Skip to content

Honoring 9/11 crew: A former flight attendant on his quest to push a beverage cart from BOS to NYC

Sept. 05, 2021
6 min read
Honoring 9/11 crew: A former flight attendant on his quest to push a beverage cart from BOS to NYC
This post contains references to products from one or more of our advertisers. We may receive compensation when you click on links to those products. Terms apply to the offers listed on this page. For an explanation of our Advertising Policy, visit this page.

The 20th anniversary of 9/11 is coming up, and former flight attendant Paul "Paulie" Veneto is embarking on the mission of a lifetime to honor the flight crew who were killed on that day, many of whom were Veneto's close friends and co-workers.

Veneto has embarked on "Paulie's Push" to honor the fallen flight crew of Sept. 11, 2001, during which he'll be pushing an airline beverage cart from Gate C19 at Boston Logan International Airport (BOS) to Ground Zero in New York City.

New to The Points Guy? Sign up for our daily newsletter.

The journey is in honor of the path of United flight 175, which left out of that gate in Boston on the morning of Sept. 11, bound for LAX. The plane never made it to California, crashing into the South Tower after terrorists hijacked the aircraft.

The crew members on board that flight included ​​Captain Victor Saracini, First Officer Michael Horrocks, flight attendants Robert Fangman, Amy Jarret, Amy King, Kathryn Laborie, Alfred Marchand, Michael Tarrou and Alicia Titus.

“I’ve worked that flight, I know those crew members," said Veneto.

Veneto is a former United Airlines flight attendant who was based out of Boston for 25 years. He started working for United in 1997 and flew domestic transcon routes from BOS to Los Angeles (LAX) and San Francisco (SFO), on a Boeing 757 and 767.

Before that, Veneto got his start in 1981 for World Airways. “I got to see the world,” said Veneto, who was intrigued by flying as a kid. But not the flying part, it was more about meeting people, he said.

Paul "Paulie" Veneto. Photo courtesy of Paulie's Push.

Veneto said before the crash he worked with the 9/11 base crew doing that same route on the three-class 767. "I flew with Kathryn, Amy [Jarret], and Alfred," he said. "[Alfred] was only flying for 10 months."

Sign up for our daily newsletter

Veneto said flight attendants Amy King and Michael Tarrou were engaged to be married.

Veneto said he finished working on the eve of 9/11 and when the first plane hit he immediately called the airport. "It was chaos."

Related: America remembers 9/11 – photos from across the country

"We all knew each other and knew which people flew transcon, so I had a good idea who was on the airplane right away," said Veneto. "It was an out of body experience. We wanted information they couldn’t give us."

Four days later, the airline wanted staff back on planes, said Veneto. "That wasn’t an easy thing. There was an awful lot of fear, especially in Boston."

Veneto says he developed an addiction to pain meds after being prescribed Norco for back pain shortly after 9/11. He said "numbed" himself with pills for 10 years thereafter, while he continued to work as a flight attendant.

Through the rehab program Power Forward 25 he met Kevin Stevens, a two-time Stanley Cup winner. The 20th anniversary of 9/11 also marks six years clean and sober for Veneto.

Kevin’s sister Kelli Wilson is the one who spearheaded Veneto's mission. Wilson's husband came up with the name.

Acquiring the beverage cart was the easy part. "I went to the airport and a catering company gave it to me when I told them what I was doing," said Veneto. “Two minutes later and they were wheeling the cart out.” They even gave him a few backup carts just in case.

Related: Remembering the 8 Pilots and 25 Flight Attendants Who Died on 9/11

With the help of Dave McGillivray, who has run across the country twice and run the Boston Marathon 46 times, a strategic route was mapped out and a camera fashioned to the cart to chronicle the journey. “I have the most elite athletes giving me advice,” said Veneto. That roster also includes Becca Pizzi, who has run seven marathons in seven days on seven continents. “All these people could tell me all this information but no one could tell me how to push a beverage cart,” laughed Veneto. "It’s not gonna be easy."

Veneto said he started training on Oct. 10, 2020. "I pulled my car up to the beach. I said, 'This is Day 1.' I began walking the beach every night, every day — whenever I could."

On March 1, Veneto said he brought the beverage cart to a park to take it for a test spin. By May 1, he moved to the street to get used to the terrain. Veneto would log eight miles in the morning and eight in the afternoon.

Veneto's dedication and training all led up to the kick off on August 21. The journey is 220 miles total. His goal was to log between 10 and 20 miles per day and finish his journey in New York on Sept. 11.

As of publication, he's just finished mile 188 in Greenwich, CT. That leaves 32 miles left to go in five days — a finish line well within Veneto's reach.

“Nothings going to stop me from getting this thing there — even if i have to throw it on my back and carry it,” said Veneto.

Related: The aviation industry remembers 9/11

Veneto said he'll be staying in hotels along the way and that two high-school friends will be following close behind in an RV for support.

As part of the journey Veneto will be raising money for crew members' families that have started nonprofits, as well as Power Forward 25, which has been his main sponsor. “I feel so grateful I’m able to do this," said Veneto.

Veneto has dedicated the mission in honor of the crew members who were killed on 9/11. "They were never recognized for their heroics because of the enormity of that day," said Veneto. "No one recognized what these crew members did at 8 a.m. in the morning. They were still able to get info to us on the ground, despite everything going on."

More than anything, Veneto wants the family members to be proud of that 9/11 crew. "Their loved ones were heroes," said Veneto.

Follow along on Paulie's journey here, or make a donation.

Photo courtesy of Ian Stoker-Long / Compel

Editorial disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airline or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Top offers from our partners

How we chose these cards

Our points-obsessed staff uses a plethora of credit cards on a daily basis. If anyone on our team wouldn’t recommend it to a friend or a family member, we wouldn’t recommend it on The Points Guy either. Our opinions are our own, and have not been reviewed, approved, or endorsed by our advertising partners.
See all best card offers

TPG featured card

Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site

Rewards

1 - 10X points
10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases

Intro offer

Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

Annual Fee

$95

Recommended Credit

Fair/Good
Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees
Apply for Credit One Bank Wander® Card
at Credit One Bank's secure site
Terms & restrictions apply. See rates & fees
Best for earning alternative rewards for travel purchases
TPG Editor‘s Rating
Card Rating is based on the opinion of TPG‘s editors and is not influenced by the card issuer.
3 / 5
Go to review

Rewards Rate

10XEarn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel partner site
5XEarn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
1XEarn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Intro Offer
    Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel

    Earn 10,000 Bonus Points
  • Annual Fee

    $95
  • Recommended Credit
    Credit ranges are a variation of FICO© Score 8, one of many types of credit scores lenders may use when considering your credit card application.

    Fair/Good

Why We Chose It

The revamped Wander Card from Credit One Bank earns cardmembers up to 10 points per dollar spent on eligible travel purchases. With no foreign transaction fees, the card is also great for international travel. However, points earned from this card can only be used at a fixed value, so it may not be the best option for those striving to get maximum value from their rewards.

Pros

  • This card has no foreign transaction fees and earns up to 10 points per dollar on travel purchases through the Credit One Bank travel partner site.

Cons

  • While cardholders can earn a significant amount of points on travel purchases, there isn't any way to redeem points from the Wander Card for maximum value (beyond 1 cent per point).
  • Earn 10,000 bonus points after spending $1,000 on eligible purchases in the first 90 days and redeem for a $100 statement credit, gift cards, or travel
  • Earn 10x points on eligible hotels and car rentals booked through the Credit One Bank travel site
  • Earn 5x points on eligible travel, dining, and gas
  • Earn 1x points on all other purchases
  • Redeem your reward points for statement credits, gift cards, merchandise, flights, hotels, and more
  • With $0 Fraud Liability, you won’t be responsible for unauthorized charges
  • Free Online Credit Score and Credit Report summary, terms apply
  • If you are a Covered Borrower under the Military Lending Act, you may get a different offer
  • See Rates & Fees