Posted by: Barbara Evanhoe | January 18, 2011

Regional Airports: Continued

Yesterday’s post covered only one airport of the three I traveled through on my way to Williamsburg, so today I will give equal billing to the Charlotte, North Carolina airport.

I had never been to Charlotte, and must admit that a few hours at an airport does not a visit make.

But it did give me time to walk around, check out the services offered, and take stock of my fellow travelers.

My first stop on arriving was the women’s restroom. Normally I would not mention such things, but the Charlotte restrooms were very different from any other airport restrooms I have seen ~ they have attendants!

You got it ~ live women in black slacks and white shirts who wipe spilled water from the countertops, walk around with cleaner and cleaning cloths in hand to take care of any unfortunate situations, and advise you to select another stall if you are about to enter one with a broken door lock.

On top of all this, they have bowls of peppermints on the counter, and a few other supplies a weary traveler might need. Of course, there was a tip jar handy, but who wouldn’t drop a dollar into the jar for a woman who spends her day hovering about keeping a public restroom clean.

Obviously I was quite impressed with this unexpected touch of humanity. Could this be the very heart of Southern hospitality, or perhaps a courageous attempt to protect airport property from vandalism?

The Charlotte airport is considerably larger than Gainesville, but then that’s not really saying much. It’s large enough to offer a short moving walkway to speed your way along to the gates. There are more than three. I was to fly out of gate 31, which appeared to be the end of the line, but expansion construction was underway.

I didn’t have time to walk through the entire terminal but I saw three legs of gates that radiated out from a circular public area with major food vendors. There was also a small food court near my gate, which was handy. I ordered some quesadillas and munched while people watching.

After eating, I moved closer to gate 31, and sat amongst a group of people who actually acknowledged a newly arrived traveler to the area, rather than acting as if you were invisible. it was refreshing.

As in Gainesville, my U.S. AIR flight boarded on time, took off on time, and arrived on time in Newport News.

There was no food or beverage service on this hour-long flight, but the flight attendant did come around and offer water, which was fine. There really isn’t time to eat or drink on short flights, and it’s annoying if you are trying to relax.

All in all, I enjoyed my experience in Charlotte. Although there were a greater number of travelers, and more gates and flights, it still was manageable and friendly, so I say, fly through Charlotte if you have a chance.

Tomorrow I’ll finish my regional airport reviews with a look at Newport News.


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