Not long ago I flew into to Charlotte on my way to Roanoke, VA. In the past 10 months I had seen way too many airports to suit my tastes. By this time, most had blended together in an undistinguishable mushy mass in my memory.
But not the Charlotte Airport.
Compared to other airports I didn’t spend much time there. It was just a short layover two times in two days. Enough time to grab a sandwich and a do a little people watching.
What made the Charlotte Airport memorable was a bunch of things, many of which I have never seen at an airport.
1. A piano player
The music was lively but not overbearing. The pianist was not only good but clearly enjoying herself.
2. Trees with lights
Potted trees were everywhere, complete with decorative lights. It made for a festive atmosphere, especially when combined with the piano player.
3. Friendly employees
They say the South is friendly and the people who staff the Charlotte Airport prove it. Even with the crowds of rushed and tired travelers, everyone I observed seemed to be cheerful, warm and pleasant to work with.
This facility was available to current and past members of the armed forces. It was a place to get away from the hustle and bustle, relax, read, sleep, whatever. Bravo! This is a classy was to treat the people who serve in our military. I’m a big fan of anything that gives them a little extra care. They deserve it.
5. Business Center
Below the USO was a business center provided by Bank of America. You didn’t need a Platinum Card or a million frequent flyer miles to get in either. It was open to anyone. It provided a nice, quiet place to get some work done between flights, in a comfortable setting.
6. It was clean
This should be true of all airports. It’s not.
7. Hub and spoke layout
I never had to walk far to get from my gate to the central area of the airport. The design is very efficient for passengers to get from place to place.
8. Free Wifi
This always brings a smile to my face. It’s such an easy thing for an airport to provide and it means so much for travelers. It tells me they care about their customers.
9. View of Downtown Charlotte
The gate where I met my plane had a magnificent view of the Charlotte skyline. There’s something striking about a city skyline. Why not show it off to people who visit the city?
10. Rocking Chairs
This was the best part of the Charlotte Airport. They had rows and rows of rocking chairs. (If you live in a part of the country where they have Cracker Barrel restaurants, you’ll understand this.)
What a brilliant idea! It’s a great way to get people to stop and relax for a few moments. Think about the last time you sat and rocked in a rocking chair. They have a wonderful calming effect. That’s nice to have in a place that’s well known for being stressful.