The Washington Post reports that among the changes coming from the Department of Homeland Security's reorganization is an end to the rule that passengers on airplanes entering and leaving Reagan National Airport remain seated for 30 minutes before landing and taking off. I remember when I was returning home for spring break, the young girl sitting next to me got up during this time period and attempted to go to the bathroom. The flight attendant ran down the length of the plane and returned her to her seat. At the time, I sympathized with my fellow passenger (now talking on her cell phone), wondering why the flight attendant was so concerned, since the bathroom was in the back of the plane, making it extremely difficult for the young girl to rush the cockpit. Had I known of the potential repercussions, I might have dragged the girl back myself:
The 30-minute rule was established as a condition for reopening National Airport after the Sept. 11, 2001, terrorist attacks. Any violation required air crews to divert flights to Dulles International Airport, where law enforcement officers awaited, forcing passengers to find taxis home or airlines to fly them to National in some cases.