Heroic 9/11 flight attendant who helped identify Al Qaeda plane hijackers

An American Airlines flight attendant has been called a hero for her bravery and calmness in which she helped identify the five 9/11 hijackers onboard.

Betty Ong spoke in a low voice while using an Airfone at the back of American Airlines Flight 11 to describe the situation to ground staff.

The 45-year-old was not due to originally fly on Flight 11 but she had asked to work an extra shift so she could join her sister Cathie for a vacation in Hawaii, according to the New York Post.

Flight 11, bound for Los Angeles after departing from Boston's Logan Airport, made a U-turn after being hijacked and headed to New York City.

The plane crashed into the World Trade Center’s North Tower at 8:46 am on September 11 in 2001.

Because of her call, the world knows what transpired on the flight and identified the terrorist who carried out the attack.

On the call, Ong said: "The cockpit’s not answering. Somebody’s stabbed in business class – and I think there’s Mace… I think we’re getting hijacked."

Terrorists critically wounded two of the fellow flight attendants, Karen Martin and Bobbi Arestegui, and slit the throat of business-class passenger Daniel Lewin.

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The hijackers then gained access to the cockpit by force where it is believed they killed co-pilots John Ogonowski and Thomas McGuinness Jr.

Mace was used by the hijackers to force the passengers to move to the rear of the plane.

Thanks to the information passed on by Ong and fellow flight attendant Madeline Sweeney, the hijackers were identified through their seat numbers.

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Ong's last words were reportedly: "Pray for us. Pray for us."

When news broke of the World Trade Center attack, Betty’s siblings tried desperately to reach her.

At first, airline staff wrongly assured the family that Ong was not on Flight 11.

Cathie Ong-Herrera, one of Betty’s two older sisters, told the New York Post: "My sister gave her life for her country on Sept. 11."

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The family only learned of Ong’s heroics two weeks after the attacks at the memorial.

They spoke to an American Airlines employee who was the person who spoke to their sister from the ground.

The employee, Nydia Gonzalez told Cathie: "I’m the person who spoke to your sister.

"You need to be very proud of your sister. She provided a lot of information very calmly."

The family then learned American Airlines had a copy of the last words of Ong and despite first being told no allegedly due to the FBI, a call to Senator Ted Kennedy of Massachusetts got them the recording.

On’s other sister, Gloria said: "I'm very thankful that we were able to know the last few minutes of Betty’s life."

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