Twist at end of CEO's story about narrowly avoiding being on 9/11's Flight 93 leaves people shocked
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Featured Image Credit: MIKE DEMBECK/AFP via Getty Images / Robert Giroux/Getty Images
On 11 September 2001, Bill Ellmore was booked to fly on United Airlines Flight 93 from Newark to San Francisco - one of the four flights hijacked by terrorists - until advice from a colleague led him to catch a different flight.
The CEO of Solomons Global Executive Services wrote: "I was booked on United Flight 93 on 9/11, 2001, flying nonstop from Newark NJ to San Francisco CA. Around midnight the night before, a coworker called me urging me to change my flight to fly into San Jose instead."
Bill didn't want to change flights. He'd have to give up his first class seat and the flight to San Jose left 20 minutes later with a stopover in Denver.
However, his co-worker explained that the commute from San Francisco to Mountain View - where he was attending a meeting - would make him late for the meeting and traveling from San Jose would be much quicker. He reluctantly agreed.
Bill recalls his frustration on the morning of 9/11 as he watched passengers board Flight 93, which left from the same gate as his later flight.
"When I got to the airport, I watched people boarding flight 93 and I was upset that I was not leaving earlier, in my 1st class seat on a direct flight," he said. "I didn’t notice or care about the people as they were boarding, only myself."
He finally boarded his plane but as the flight was a few planes away from taking off, the pilot told passengers to look out the windows on the right side of the plane.
Bill said: "It appeared the Twin Towers had been hit by a plane. I thought it might have been a small Cessna until I saw the second plane strike the other tower. We were grounded just before taking off."
Bill says 9/11 changed him.
"I now take every opportunity to watch and if possible, get to know the people I’m boarding a plane with," he wrote. "I never hesitate to give up my seat for a later flight if requested.
"I’ve had two children since 9/11 and went to multiple mission trips to war torn countries. Every day I wake up breathing is another gift from God."
He finished his astonishing story with the words: "Never forget."
But, the story only gets more astounding.
When asked what happened to the co-worker who ultimately saved his life, Bill responded: "Sad to say, I ultimately had to fire her for poor performance. It was difficult."
He continued: "The reason I was originally booked on Flight 93 was due to her performance issues. These issues didn’t improve afterwards and I delayed letting her go until my boss insisted it happen."
X users were understandably dumbfounded by the revelation.
One reposted Bill's story, writing: "Despite Musk's best efforts, this website continues to deliver jaw-dropping moments."
"I had to regroup after first coming across this yesterday," claimed another.
Another quipped: "'Every day is a gift from the woman I later fired.'"