Saturday, October 31, 2009

The Sky Was Angry, My Friends!

Yesterday afternoon and evening, I was traveling back to Colorado from Charlotte. Even though there was a significant line of bad weather stretching from north to south from the Great Lakes to around Alabama, the plane ride was pretty smooth. This time, I had to change planes in Kansas City. Coming out of Charlotte's Douglas International Airport, there are not many choices than US Airways. This comes from its days as a hub for one of US Airways' predecessor carriers, Piedmont Airlines. So I had a flight on that airline which was a code share with United. At Kansas City International, I had to change over to a real United flight on to Denver.

I used to fly in and out of Kansas City with some regularity back in the late 1980s when I worked for Sprint. I used to like their terminal buildings, which are shaped like the letter "C", and you can get out of the car right next to your gate. No concourses to deal with. But in this post 9/11 world, that proves to be not such a good arrangement. The reason? That is because each airline has their own little area walled off by its gates. This means that in transferring from...oh, let's say US Airways to United have to leave the secure area for the former carrier and then go through the second carrier's security. You have to do the whole routine of shoes off, laptop out, and throw away your water bottle, even though you just got off a flight in a security-sterile environment.

But that wasn't the worst of it. The flight from Kansas City to Denver was one of the three most turbulent flights I have ever had. Not #1, but not far behind. You are totally helpless in that situation. All you can do is ride it out. You can't turn back, you can't get out, and you can only endure. At least I made it home for the weekend. Monday morning it's back to Charlotte. My suitcase full of dirty clothes back in North Carolina also awaits my return to wash them. Still, it should be a very good week ahead. Lots going on at work, and the deadlines continue to loom large.