Okay – I don’t want to overly toot my own horn here, but I did want to share a story of something that happened to me the other day at the Charlotte airport (CLT). I was traveling home from New Orleans to Cincinnati via Charlotte on American Airlines. I had about a 90 minute layover so first I went to The Club CLT to use my Priority Pass membership, but at the door they told me that it was full and had a 45 minute waitlist. So I decided to just head to my gate anyways.
Elderly Man Dumped At The Gate
I get to the gate and take a seat near the gate stand. There is an elderly gentleman sitting next to me and he seemed a bit agitated. I saw him stand up a few times to go over to the gate stand but nobody from American was there. He was definitely shuffling and unsteady on his feet. Then he sat back down and said something like “I think they took me to the wrong gate”. I asked if he needed any help and where he was going.
He showed me his boarding pass and said he was going to Miami. I pulled up his flight information on aa.com and sure enough, he was boarding out of B9 (we were at B13 headed to Cincinnati).
I pointed out that it was the wrong gate but his correct gate was not too far (maybe 200 feet)
Doing A Good Turn
He stands up and it becomes clear that there is no way that he is going to be able to make it over there on his own. I asked if I could take his bag for him and he said that would be great. But then I see he’s also going to need help walking over there. So I give him my arm and we are shuffling (sloooooowly) over there.
I asked him what time his flight was supposed to leave and he said 2:37. I didn’t realize quite what time it actually was at this point, but we get around the corner and I spot this at his B9 gate.
After I saw the “Flight Closed” sign, I checked the time and it was 2:30 (so a few minutes before the scheduled departure time). I figured that they had called his name over the intercom, but because we were across the concourse, he probably didn’t hear. I saw that there were still two gate agents there, so I started trying to hustle over there, but like I said, this guy wasn’t a “hustler” 🙂
Finally we get close enough to the gate that I’m able to yell out “Sir” and catch the attention of the gate agent. He looks up and I tell him that this gentleman had been dropped off at the wrong gate. He immediately runs back down the jet bridge and yells that there is one more passenger. Thankfully, we were close enough in time that they hadn’t completely closed the flight. The gate agent was able to take the gentleman’s arm and bags and help him down the jet bridge. He also tried to take MY suitcase but then I told him that was mine.
I was grateful that we had made it – but this was a matter of only a minute or two until it would have been too late and then I don’t know what would have happened.
The Bottom Line
I am not exactly sure what happened here – I don’t know how long he had been waiting there but probably there was a gate change and he either didn’t hear or had no way to know for sure what to do. On our LOOONG, SLOOOOW 🙂 200 foot walk, he said that he had flown in from Charlotte and was on his way to Costa Rica. I can only imagine the madness that would have happened if he hadn’t been able to get on this flight to Miami.
Any good or similar airport stories? Share them in the comments below
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