"The hijackers told us the plane would be blown up, but they said it so politely and with such smiles that we couldn't take this too seriously," Cornelius Van Aalst, the flight's service supervisor, tells reporters in Cairo, after the ordeal. The hijackers were very friendly," according to Van Aalst, showing "exemplary manners" and helping to carry an injured woman in a blanket from the plane.
Ironically, while the plane was refueling in Beirut, Lebanon's Daily Star, an English daily, carried advertising for Pan Am headlined, "How To Catch a 747." The ad read: "The 747 is the finest specimen in the air," read the ad. "But oddly enough, it's becoming just about the easiest to catch. And you won't have to go sneaking up on it if you're in Europe or on the way to the U.S.A."