The United Airlines and American Eagle Airlines connectors to Los Angeles had been scheduled to depart San Diego at 1:13 p.m. and 1:30 p.m., respectively, according to airport officials. By late afternoon 5 flights were cancelled and more than 20 delayed.
A number of other Lindbergh flights ran somewhat late because of the late-morning shooting. “And we do think (the delays are) indicative of the way the rest of the day is going to go,” said Katie Jones, spokeswoman for the San Diego County Regional Airport Authority. For folks who were able to get on their flights from LA after the shooting – they describe some tense moments.
“I thought it was a bomb or something,” said one passenger. And another on a connection from Orlando said, “I saw these people huddled around the TV and I thought, oh no, what happened. Then I saw it was a shooting.”
The scene in LA was described as chaotic, confusing and for some terrifying, “we have two kids,” said Carol Smith, who was traveling to Maui, she says she was afraid for her kids, “I had been worried a lot that we were leaving them. Thankful it’s not us.”
“I was freaking out,” said another passenger, adding, “because everyone hustling and bustling and I was thinking will I get out of here? They hadn’t found the shooter at that point.”
The gun violence at Los Angeles International Airport prompted no security changes at Lindbergh Field, according to Jones.
According to Harbor police which has jurisdiction over Lindbergh field, airports are among the most secure, and they are well prepared and trained.
“W we did a drill with multiple agency’s a month and half ago,” said Chief John Bolduc of the Harbor Police.
Active shooter incidents at airports are extremely rare; but they are treated no differently than a fire or security breech.
“In something that is rapidly escalating or spontaneous like this people are going to gravitate toward the exits to get away from danger,” explained Chief Bolduc, adding “and that’s exactly what we want them to do.”
“Anyone traveling our of Lindbergh Field in the next 24 hours is encouraged to check their website at http://www.san.org.