frontier Flight 623 called in F-16 escorts, fearing a terrorist plot was under way on Sept. 11. The reality was something much more mundane, the FBI says.
US AIr Force/File
In the moments before the F-16 fighter jets were summoned, the crew of Frontier Airlines Flight 623 feared that a passenger's frequent and unusually long trips to the aircraft lavatory on Sept. 11 were a sign that a potential terrorist plot was under way.
Later, when the plane had landed in Detroit, reports suggested that the peculiar bathroom breaks had been a reckless tryst between two passengers determined to “make out.”
In the cold light of Sept. 12, however, the Federal Bureau of Investigation revealed the rather mundane truth: It was simply a single man having an off-color day.
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The story of Flight 623 from Denver to Detroit – as well as another Sunday flight in which airline crew requested fighter-jet escorts – was a different sort of reminder of 9/11 on its 10-year anniversary. As New York and Washington held memorial services, the two airline incidents marked a return, for one day at least, to the weeks when the fear of fresh terrorist attacks changed how Americans saw the everyday world around them.