I was crammed into the narrow cupboard of the Alitalia Business Class lounge at John F. Kennedy airport, along with a young school teacher from Brighton, nervous almost to the point of tears, a middle-aged couple from the Midlands and a stoic model from Brooklyn.
Outside, in the shadow of the Boeing 787 Dreamliner we were supposed to have boarded by now, hundreds of people thought that a terrorist gunman was on the loose. Police cars came and went at speed. One moment everyone was filing leftwards, shepherded by guards. Then there was a panic, and people sprinted the other way, out towards the dark runways in the distance. Others lay on the ground on the instruction of the police, and some took cover behind vans.