So, I'm trying to get to Ohio for a wedding this weekend. My flight from Jacksonville was delayed at first because the place we were supposed to be on was late arriving. After it arrived though, we boarded at 8:00 PM (originally a 7:55 take-off) and then sat on the tarmac until 10:00 PM when we were finally able to take off. Why the long wait? We were flying in to Charlotte, NC and apparently a storm there was preventing anything from taking off or landing there, so they were not letting planes whose destination was Charlotte to leave their original airports either.
Well, the storm delayed or canceled every flight in Charlotte. So when I touched down in Charlotte in terminal A, they told me that my flight to Cleveland was currently boarding in E, if I ran I could make it, and they would call to let the gate know I and two others were on our way. So I book it through A terminal, past B, C, and D to E, run all the way down to E26 only to see no attendant at the gate, the door closed and locked, but people still boarding through the plane door. By this time, I am hyperventilating from the run through the entire airport. I start banging on the door, people are telling me I need to sit down and breath, and all I can think about is how I need to get through that door. At this point the other two people arrive and we're all standing in the window, banging and waving, trying to get some one's attention as they all board the plane. After the last person boarded, the plane sat there for another ten minutes with the cabin door wide open and the bridge still in place. After the bridge pulled away, it sat there for another five minutes with the cabin door wide open. That's when the gate attendant walked back through the door.
This whole time, I'm still hyperventilating. She looked at me and said, "Cleveland?" between gasps, I answered, "Yes, that's my flight! I've been here for the last 15 minutes and I was banging on the door." Her only response was, "I didn't hear you." She then looked down at the computer and started typing away. Two minutes later, when she realized I wasn't moving, she finally asked, "Didn't they put you on another flight?" Me between gasps still (my chest is killing me at this point) "No, they did not. They said I would make this flight." She then asks for my last name and I hand her my boarding pass because I can't talk at this point.
"Tomorrow at 7:50 PM is the earliest flight I can confirm you on." I managed to ask if there was anything else she could do to get me there sooner. She said all she could do was put me on standby for the whole day, but my bag would be on the first flight out. At this point, an anxiety attack kicks in and I'm heaving like an asthmatic during an attack. She looks over my shoulder and asks for the next person. I move to the windows and sink to the floor, trying to call my mom and my fiance to let them know what's going on. At the same time, I can tell that my iron level has dropped dramatically and I start to get ill.
After about ten or fifteen minutes, I got up to ask the gate attendant where I could find a first aid station because I just couldn't breath and my whole body was starting to shake. She told the people waiting for the next flight that is was delayed and then walked right past me before I could ask for help. So I told myself to forget her and go find someone who would listen. As I was walking a stranger stopped to ask if I was okay and he walked me to the next attended gate where he asked where the nearest first aid station was so I could get some help. The gate attendant promptly called the medics. When they arrived, they put me on oxygen and took my vitals, which were racing for obvious reasons. It took about a half hour for them to get me back to normal, and they wanted to take me to the hospital since the airport clinic wouldn't be open until 8AM. Knowing there was nothing more they'd be able to do for me at the hospital than they had already done, I refused to go.
So now I'm stuck in the airport (they wouldn't put me in a hotel because the delays were weather related) until 7AM when I might be able to catch a Continental flight from here to Newark to Pittsburgh, where I'll have someone waiting to pick me up and drive me two hours back to Cleveland. Meanwhile, my chest is burning and my throat feels like it's on fire from all the heaving I was doing. Needless to say, I will not be flying US Airways in the future. Oh, and I did report the neglectful gate attendant to her supervisor.