WHAT HAPPENS to a relatively balanced, generally happy guy when he files USAirways? I, unfortunately, found out last Monday at the Charlotte Douglas International Airport. The result: you can find happiness in Hell, but it might be a whole lot easier if you DON'T fly USAirways. Soon, you won't be able to fly USAirways anyway because it's merged with American, so...let's hope it gets better.
The picture in the middle is what I generally look like on a good day--sparkly-eyed and quite happy.
The pictures on either side show you what happens to a generally-nice guy when he gets stranded in Charlotte Douglas International Airport
with SCREAMING, SHOCKINGLY RUDE USAirways personnel for 5 hours.
The good news is that I made the most of the situation. Charlotte airport fortunately has a unique layout. You can escape USAirways hell by going to the very center of the airport, where all the concourses meet in a central promenade lined with rocking chairs! Thanks to Emily, the volunteer musician playing a grand piano, my layover became a new exercise in simply dropping in and appreciating the beauty of humanity--far removed from USAirway's crazed "Concourse E," where the elderly and toddlers lay passed-out left and right on the floor, while USAirways personnel screamed at them over loud speakers.
Yes, Emily...volunteer musician at Douglas International Airport...my hero! She saw the guitar I was carrying. (I travel with it everywhere, even though USAirways always gives me flack about it). She asked me to sing with her. So we sang "Margaritaville" and "Sweet Caroline". She asked me to sing one for her, so I sang "Ochi Chernye" (Black Eyes), a classic Russian song with a Gypsy flair. The restaurant hostess just beyond the grand piano suddenly lit up like a Christmas Tree. She was a Russia native. Instantly, I had made friends. I almost missed my "re-booked" flight that USAirways had put me on, 5 hours after they had caused me to miss my original connection!
Yes, last Monday in Charlotte airport...a testimony that there is hope, even if you have to fly USAirways. Personally, I've decided I don't think I'll ever fly USAirways again unless I absolutely have to...but I'm going to make an extra effort to book my flights through Charlotte, with longer layovers, to see my friends on the rocking-chair promenade.