Smiling in Charlotte

Hi! I’m in an airport. Charlotte (NC) Douglas International Airport, to be exact. I am enjoying the free (!) wifi in Terminal D while I rock gently in a white wooden rocking chair (!!), one of dozens situated in large picture windows throught the airport.

I am mid-trip from Myrtle Beach to New York-LaGuardia. I normally abhor two-hop air travel, what with the dual protocols and four rounds of ear popping and twice the chance for frustration (case in point: my connecting flight is currently delayed). But my rocking chair and wireless is making me smile, as is the exposure to small-airport America that US Airways provides. Charlotte to Myrtle Beach! Charlotte to Dayton! Charlotte to Harrisburg! I had nearly forgotten that jets flew point to point between mid-market cities. New York has truly skewed my perspective.

Most notably, I flew MYR-CLT in a whisper-quiet Canadair CRJ-700 outfitted in leather. Regional jets don’t climb to 30,000-plus feet like the jumbos, so the pressurization is significantly lessened in addition to the noise; my usually difficult ears didn’t even pop on the descent. The flight was so easy and uneventful that I downright enjoyed myself, a rarity for a domestic flight. I deplaned in such a good mood that I began to consider looking for short-hop regional flights when I next need to travel. Maybe if I had occasion to fly to Dayton.

The news now is that lightning has shut down the runway. We’ll see how long this rocking chair can keep my spirits up through the delay. Regardless of my departure time, though, my first regional jet experience actually has me looking forward to more.