Despite the holiday season, the plane was only a third of the way full. The man got comfortable by ordering a bourbon and soda and lighting up a cigarette. By all accounts, he appeared to be an upstanding businessman traveling for the holidays.
Flight 305 took off on time at approximately 2:50 pm. Just after the take off, Dan Cooper passed a note to a female flight attendant nearest to his seat. She tossed the note in her purse, assuming the message contained the phone number of a lonely businessman.