Flightplan

Question: Why did Kyle Pratt kill Carson, instead of sparing his life, running to either the cargo door or passenger door, showing the people her daughter, telling them he was the hijacker? He appears to have injured his leg after he fell down in the restroom, He was further away from both of the doors than Kyle, And she probably would gotten to one of them before him, because he wouldn't have been able to move fast enough to get to either of the doors before her. And then he would have gotten arrested, because then the people would have realised that he had deceived them. And his charismatic and manipulative skills would no longer have helped him.

New today Question: What was the point of getting two FBI agents on the plane if Carson needed the plane cleared to kill Kyle and Julia? Or was that something he was lying about? If so, why did he proceed to get off the plane?

New today Answer: Carson would not have any authority to prevent the F.B.I. from boarding the plane. It would be highly suspicious if he did thta. He needs to act as if he is following normal procedures, otherwise his part in the plot will be exposed.

raywest

New today Question: Why would Carson have the morgue director send a fake certificate that claimed Julia has died if his goal was to get Kyle in the hold so she can unlock the casket? Wouldn't that interfere with doing so?

New today Answer: The goal was to make it look like Kyle was so unhinged that she was imagining that her daughter had not died. The fake certificate was to convince the captain that Kyle must be hallucinating. Carson knew that Kyle would not be fooled and would continue to search for her daughter on the plane, eventually looking inside the casket.

raywest

New this month Question: How did Carson manage to keep people from finding out that he murdered Kyle's husband? It's not like German crime scene investigators are stupid. Surely crime scene investigators would have found evidence that Kyle's husband was murdered.

New this month Answer: Carson was part of a conspiracy. He did not actually kill Kyle's husband, his accomplices did the actual killing. For whatever reason, the death at that time was ruled a suicide.

raywest

New this month Question: How did Carson know Kyle had worked out he was a terrorist near the end of the movie?

New this month Answer: At the end, when Kyle is speaking to the captain just before he disembarks the plane, she then realises that everyone believes she is the terrorist. She works out that Carson is the likely person behind the scheme and had been manipulating everything happening during the flight. When Kyle starts pretending to the captain that she is the terrorist in order to get what she wants (to find her daughter), Carson then realises that she likely now knows that he is in on the plot.

raywest

Question: After reading what really happened, I am still not understanding why they killed her husband. Did he know something that he should not have known? I do understand the need for his coffin to hide the bombs...now why did they need to take her daughter as a 'hostage' for the sake of the $50 million dollars?

Chosen answer: If there's no dead husband, there's no coffin to hide a bomb in. Without the daughter's disappearance, Kyle won't have reason to unlock the coffin (only she knew the code; the terrorists didn't). When the captain initially refuses to have the hold searched, the marshal suggests it would be a good idea for him to take Kyle down there and look. This would be for the purpose of having her open the coffin, and allowing him to access the bomb.

Question: What about the morgue director? Was he in on it with Carson?

Brad

Chosen answer: At the end of the movie, the police ask Kyle to look at a photo to ID the morgue director. So he was in on it. He had to be because Gene/Carson didn't have the code to open the casket. Therefore he could not have put the explosives into the casket. Remember he needed Kyle to leave it open on the plane.

Question: At the end of the movie, when they are at the tip of the plane, Jodi and her daughter slip into a tiny compartment, just as she activates the bomb. She and her daughter are safe, and the small space they were in must have been bomb-proof. Since that compartment is at a part of the plane that is rarely visited, how come a tiny place was made entirely bomb-proof? Or what was the space they climbed into and for what reason was it made?

Chosen answer: The Hatch they climb into is the hold of the plane, i.e., the section with the coffin, the car, and all the other luggage in. It only appears small because of the way it is filmed. As Kyle would have known, it would have been extra strong and reinforced, as it was a break in two sections of the plane.

Question: At the very beginning of the movie, Kyle sits on the bench alone in the empty subway station. She looks very shocked or frightened. Why is that? Because at that time, her husband David is not dead. He walks up to Kyle and they get on the yellow subway train home.

Bunch Son

Chosen answer: It's never explained. She might have been concerned about something at work or there were problems with her marriage that she is contemplating. Personally, I attribute it partly to Jodi Foster's acting style. She tends to play scenes in an overly intense manner.

raywest

Question: How did the hijackers get Kyle's husband onto the roof, and push him without anyone seeing?

Answer: It was never revealed how they lured or forced him up to the roof.

raywest

Could you come up with some theories on how he may have gotten Kyle's husband onto the roof?

Question: Why did Kyle want to sit in the courtyard with her husband at the beginning? She looked quite serious. What is the significance?

Bunch Son

Chosen answer: There's no explanation, but there seems to be some sort of tension or discord going on between them that may be putting some strain on their marriage. They may have wanted a more private place to discuss something where they knew their daughter could not overhear. They also acted this way when they're in the subway station, communicating that all is not right between them.

raywest

Question: Spoiler: How did Kyle work out that Carson was the terrorist?

Chosen answer: When the captain angrily described the terrorist plans to Kyle as he deboarded, she put that together with everything else that happened.

James King III

Question: Are the Arab men in the plane the same men Kyle saw through the window of her house in Berlin the night before? If so, is it a coincidence?

Chosen answer: No, they are not the same. She was jumping to a politically incorrect assumption they were involved.

raywest

Question: Shouldn't the Arab man have been arrested for assault?

Brad

Chosen answer: Kyle assaulted HIM first when she jumped on top of him and scratched his face so technically she should be arrested.

rswarrior

Question: How did the morgue director put the explosives in the casket? I thought only Kyle knew the combination.

Answer: He would have planted the explosives into the casket before the body was put in it and when Kyle was not present. Being that he was the mortician, he would have access to the body and the casket to prepare it for transport back to the USA.

raywest

Are you saying since he was the morgue, he would have had the code as well as Kyle?

Question: Why would the airport not x-ray a casket? Did the morgue director order them not to?

Answer: Often times cargo, such as the casket, are sent by "known shippers" and it's the known shippers that were responsible for screening. So the airport would not x-ray cargo that was already deemed secured (i.e. safe).

Bishop73

Question: Why would Kyle assume that her daughter was hidden inside the casket? Only she knew the code.

Answer: Because after searching the entire plane for her daughter without finding her, it was the last place left she hadn't looked in. It was a desperate, last-ditch attempt to try anything to find her. By now, Kyle may have been suspecting that her daughter's disappearance was something more than a missing child on a plane.

raywest

Question: I realised a couple problems with Carson's plan. I understand that he murdered her husband by pushing him off the roof so he could hide the explosives in the casket, and that once Kyle and Julia boarded the plane and fell asleep, he could kidnap Julia, and Kyle would have a reason to open the casket. The first thing I don't understand is how did he get Kyle's husband to come onto roof? What if a different person came onto the roof instead? Or what if multiple people came onto the roof? The second thing I don't understand is how did he know Kyle would decide to leave Germany and bury her husband's body in New York? What if she decided to store her husband's body somewhere and deal with it later? Or what if she decided to bury it in Germany instead?

Answer: Carson was a member of a conspiracy, not the sole person who planned and executed the entire plot. His cohorts, which included the funeral director, carried out the first phases by murdering Kyle's husband, then the mortician assisted Kyle in making the arrangement to transport the casket back to the USA. It is not important to the plot to show exactly how and by whom Kyle's husband was thrown off the roof. We only need to know that he was murdered as part of the plan. Kyle's specific travel arrangements would be relayed to Carson who could then get himself assigned as the air marshal on her flight so he could carry out the final stage of the plan.

raywest

Question: If Carson's plan indicated he was smarter than Kyle, given the way it was set up, then why did it fail? I know Kyle worked out he was a terrorist, what I don't get is what made her eventually become suspicious of him. What Carson arrogant or something? Did he make mistakes in his plan, if so what? What mistakes did he make that made his plan fail?

Chosen answer: This was a conspiracy involving a number of people, so it was not Carson's plan alone. Any plan, no matter how well plotted, will have flaws and unexpected variables. Kyle didn't suspect Carson until the very end when she was talking to the captain, who thought she was a terrorist extorting money. Not every detail of how she fully realised Carson's involvement is explained, but when Kyle saw she was being framed, and as Carson nervously attempted to leave the plane, knowing the plan was unraveling, Kyle cobbled together various clues and made an accurate assumption that Carson had been orchestrating the events during the flight.

raywest

Question: What's the significance of the scene where Carson and Stephanie look at each other when she's running away from the plane? I can't find an explanation.

Chosen answer: I think it just solidifies the fact that they were working together, and both knew the plan was starting to fall apart at that point. She's now running to try and protect herself.

raywest

Question: What was the purpose of kidnapping her daughter? Was it to make Kyle look crazy? Or was it merely for the purpose of trying to make her open the casket? Because I find that very hard to believe.

Chosen answer: The endgame was to get Kyle to open the casket during a search for her daughter. That is where the explosives and the detonator were hidden. They were counting on a frantic mother searching in every possible place on the plane for her daughter, including her husband's casket. If she hadn't done that on her own, no doubt Carson would have somehow propelled her into doing it.

raywest

How would Carson propel into opening the casket? By threatening to kill her?

Question: How did the hijackers know who Kyle was in the first place? Kyle doesn't appear to have known them prior to meeting them on the plane so how did they know Kyle was an engineer and that David was her husband and that Julia was her daughter prior to killing her husband?

Chosen answer: Carson was not the sole person who engineered the plot. There were others involved, and Carson would have been given the necessary information about Kyle in order to carry out his part of the plan.

raywest

Who would have given Carson the necessary about Kyle? The only people involved in the plot besides Carson were Stephanie, and the morgue director. Kyle doesn't appear to have known either Carson, or Stephanie, and the only time she met the morgue director was at the beginning of the movie, so where would Stephanie, and the morgue director have gotten the information about Kyle?

Question: Since when does the FBI have jurisdiction and operations in Canada?

Chosen answer: They don't have jurisdiction but they would be working in cooperation with Canadian authorities.

raywest

Question: Several questions. 1. What was Carson's relationship to Stephanie? They obviously knew each other. 2. Why didn't Carson ask the morgue director for the code? It would have been much easier. 3. The plane is to escape, but would they really allow an air marshall to just stroll on the plane even if his plan was successful? And how would he get Stephanie on? 4. Was Carson enjoying himself with his convoluted plan? He wants $50 million, but there are so many easier ways to get that such as robbing a bank.

Chosen answer: 1. They appeared to be lovers. 2. I would classify this as a plot hole. However, if he had done that, there would be no movie. This a literary device known as a "suspension of disbelief." That is, the audience just accepts that certain aspects of the plot are unrealistic so the story can be told. 3. It is highly unlikely Carson would be allowed to stroll onto the plane. It was not revealed how he intended to get Stephanie aboard, but he could not leave her behind. 4. There's no way of knowing if Carson was enjoying himself. Yes, he could rob a bank, but he has no experience doing that. He is utilizing his knowledge and expertise as an air marshal to execute a complicated plan that places him in the center of what is happening, giving him some control over how events unfold. Carson has created an atypical scenario and knows the police cannot respond as if it was an everyday bank robbery. Also, successful bank robberies typically result in a relatively small amount of money being stolen, not $50 million.

raywest

Why would there be no movie if Carson asked the morgue director for code?

Answer: 2) the morgue director doesn't have the code as was explained at start of film 3) the G3 plane was never intended to be used. Carsen was going to kill (shoot) Kyle and blow up her daughter. Therefore he wouldn't need to escape, as no one knows he is bad.

2) it's never explained whether the morgue director has the code or not. It's only explained that Kyle has the code, Carson, and Stephanie don't. Plus, given that he was the morgue director, he would had the code too. When they said Kyle was the only one who had the code, they didn't necessarily mean that Kyle was the only person in the world who had the code, they meant she was the only person, besides the morgue director, who knew the code.

Question: How could the conspirators possibly imagine that their plot would work? Their confidence that none of over 400 passengers might happen at some point to fix on Kyle and her daughter, perhaps even have a whole conversation with them, either at the gate or on the plane, seems unwarranted. They had to have been awfully sure that no one would notice them boarding at the call for passengers with small children. They had to assume that once the plane had leveled off that the girl wouldn't spend half an hour traipsing tirelessly up and down the aisle dragging her bear along and saying hi to everyone. And then there's the coffin. When Kyle did open the coffin, it made no sense that she did! So how in the blazing sun would the plotters have expected that she would do that at some point?

Chosen answer: They most likely would have had contingency plans in place. For example, if the conspirators saw someone talking to Kyle, they'd interrupt to distract that person. Or initiate their plan earlier if the daughter started getting noticed. Of course, since the script didn't call for any of these contingency plans, we can only speculate. And they basically manipulated Kyle into opening the coffin.

Bishop73

Question: I get how no one saw the child get on the plane. But how did no one see the kidnappers take her and put her under the plane, not even crew members?

Chosen answer: Carson told Kyle that he put Julie inside a drink cart and used that to transport her to the lower area. Since one of the crew members was an accomplice, it's likely she helped move the cart.

Thisbe

How would they have put Julia inside a drink cart? Children Julia's age can weigh 40 to 60 pounds. That's more than drink carts are built to take. How would they have moved the cart without Julia's weight causing it to break?

Question: So no-one saw Jodie Foster bring her kid on the plane, I understand that. The plane was empty when the 2 of them boarded as they were the first to board. There wasn't anyone else on the plane and as soon as they got to their seats her little girl bent down on the floor to play with a toy, so I fully understand that no-one saw the girl. What I want to know, is how did the hijackers know she was going to be boarding first? Had she boarded much later with other passengers then SOMEONE would have seen the kid, and that would have totally foiled the plan. How could they have banked on her boarding first?

pierpp

Chosen answer: He didn't know for sure, but he had a hunch. As far as he could tell she would arrive early to register the body for the U.S. and they would let her board the plane first (as a common courtesy, since her husband died) Plus, he new that she had knowledge of planes and that it was her interest to see a new model of an aircraft that she helped build before it was to take off.

Jason Riley

Question: In one of the last scenes, when Kyle and her daughter hide in a little compartment and survive the explosion, somebody who answered another question in this page said it was the hold of the plane, but I thought it was the black box when I saw it. So which one was it? And is it possible for a person to fit in the black box of a plane?

Chosen answer: No, it's not possible. The 'black box' (which actually isn't black, but is instead brightly coloured to make it easier to find) is a data recorder, packed with all the attendant electronics required for that task; it's far too small for anybody to fit into.

Tailkinker

Question: Out of the hundreds of people on the plane, not a single passenger or flight crew saw Jodi Fosters character bring her daughter onto the plane? Was everyone supposed to be in on it? That would just be too weird and next to impossible.

Chosen answer: Firstly the flight wasn't full. Secondly there were already several children on board. Thirdly, 2 people did see her bring the child on board, both the hijackers. Fourthly, Jodie and her daughter were the very first people on the plane, and greeted by the female hijacker. Then her daughter was seated until going to sleep. No one had a chance to see her. If a person is able to remember the face of every single passanger on a plane then they should be onstage with a memory act. On many flights I've been on, I couldn't even recall the people sitting around me, let alone the rest of the plane.

Soylent Purple

Question: Can someone please explain to me who those men were that Jodie Foster saw out of her daughter's window in the beginning of the movie if they were not the individuals on the flight?

Chosen answer: It was the men seen early in the film who murdered Foster's husband. When her daughter disappeared on the plane, Foster suspected the Muslim passengers were the kidnappers, believing they looked similar to the men she saw when her husband died. However, they were never involved in the plot. Because Foster was under extreme duress and somewhat irrational, she jumped to a politically incorrect assumption based on their ethnicity.

raywest

What do you mean by it was the men seen early in the film who murdered? Are you saying it was Carson, and Stephanie wearing masks, or were they people hired by the hijackers to murder Kyle's husband?

Question: Why did the villains kidnap Jodie Foster's daughter? The item they were smuggling was well hidden in the casket, and they could easily retrieve it after they landed. Nabbing the kid only drew attention to what they were doing. Can anyone explain this?

Chosen answer: The bad guys needed Jodie Foster to open the casket (combination locked) to get to "the goods" (a bomb they needed in mid-air, not smuggled goods - it would be useless after landing). They concocted a plan to kidnap the daughter but make it look like the daughter never existed. This was the only way that the casket would be opened without reasonable suspicion on the bad guys.

Jason Feng

They wouldn't have needed to worry about suspicion among them if they asked mortician for the code, the mortician would have known the code too, not just Kyle.

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Quotes

Kyle: You get off the plane when I say you get off the plane.

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Mistakes

The Royal Canadian Mounted Police are shown checking baggage in the final scenes at the same time that FBI agents are making arrests. The flight landed in Goose Bay, Newfoundland and Labrador, Canada. According to the Criminal Code of Canada, any crime committed during an international flight that ends on Canadian soil is deemed to have been committed in Canada. That being the case, the RCMP as the national police force has full jurisdiction. There is no way the FBI would be involved at that point.

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Trivia

The role of Kyle was originally written for a male character, but when Jodie Foster expressed interest, the filmmakers felt she was strong enough to carry the part and cast her instead.

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