HandoutNicole Foran in 2009
Nicole Foran loved to travel. The idea of getting on a plane and going somewhere new always seemed like a good idea to her. She is a Nova Scotian, with equal roots in New Brunswick, and her life, as she knew it, in her 20s, was perfectly, wonderfully unremarkable.
April 19, 2009, started out as just a typical night for Ms. Foran, a flight attendant for the previous two years for CanJet, a charter airline that flies to Caribbean hotspots — Mexico, Jamaica and Cuba — out of Halifax Stanfield International Airport.
Flight 918 was on the tarmac at Sangster International Airport, in Montego Bay, Jamaica, taking on passengers for the short hop to Santa Clara, Cuba. She was making her rounds, handing out customs forms. At 10 p.m. a murmur rippled through the plane. A man was on board. He had a gun.
“In that moment you become a whole new person,” the now 31-year-old says from the airlines’ offices in Enfield, just outside of Halifax. “You shut down and your survival instinct kicks in, and my thought was — how do we get all these people off the plane — and how do we survive this?