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Betty Ann Ong

Betty Ann Ong was born on February 5, 1956, in San Francisco, California. She was the youngest of four siblings, a loving daughter, sister, aunt, and friend. Gifted with a sense of humor, Betty had a knack for making people feel comfortable and putting them at ease. Her loving, caring nature always placed the needs of others before her own and she never hesitated to lend a helping hand, express a kind thought, or share a heart-felt chuckle.

Betty had a great love for children and senior citizens. She paid special attention to them whenever they were aboard a flight she was working. On many occasions, she would drive a half hour from her home, into Boston, to have lunch and take walks with senior citizens. She shared stories about her far away travels with the neighboring children and often had trinkets to give them.


Betty worked as a flight attendant with American Airlines for 14 years.  On September 11, 2001, shortly after Flight 11's takeoff from Boston Logan Airport to Los Angeles, her airplane was hijacked - the first of four to be overtaken that morning. Betty initiated a call to American Airlines ground reservation agents, making her the first on this historic day to warn authorities that America was under attack.


Under extreme duress and horrific circumstances, Betty remained calm and professional during her 23 minute call. Her call eventually led to the shutdown of all flights nationwide for the first time in United States history. Prior to the crash of the airplane at the North World Trade Center in New York, Betty revealed the Hijacker's identities to authorities with the help of her flight attendant peers. Her final selfless words to the  ground crew were “Pray for Us”. 

On January 27th, 2004, Betty was declared a national hero by the National 911 Commission  for her incredible actions on 9/11. Betty Ann Ong and the flight crew of American Airlines flight 11 were truly professional and heroic for their actions and in the giving of their lives during the attack of America on September 11th, 2001.

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The Betty Ann Ong Foundation is a Not For Profit Public Charity

Federal Employer ID: 56-2305946

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