JurisdictionUnited States
Publication year2021

§ 5.02 Safety and Security Post-September 11, 2001

[1] The September 11, 2001, Disaster

On September 11, 2001, four regularly scheduled domestic commercial aircraft were hijacked by terrorists. Two of the aircraft were flown into both towers of the World Trade Center95 in New York City resulting in their collapse. A third hijacked aircraft was flown into the Pentagon in Washington, D.C., and a fourth aircraft crashed into a field near Pittsburgh. The total number of dead exceeded 3,000. The ease with which the hijackers boarded the aircraft and seized control with knives and box cutters highlighted just how vulnerable our airports and commercial aircraft are to terrorist acts.

This horrific disaster generated cancellations of travel plans96 and significant changes in passenger security at airports and on aircraft97 and on other carriers such as cruise ships, railroads and buses98 and at hotels, resorts, theme parks and casinos99 and increased awareness of security considerations by travel sellers,100 increased passenger restrictions,101 and downright denial of danger,102 delays,103 racial profiling and discrimination against Arab Americans and others,104 violation of passenger privacy rights105 and conflicts over privacy issues both domestically106 and with foreign coun- tries.107

[2] Increased Supplier Security Should Expand the Travel Sellers' Duty to Investigate and Warn of Health and Safety Hazards

The September 11, 2001, disaster has had a dramatic impact upon travel. First, suppliers such as airlines and airports,108 cruise ships,109 railroads and bus companies,110 and hotels, resorts, time sharing facilities, casinos and theme parks,111 all of which are obvious targets for terrorist acts,112 are under extraordinary pressure to create and implement effective security measures. Second, tour operators should be particularly sensitive to the safety of selected destinations and the security measures implemented by selected suppliers and not otherwise expose consumers to unnecessary risks.113 Third, travel agents and other travel sellers are fiduciaries of the traveler114 and are relied upon by consumers to render accurate information about destinations, suppliers and tour operators. Travel agents and travel sellers should not only warn travelers of known dangers including dangerous destinations and suppliers with inadequate security or which have become targets for terrorist acts,115 but should investigate the health hazards and safety of destinations and the security measures implemented by suppliers before they recommend them to consumers.116 Certainly, tour operators and travel agents should be familiar with accounts of dangerous locales and health hazards in newspapers, State Department travel warnings,117 travel magazines and travel trade publications and reveal such accounts to consumers and design tours which avoid such dangers.

[3] Behave Yourself

Travelers not only need to be careful and protect themselves but they need to behave in accordance with the laws and customs of the destination country. For example, "In Singapore, which...

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