On the morning of September 11, 2001, MacFarlane was scheduled to return to Los Angeles on American Airlines Flight 11 from Boston. Suffering from a hangover from the previous night’s celebrations, and with an incorrect departure time (8:15 a.m. instead of 7:45 a.m.) from his travel agent, he arrived at Logan International Airport about ten minutes too late to board the flight as the gates had been closed. Fifteen minutes after departure, American Airlines Flight 11 was hijacked, and at 8:46 a.m. it was flown into the North Tower of the World Trade Center, obliterating the airplane, and killing everyone on board.
In an interview with TVShowsOnDVD.com, MacFarlane said the following about his close call:
“The only reason it hasn’t really affected me as it maybe could have is I didn’t really know that I was in any danger until after it was over, so I never had that panic moment. After the fact, it was sobering, but people have a lot of close calls; you’re crossing the street and you almost get hit by a car… this one just happened to be related to something massive. I really can’t let it affect me because I’m a comedy writer. I have to put that in the back of my head.”