It's a bit late in the 1990s, and he wears more a bowler than a top hat, but this could be Thrill Seekers from 1999.
Tom Merrick (Van Dien) is a TV reporter filming a live segment on a fire at a power plant. He spots a creepy-looking man (Richings), causing him to move away from his crew. This accidentally saves his life as the crew is killed in the partial collapse of a building. After the accident, Merrick gives up his job as a reporter and begins working for a magazine.
In June 2000, while researching catastrophes, Merrick finds several pictures of the man from the power plant, who appears to turn up in different disasters (sinking of Titanic, Hindenburg disaster and Hurricane Hugo), but who still looks the same in all the pictures. Merrick's boss Eleanor books him a flight to Washington, D.C. to get the original photographs. On the plane, he spots the man from the power plant and photos and checks his luggage. He finds a flyer and discovers a future enterprise – Thrill Seekers – will make time travel possible in the year 2070 and will sell trips to the past to allow travelers to visit a catastrophe before it occurs, but are able to travel back in time again before they get killed. Merrick finds out that the flight he is on will be involved in a mid-air collision, killing everyone on board.