Playboy models left LAX for ABQ just before shooting

Posted at: 11/01/2013 5:16 PM
Updated at: 11/01/2013 10:24 PM
By: Caleb James, KOB Eyewitness News 4

Most United, Southwest and American Airlines flights to and from LAX were cancelled Friday, but KOB Eyewitness News 4 found some ladies who say they feel lucky to be alive tonight.

Of all days, Friday night there was a big Playboy/Maxim model party at a local casino.

The models flew into Albuquerque from Los Angeles earlier. When they touched down, they learned about what had happened in L.A., and that's when they realized how close they came to that gunman.

"If we hadn't have taken the earliest red eye possible…Thank God we got out when we did, it could have been one of us," Casey Konkel said.

When you fly as often as these girls, there's really no room for fear. "I've flown every week for about the past six years," Konkel said. "I think, if it's your time to go, it's your time to go."

Case Konkel travels all over the world. This morning she boarded a 6:30 flight out of LAX, bound for Albuquerque for a Playboy/Maxim model party at the Buffalo Thunder Casino.

Konkel and her friends booked the earliest flight out of Los Angeles so they'd make it here with time to spare. It wasn't until a layover in Denver that they realized how lucky they were. "All of our friends and family were contacting us like, are you guys okay? Did you get out?" Konkel said.

Through Facebook and Twitter, the girls learned what they'd left behind hours earlier at LAX. "I went online and I researched and I was like, wow!" Esther Anaya said. Anaya got on her phone in the terminal and couldn't believe what she was reading. A gunman had torn through LAX just hours after they took off. "There was an account that someone had seen them going toward gate 33. We left from 31B. It was right by us," Konkel said. But then, after all, the show must go on and everything happens for a reason.

The models say they are really happy to be in New Mexico, considering what they left behind. Of course, there are other New Mexicans who may still be stuck in Los Angeles. Flights in and out of LAX to and from the Sunport have been cancelled all day.