Seth MacFarlane narrowly avoided death when he missed Flight 11 on September 11, 2001. Today we take a closer look at his brush with death.
Seth MacFarlane on 9/11
“Family Guy” creator Seth MacFarlane was scheduled to be on American Airlines Flight 11 on the morning of September 11, 2001, and has spoken of that day’s turn of events on several occasions. MacFarlane claims that after a night of drinking, along with a mix-up in times by his travel agent, he arrived late to the airport, missing Flight 11 by only a few minutes.
At 2:22 in the video below, MacFarlane briefly discusses how and why he missed the plane:
“I was booked on the first flight that hit the tower and I was drinking the night before, overslept a little bit in conjunction with the fact that my travel agent screwed up the itinerary by about 15 minutes, so I arrived 10 minutes late to get on the plane.”
A more extensive interview regarding the missed flight occurred on The Adam Carolla Show. MacFarlane elaborated, telling the story of how his driver rushed to get him to the airport on time. He also discussed the evacuation of Logan Airport soon after the planes crashed. (Warning: video contains explicit language)
On Piers Morgan, 2011
MacFarlane discussed the fateful day on Piers Morgan Tonight in an episode that aired in November 2011.
“I got to the counter. And I said, yes, I’m booked on Flight 11. And the woman behind the counter said, you know, you’re too late. They just closed the gate. And I said, all right. Well, you know, I’ll take the 11:00.
Went into the lounge, fell asleep, woke up about 45 minutes later to a commotion, and the first plane had hit. And sat there and watched the second plane hit. And they announced what flight it was. And I turned to the guy next to me and said, ‘my God, that was the flight I was supposed to be on. I was late. I missed it.'”
Despite his brush with death, MacFarlane said he was “not a fatalist. I was not shaken to the core in the way that I changed my whole outlook on life, mainly because I had missed planes before. And you know, coincidences do happen. I mean, a day before that incident, I could have been crossing the street five minutes earlier and gotten hit by a car and never known that I just missed it.”
New York Times, 2004
MacFarlane also reflected on his brush with death in a 2004 interview with the New York Times. “I think I still pretty much approach everything the same way. There are probably 100 close calls for all of us every year, and we don’t even realize it. Maybe one day the whole thing will really hit me.”
Seth MacFarlane missed American Airlines Flight 11 by minutes because his travel agent gave him the wrong time and because he had overslept due to a night of drinking the evening prior.
The Young Guy Of ‘Family Guy’; A 30-Year-Old’s Cartoon Hit Makes An Unexpected Comeback (Bernard Weinraub, The New York Times: July 7, 2004)
Updated August 26, 2016
Originally published July 2013