On our way to Syracuse today, we had a three-hour layover in Charlotte. I was dead on my feet, having spent a sleepless night watching the Encore movie channel’s salute to Agent 007, “Bond Marathon,” and the juvenile “Valley Girl.” We caught a Yellow Cab at 4:15 to Sky Harbor airport in Phoenix for the 6:30 flight.
On board U.S. Airways’s four-hour jaunt into Charlotte, I struggled in vain to sleep. I tried several different positions, some bordering on advanced yoga. None worked. So now there I was in Charlotte utterly wasted. What to do?
It was Nebra who came to the rescue with her Frequent Flyers membership and MasterCard with U.S. Airways. She had a free day’s use of the U.S. Airways Club for both of us.
As we lumbered with our packs down the “A” corridor toward gate 13 at the end, we passed a small alcove with two white door buzzers beckoning to us. We hit the one on the right, the door clicked open and suddenly we were inside the Club facing two very serious women receptionists. Maybe it was the way I looked. Long grizzled hair flying loose under a black ball cap, my shades pulled eye-ball tight, rumpled shirt and shorts and hiking boots. If the women guessed I was slightly deranged, they were right. Nebra did the talking.
She handed them her paper credentials and somewhat to my surprise, the women said it was OK for us to enter the inner sanctum.
The Club occupies a narrow rectangle inside the airport. The reception area is flanked by a business section and rest rooms on the left and a room for the less fiscal among us. Both sections had snacks and large comfortable seating. The business section had a bar.
I immediately plunked myself down in the cushiest chair imaginable and began snoozing. Snoozing and half-watching the U.S. Open tennis championships on the tube in front of me in Hi-Def.
Working at cross purposes, I poured myself a cup of black coffee, grabbed a delightful cup of spicy bisque, two green olives and a pair of black seedless ones, and lived in Paradise for the best of two hours, until it was time to catch our next flight. I bypassed an assortment of cheese squares, crackers and the decaf.
Not sure I want to spend the money on a U.S. Airways Club annual membership, or even a 90-day one, but for this visit it was heaven-sent.
A few hours later we were ensconced in our Syracuse motel room. I doubt I’d made it without the lay-over in Charlotte.