When I had safely arrived at my final destination – Knoxville, TN, to visit my family for Christmas – several people asked me how my flight was from San Diego.
I provided a one-word answer that spoke a thousand words: “uneventful.”
That’s pretty much my standard answer when I fly with no disruptions or difficulties, but I know how lucky I was to have things work out that way.
After all, airlines were canceling thousands of flights – 1,200 on my return date alone – due to weather and staffing issues related to the new COVID Omicron variant sweeping across the world and thru the airline industry.
Thankfully, I managed to escape all the chaos happening at airports and to other passengers in other places. I was most concerned about flight crews calling in sick with Omicron but fortunately that did not materialize during my travels.
And since I was flying the “Southern route” as I call it – I make it a point to avoid wintertime connections in any midwestern or northern cities to minimize weather issues – so all that snow pounding half the country was not a factor in any of my routes.
I also did not see, nor did I experience, any unruly passengers in the four airports I traveled through – San Diego, Dallas/Fort-Worth, Knoxville and Charlotte – or on any of my four flights.
In fact, it was just the opposite on the planes, for passengers were in a jovial mood, joking around with the flight crew and saying “thank you” a lot. All my flights were on American Airlines.
I did have one potentially close call, tho.
American’s flight from Knoxville to Charlotte arrived late so it was not unloading passengers until after the scheduled departure time. I had a buffer zone of about an hour and a half layover and got a bit concerned about having to rush to get that connection, something that was heightened a bit after we landed and sat still for 15 minutes while the short-staffed airline located a gate agent to open the airplane’s door.
But I made the connection and after my looooong walk through four of Charlotte’s terminals to get to the San Diego gate – this airport should really invest in a skytrain or something – even had time to stop for a beer. It was early evening and my flight was at 8:45 but unfortunately, all the bars closed at 8 p.m.
Well, I would rather go without a drink than be stranded in an airport with a canceled flight.
Fortunately, all my flights were “uneventful.”