SAN FRANCISCO -- "Everybody had stopped working and was just looking towards the crash," Sandy Carter told 11Alive News just after she got off of her red-eye flight from San Francisco.
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The crash there injected delays into an already-backed up holiday weekend at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport.
The San Francisco airport was closed for hours, and when it reopened the re-booking line to get back to Atlanta was long. By Sunday morning, most of the flights were back on time.
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The first San Francisco flight of the day was a red eye with AirTran. The passengers gathered around the baggage check all arrived on the same flight. But what they saw depended on when they got to the San Francisco airport.
Sandy Carter was boarding a flight when it happened. She captured pictures on her cell phone. She said she didn't hear the crash, just saw people running. "I saw a lot of personnel running towards the large windows in the airport and I went over there also and saw a plane on fire."
When the airport shut down, Albert Kaba was going to re-book his flight, but was told this red eye was his best chance. "We were getting conflicting reports about the airport being closed or opened, " he said. "We didn't know, so I thought I'd just take my chance and wait."
TJ and Rebekah Gamandi showed up just in time for the flight and didn't notice anything out of the ordinary. "We didn't really hear about anything because we got there so late," Rebekah said. "But when we did get there, the lady that was checking us in told us about an incident, but she didn't tell us what it was."
The flights are back on schedule, the backlog quickly disappearing, and even those passengers that boarded the first planes out after the crash felt safe.
"We haven't had one in so long, I was just very shocked," Kaba said.