'Gone are the days when you could ask to sit behind the pilot'

Traveller's tales - Beyond 9/11: Ruby Wax, Alastair Stewart , Jon Snow and others remember 9/11

Kate Humble - TV Presenter

"I was doing a photo-shoot in the Bombay Brasserie in London.

"One of the guys who owned the restaurant came running in and said, "Quick come into the office and look at the television, something's happened in New York." So we all ran in and saw the footage of the first tower and the first plane flying in. Everyone started phoning everyone they knew, because all of them had people in New York as it was Fashion Week.

The consensus was that we should be stiff-upper-lip and carry on with the shoot. So then we went in to this weird parallel world of the photo-shoot knowing that something absolutely world-changing was happening.

Since then I've done a lot of travel in the Middle East. And what staggers me is that people in the Middle East have been more open-minded than perhaps we have been.

The total lack of hostility, and absence of judgement towards me, seemed to be in contrast to the way we look at the region. If I went to Yemen or Afghanistan or Saudi with a US visa in my passport, no one would question it. When I went to America and they looked through my passport and saw all those stamps, I was stopped and questioned about what I did. In America, I was seen as a potential threat, because I dared to visit those other countries.

Alastair Stewart - ITN Newscaster

I was having lunch with a former colleague of mine. We walked back to the LWT Tower on London's South Bank and into the lobby where the pictures were flowing freely and we just stood there utterly aghast. The travel dimension to it, which is chilling for me, was that it had not been long before, that my wife and I and two of our children had stood together as tourists on top of one of the Twin Towers. I can remember the view and looking down as a tourist over New York. I have been back to the city a couple of times since. The first time I went back afterwards, I made a point of going to Ground Zero and just felt completely emotionally drained. Because it wasn't the wreckage that people had seen in the video footage. It was a building site that had been cleared, where several thousand people lost their lives.

William Dalrymple - Travel writer and historian

I was in London at home when it happened, but was due that very weekend to fly out to Istanbul for a family wedding. A cousin of mine was getting married out there to a Phanariot Greek girl in Istanbul at the place which was in many ways the traditional fault line of Christianity and Islam: at the Orthodox Patriarchate church in Istanbul in the Phanar area. Ever since the Turkish conquest of Constantinople it has been one of the main bones of contention between Christianity and Islam.

The wedding was cancelled, because none of the guests wanted to travel there. But we had bought non-refundable tickets, so we jumped on the plane anyway. And I've never had Istanbul to myself – there wasn't a tourist in the city. Since then, I've had the same problems with everyone else in terms of travel – pyjama parties at airports, everyone having to walk around in their socks. I've spent a lot of time since in countries like Pakistan, Afghanistan and Syria, which always leads to problems entering New York, with my Iranian visas and Syrian visas.

Tony Wheeler - Co-founder of Lonely Planet

It was late night in Australia when the World Trade Centre towers were hit. I stayed up most of the night watching the story unroll on TV. Bizarrely, 24 hours later, I was doing the opening address at the International Map Trade Association's convention in Melbourne's World Trade Centre. So I talked about maps, seeing a map of New York change in front of my eyes and then pondering if the attack had been inspired by other maps. "Maps showing the proliferation of refugee camps on the borders of Afghanistan", or "maps detailing the settlements which seem designed to underline who holds the absolute power on the West Bank". Ten years later I'd still stand by that instant summation of what the attacks were about.

The following year I was back in New York and went to look at the site of the Twin Towers, but my post-9/11 travels also took me back to Afghanistan for the first time since the 1970s and to Saudi Arabia because I wanted to see where so many of the hijackers had come from.

Frank Gardner - BBC Security Correspondent

I was in a Palestinian taxi on my way from the BBC's Jerusalem bureau to Tel Aviv airport when the driver suddenly turned up the radio. New York had been attacked and he was as shocked as I was. He stepped on the gas and I made it to the airport just in time to catch one of the last flights back to Cairo that night before they closed Israeli airspace. The long-term effects of 9/11 on travel have of course been huge and mostly permanent. Even George Clooney had to take off his shoes for X-ray in the film Up In The Air and gone are the cosy days when you could wander up to the cockpit and ask to sit behind the pilot. Mostly, I have found airport security measures to be sensible, but on a family holiday to India this year I was given the third degree for having a wheelchair which Delhi airport security seemed irrationally determined to separate me from!

Lyn Hughes - Editor-in-Chief of Wanderlust

It seemed incredibly unreal. The feeling of sheer shock was huge, leaving us speechless. About a month later we polled the readers to see how they had been affected. Although we consider "Wanderlusters" a resilient lot, more than a quarter of them said they were reconsidering their travel plans. Many readers said they would avoid US and Middle Eastern airlines.

Since then, we seem to have adjusted to a new reality; of tighter security, of rules and restrictions. Most travellers appear to be fairly sanguine about it all. You have to be.

Jon Snow - Journalist

When the news broke I was in a café in London's Charlotte Street with some BT executives. I got on my bike and hared back to Channel 4 News, going live by the time the second plane hit. I was later stranded at Stansted trying unsuccessfully to penetrate closed US air space to cover the story. Although it has recently improved somewhat, the aggressive security and immigration checks have bordered on infringing anyone's human rights. The maddest and most illogical being the absurd "liquids" check which is consistent in its inconsistent application around the world.

Ruby Wax - Comedienne

I was in a car going to a TV studio to do a show. I heard it over the radio with my driver, whose aunt cleaned in the Twin Towers. So then it was a double whammy. I went into the TV studio and we could see it on the screens.

Afterwards, fear came in. The ante has been upped. Now there's just horror in the air every time you go to an airport. I think the legacy in terms of travel is something very unconscious. Now it's like a dictatorship in the airport. I'm always terrified; I sit on planes with my head between my knees. I'm always waiting for an explosion.

sportSo, how closely were you paying attention during 2014?
Arts and Entertainment
Dennis speaks to his French teacher
tvThe Boy in the Dress, TV review
One father who couldn't get One Direction tickets for his daughters phoned in a fake bomb threat and served eight months in a federal prison
people... (and one very unlucky giraffe)
Arts and Entertainment
Joel Edgerton, John Turturro and Christian Bale in Exodus: Gods and Kings
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Arts and Entertainment
Brendan O'Carroll as Agnes Brown in the 2014 Mrs Brown's Boys Christmas special
tvCould Mrs Brown's Boys have taken lead for second year?
Arts and Entertainment
The Plaza Theatre in Atlanta, Georgia was one of the 300 US cinemas screening
filmTim Walker settles down to watch the controversial gross-out satire
Alexis Sanchez missed a penalty before scoring the opening goal with a header at the back post
footballArsenal vs QPR match report
Members and supporters of the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender (LGBT) community walk with a rainbow flag during a rally in July
ebookHow to enjoy the perfect short break in 20 great cities
Arts and Entertainment
Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz in Tim Burton's Big Eyes
film reviewThis is Tim Burton’s most intimate and subtle film for a decade
Arts and Entertainment
Jack O'Connell stars as Louis Zamperini in Angelina Jolie's Unbroken
film review... even if Jack O'Connell is excellent
Arts and Entertainment
Madonna is not in Twitter's good books after describing her album leak as 'artistic rape and terrorism'
music14 more 'Rebel Heart' tracks leaked including Pharrell Williams collaboration
Rooney celebrates with striker-partner Radamel Falcao after the pair combine to put United ahead
footballManchester United vs Newcastle match report
Independent Travel Videos
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Amsterdam
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in Giverny
Independent Travel Videos
Simon Calder in St John's
Independent Travel Videos
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Travel

    Recruitment Genius: Personal Trainer / PT - OTE £30,000 Uncapped

    £25000 - £30000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The fastest growing fitness cha...

    Investigo: Finance Analyst

    £240 - £275 per day: Investigo: Support the global business through in-depth a...

    Ashdown Group: Data Manager - £Market Rate

    Negotiable: Ashdown Group: Data Manager - MySQL, Shell Scripts, Java, VB Scrip...

    Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - Bedfordshire/Cambs border - £32k

    £27000 - £32000 per annum: Ashdown Group: Application Support Analyst - near S...

    Day In a Page

    A Christmas without hope: Fears grow in Gaza that the conflict with Israel will soon reignite

    Christmas without hope

    Gaza fears grow that conflict with Israel will soon reignite
    After 150 years, you can finally visit the grisliest museum in the country

    The 'Black Museum'

    After 150 years, you can finally visit Britain's grisliest museum
    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    No ho-ho-hos with Nick Frost's badass Santa

    Doctor Who Christmas Special TV review
    Chilly Christmas: Swimmers take festive dip for charity

    Chilly Christmas

    Swimmers dive into freezing British waters for charity
    Veterans' hostel 'overwhelmed by kindness' for festive dinner

    Homeless Veterans appeal

    In 2010, Sgt Gary Jamieson stepped on an IED in Afghanistan and lost his legs and an arm. He reveals what, and who, helped him to make a remarkable recovery
    Isis in Iraq: Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment by militants

    'Jilan killed herself in the bathroom. She cut her wrists and hanged herself'

    Yazidi girls killing themselves to escape rape and imprisonment
    Ed Balls interview: 'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'

    Ed Balls interview

    'If I think about the deficit when I'm playing the piano, it all goes wrong'
    He's behind you, dude!

    US stars in UK panto

    From David Hasselhoff to Jerry Hall
    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz: What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?

    Grace Dent's Christmas Quiz

    What are you – a festive curmudgeon or top of the tree?
    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Nasa planning to build cloud cities in airships above Venus

    Planet’s surface is inhospitable to humans but 30 miles above it is almost perfect
    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history - clocks, rifles, frogmen’s uniforms and colonial helmets

    Clocks, rifles, swords, frogmen’s uniforms

    Surrounded by high-rise flats is a little house filled with Lebanon’s history
    Return to Gaza: Four months on, the wounds left by Israel's bombardment have not yet healed

    Four months after the bombardment, Gaza’s wounds are yet to heal

    Kim Sengupta is reunited with a man whose plight mirrors the suffering of the Palestinian people
    Gastric surgery: Is it really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Is gastric surgery really the answer to the UK's obesity epidemic?

    Critics argue that it’s crazy to operate on healthy people just to stop them eating
    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction Part 2 - now LIVE

    Homeless Veterans appeal: Christmas charity auction

    Bid on original art, or trips of a lifetime to Africa or the 'Corrie' set, and help Homeless Veterans
    Pantomime rings the changes to welcome autistic theatre-goers

    Autism-friendly theatre

    Pantomime leads the pack in quest to welcome all