My flights from Denver to Lynchburg on US Airways went very well. Last time I flew US Airways was some years ago, with a wheelchair, crutches and my three young children. We were pre-boarded, but when I asked to have my folding wheelchair stowed on board, I was left teetering on crutches on the jetway until every other passenger boarded, because the flight crew was annoyed with my request and made me wait for a CRO. In the meantime my kids, sans boarding passes, had to stand in the aisle because they didn’t know where their seats were (or where I was, for that matter). I’ve avoided US Airways strenuously ever since.
But things change. The loading by aisle chair in Denver was somewhat Mickey Mouse; the single gate agent who did it figured he knew more than I did, so he didn’t fasten the straps, then tilted me forward rather than back to get onto the aircraft. I fell forward but luckily not out.
In Charlotte I did the 100 yard (actually, considerably more) dash from the B concourse to the E concourse, and entered the goofy world of little commuter planes. I was directed to four different gates and eventually wound up in the right place. Scott Rains clued me into what to expect:
Here’s what I expect you’ll find at the turboprop. They’ll load you into an aisle chair and either take you up in a modified forklift use also for baggage and cabin supplies like food. Or they will roll you into a medeival battering ram-like thing (also built on a forklift frame) they call a sky bridge. It ends in this adrenline evoking “gangplank” that you take into the cabin where a well-muscled surfer dude jockeys the chair around a hairpin turn and into a slim-fit beauty parlor chair-with-a-view. Charming, really.
It was the latter, including the surfer dude, which I appreciated. On arrival at Lynchburg I was fairly mortified to see my friends watching the whole process in reverse from the large terminal windows. But there were no big surprises and no disappointments.
More to come.
Hmmm … surfer dude. When the day comes, do you think I could request a different Jockey? Like, perhaps a marine or someone who might be a tad more impressive? I can only imagine what he would have said if there was a mis-step and you ended up on the tarmac … “Oops, sorry dudette! Major wipe-out!”