Sullenberger, who took time off to write a book, "Highest Duty: My Search for What Really Matters," said the timing of the flight, less than two weeks before the book's Oct. 13 release, was just a coincidence. This was the first time, he said, after training that everybody's schedule lined up for a reunion flight.
Sullenberger is reportedly getting $2.5 million to $3 million for the book.
Skiles, the first officer who returned to flying in April, said today was "a little different response than I got of my first flight back in April." On that trip from Charlotte to Detroit there was just one reporter.
The 58-year-old captain said he choose to return to the air because "it is my family." Although he acknowledged in his new role doing safety management work for the airline he would not get to be in the cockpit as much as he would like.
So what are the chances of another bird strike? "Astronomical," Sullenberger quickly said.
The afternoon took off and landed in Charlotte without incident.
Peter Schweitzer, of New Jersey, was on the afternoon New York to Charlotte flight traveling to Florida for business and learned that Sullenberger would be his pilot while getting a cup of coffee at the airport Dunkin Donuts.
"I'm just totally emotional about being on a flight with this guy because of what he represents to the American worker," Schweitzer said.
Schweitzer said he was proud to have a "competent" worker as his pilot and said it sends a good message that Sullenberger returned to work.
Denise Lockie, who was on the US Airways flight in January that landed in the Hudson, booked a ticket for today's trip.
"It's just part of the healing process," she said.
So how much did her last-minute ticket on the sold out flight cost?
"That's irrelevant," she said.
Several former pilots -- including one who was at the cockpit of one of the nation's deadliest crashes -- told ABC News that pilots feel at home on planes and even after being in a crash understand just how safe it is to fly.
"I just kind of had the feeling that in order to get back to where you were before, you basically had to go back to flying the airplane," said William Records, co-pilot of United Airlines flight 232, which crashed in in Iowa in 1989, killing 111 people. "To be real honest with you, I didn't have a problem with it mentally."
Twenty years ago, the tail-mounted engine on the DC-10 Records was flying exploded at 37,000, feet knocking out the plane's hydraulic systems. By varying the power to the engines of either wing, the crew was able to steer the plane to the ground 44 minutes later at the Sioux City, Iowa, airport.
When it hit the runway, the jet cartwheeled, broke up and exploded in flames, killing 111 onboard. The other 185 passengers survived. The efforts of Capt. Al Haynes, along with Records and flight engineer Dudley Dvorak, are widely credited with saving those lives.
Records spent four months in physical rehabilitation for his injuries. He returned to the co-pilot's seat, he said, without any problem. Records made pilot shortly after that and flew until 2000, when he reached the government's then mandatory pilot retirement age of 60.