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Published: Friday, 10/5/2001

Nomads stranded after attacks


When the airplane hijackings and terrorist attacks occurred last month, there were three Nomads groups in Europe. One group, in Vienna, was scheduled to fly home Sept. 12, the day after the attacks.

But with airports across America closed to air traffic, the group was stranded.

“With all the U.S. airports closed, we knew we couldn't get home,” said Laurie Seibold, of Perrysburg, who with her husband, Bill, was in Vienna on her first Nomads trip. “We had to leave our hotel to make room for another scheduled group, but the Nomads found us another hotel — a first-class place — for the next few days.”

The club also picked up the hotel tab for the group's extra days in Vienna, said Cristina Peixoto, Nomads' director of marketing and customer service.

Three days later, when America's airports were reopened, the Nomads 727 was the only plane to fly out of Vienna for the States, since commercial airlines had neither crews nor equipment in position to take off. Stranded travelers could only watch as Nomads members walked through the ticket gate and boarded their plane for home.

“I felt bad for them,” Mrs. Seibold said. “But it was so wonderful for us to be coming back with people we had come to know and trust. I don't know that I would have wanted to fly home any other way at that point.”

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