So upon landing in Charlotte I had about an hour to get over to Terminal F. If you have ever been in the Charlotte Airport, Terminal F is like the gates of hell. I started out in Terminal B and had to go all the way over to the other side of the airport, down an escalator and then way, way, way to the other end of the terminal. When I arrived there I checked the system and I was the only non-rev on the flight. But that was subject to change because if non revs don’t get on the previous flight they will get pushed to the next flight and rearranged in seniority order. Well I noticed a few non revs coming over and looked on the list and sure enough I’m being pushed down to the bottom. I also noticed a flight attendant sitting there waiting. Now let me explain the order to you. Employee’s go first on the plane, then spouses and children then employees from other airlines and guest pass holders. Employees in uniform can ride in the jump seat which is why most of them fly in uniform. If the plane is big enough they can sit in the jump seat not all planes have jump seats. Now the only thing is only flight attendants can fly in a flight attendant jump seat and only a pilot can fly in a pilot jump seat. You have to be able to perform the job to of that seat to ride in that seat. So this flight attendant is in uniform but not on the list as an employee. All SA3’s are employees. There weren’t any SA3’s listed on the flight. There was also a pilot with his wife and 3 children there. He was in uniform but again not listed as an employee. If you are flying with the employee you get their SA number. So when I fly with my husband I become and SA3 instead of an SA4. Are you with me so far. OK so they board the flight and there is only one seat on the plane. According to the gate agent the plane was operated by Mesa Airline (a regional airline) so the pilot got first dibs on the seat. But there was only one seat and he gave it to his son who was 15. Well if you don’t fly with the employee you lose the employee’s SA which means the flight attendant should have gone first, had she been listed as an SA3 but she was not. So by this time I knew I was not getting on the plane. I was frustrated and tired as I had been up for 31 hours with only having slept and hour on the other plane. So all I wanted to do was get home. I was looking at all the flights and they were all closed out no empty seats. I went to the Special Services desk and tried and find a way home. I was thinking I could go through DC and then get home from there. So I was frustrated and crying by this point. Yes crying, I blame it on the fatigue. On my way to special services I saw two SA’s from the Denver flight that got bumped initially still trying to find their way to their destinations also. So at special services the woman behind the counter said it was probably not a good idea to go through DC as they have fewer flights to my destination than Charlotte. She suggested I try the 2:55 flight and if not there is a flight to Daytona Beach that had 20 open seats and if I could get a ride home from there that may be my best bet. Well, I reluctantly agreed to try the 2:55 flight and made my way back to Terminal B. Out of the gates of hell. On my way back to Terminal B I called my husband in Germany in tears asking if his mom would pick me up from the airport and he said of course she will. I needed this because my car was of course at my airport.
I got to the gate for the 2:55 flight and I saw the flight attendant sitting there. Well we started talking and she told me she was given the wrong SA and should have been an SA3 but the gate agent down in F didn’t do anything about it. Well when she got to the gate in Terminal B the gate agent there saw her in uniform and asked why she was an SA4 when she should have been an SA3 and then proceeded to change her to the proper ranking. Well, we started talking and you know complaining because she should have been on that other flight. Then we are joined by a Pilot from another airline and he was trying to get on this flight. He was trying to take the jumpseat but there are only 2 pilot jumpseats and there are already 2 pilots listed before him. Then the pilot and his wife from the other flight showed up with their 2 infants and they were trying to get on this flight. The problem is this airline is operated by the mainline airline my husband works for so they were down near the bottom of the list. Well they start boarding the flight and of course we had to wait to till the end because the flight was full. The flight attendant takes the jump seat (basically she was making room for the rest of us because she didn’t have to take the jumpseat but she was being nice). Then they start calling the pilots who were also being nice and took the jump seats, then they called a guy in front of me and he got his seat and then they called two other people but they didn’t respond. They were not there. Then low and behold they called me and I jumped up out of my seat and got my ticket. I was shocked, stunned and happy and felt like I had just won the lottery because I could finally go home. I was the last person on the plane, I quickly sent a text my husband and Natalia and let them know I was getting on the plane. The pilot from the other airline and the one with his wife and kids did not get on the plane. They had to wait for the next flight. I had told the other pilot about the Daytona flight and hopefully he made it on that one. My adventure was almost over except I have to check my bag which meant I had to wait for it when I got home. I gave the baggage guy my bag and when I got on the plane I saw that there was room overhead for my bag (which was pretty small) but oh well. I sat down and ended up talking to the guy next to me again for the entire flight. I’m normally not a talker but I guess with lack of sleep I turned in one.
Natalia wanted to be sure that I was not discouraged in flying to Denver and that I would come an see her again. I told her I had fun and yes I would come back again. So I guess I must be a glutton for punishment and would do it all over again in the future.