April 2011
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Month April 2011

Rage, rage against the dying of the flight

I was stuck in Chicago at O’Hare Airport one holiday season, along with thousands of other travelers.   We’d been delayed several hours by a fierce snowstorm blowing in from the plains, and then got word that several flights were cancelled.  People were up in arms.  The airline agents were stressed, passengers were starting to shout, and the whole mood of the place was turning black.  It was the closest I’d seen to mob mentality in years, and I was getting scared. In the midst of the shouting and fist shaking, a young gate agent walked from behind the counter, climbed onto a seat, and raised her arms in an outstretched Y.  She didn’t say a word.  She simply stood, motionless, with a relaxed look on her face.  It took two minutes, but the shouting began to subside.  One by one, people turned their attention to her.