The postings seemed innocent and fun, glimpses of pre-travel jitters and enthusiasm as passengers prepared to board a Malaysia Airlines plane in Amsterdam Thursday.
But after Flight 17 fell from the sky over Ukraine, killing all 298 on board, the postings took on deeper meaning: moments before the horror, final goodbyes.
One Dutch passenger, Cor Pan, apparently snapped a Facebook photo of the plane on the runway right before takeoff.
“Should it disappear, this is what it looks like,” according to the English translation of Pan's posting, a reference to Malaysia Airlines Flight 370, which disappeared earlier this year.
Friends responded to his post, initially poking fun at his sarcasm and wishing him a happy vacation.
“We expect to see beautiful pictures,” one person wrote.
The responses later shifted from concern to fear to dread.
“Let’s hope it is a misunderstanding,” one friend wrote.
“Unreal and incomprehensible,” someone wrote later.
Pan’s post has been shared more than 22,000 times.
Another Dutch passenger, Regis Crolla, posted a photo on Instagram apparently showing his boarding pass. The image shows the pass for Flight 17 tucked into the traveler’s passport, the gate circled, part of an unfinished journey to Kuala Lumpur and Bali. "Bali. So excited about this," he wrote, according to an English translation.
As news spread about the plane’s tragic outcome, others took to social media to mourn friends and relatives who were onboard.
Amir Afandi, saying he is the nephew of flight captain Wan Amran, was devastated after learning about the flight’s outcome.
“I’m going to miss him so badly,” he wrote.
Another shocking news, my uncle was the captain of #MH17. ????????— Amir Afandi (@aamiraafandi) July 17, 2014