Yesterday I made an insane work trip to Nashville and back…in the same day. Originally, my schedule had me there yesterday and today, but the threat of some crazy ice out there and the crazy winds back home here had me running for the airport early. It made for a long day, but I am utterly, completely, overwhelmingly grateful to be home.
Nashville was relatively quiet compared to Charlotte when I finally arrived last night. At CLT you have to take a shuttle to whichever parking area your car is in. The sidewalk where you wait for it was packed. I am talking solid people. Shoulder to shoulder. The entire length of the terminal and at least six to eight people deep. It turns out, they were all waiting for various hotel shuttles because they were stuck here.
The departures boards looked like something out of a horror movie – almost every flight was labeled with a bright red ‘cancelled’ or ‘delayed’ status. Though it is very windy and very cold here in Charlotte, it is the snow in all the other major cities that is completely jamming up the air traffic system. Chicago, New York, and DC…when I was trying to reschedule my itinerary with our corporate travel people yesterday, the gal who picked up my call was almost in tears. I finally asked her what was wrong and she told me about the rude gentleman (jerk?) she had on the phone just before me. I felt awful for her. It must be hell trying to get people to where they need to be when the weather gets like this – and she doesn’t work for any airline, so whatever stupid policies they have, she has to work around too. I don’t understand people’s need to be rude to someone who, in my personal experience with her, was genuinely helpful and doing her best to accommodate my travel needs with what she had to work with.
I know air travel sucks these days – between the useless TSA, to the rude airline employees, to the cramped seats and dirty airports. I hate it. With a passion. But I will never, ever take it out on a travel agent who is doing her best to help me. Ever.
All I ask of anyone reading this is to try to do the same. Even with the stupid people working at the airport – yelling, getting pissy and frustrated with them is only going to make the situation worse for you and everyone around you. Take a deep breath, count to ten, take a look around you at all the other people who are in the same boat, and be happy that you are at least in the safe harbor of an indoor building instead of stuck in your car somewhere in the middle of nowhere in 4+ feet of snow.