Trans World Airlines, which had initially planned to fly the 39 freed hostages and their relatives back to the United States on a chartered aircraft Wednesday, confirmed that 61 hostages and family members have signed up to travel today. It was unclear how many of the 39 hostages planned to leave Wiesbaden later.
Remembering the terror of the early phase of the drama, the hostages were harsh in their assessment of the two members of the Shia extremist group Hezbollah who initially hijacked the TWA plane and executed Petty Officer [Robert Dean Stethem], labeling them madmen and animals.
The hostages, perhaps because they had grown used to the television coverage orchestrated by Amal, perhaps because they knew that some of the television networks had paid for the travel of their families to Wiesbaden, accepted requests for television interviews that were denied to everyone else. At one point, every network was interviewing hostages on the hospital grounds for the morning network shows.