Well, let me start by saying I'm an HP CSA in PHX. When the transition was announced, we realized our fellow east cities would need some help, whether the system ended up working or not.. so about 15 of us from PHX were deployed out to CLT... and a few to a handful of other cities.
We flew out Saturday on an east flight from PHX to CLT.. around around four in the afternoon. We were greeted by the manager of the CLT hub who was a very nice woman who could not stop thanking us enough for being there, everyone was very thankful for our willingness to come out and help. We learned we would be staying until Thursday and working 12 hour days... (this has been a little more flexible since). But we would go around to all the gates (we were separated into different areas) and we'd answer questions where questions were needed.
We then spent a couple of hours with the agents in our respective areas watching them work a bank of flights on SABRE. They were nice and kinda griping a bit about going to SHARES system, but they were all very nice. We finally got to go to our hotel room and relax... my scheduled shift was to be from 11am to 11pm out on the floor in the low B gates.
Sunday came and we got to the airport right on schedule.... we knew it was awful when we saw the lines going out the door. We were a little worried wondering what could have possibly gone SO wrong. Then we heard announcements telling people in line who had missed their flights to go home, call res, and rebook as there was going to be nothing for them on Sunday. We gave each other looks, took a deep breath and went through security to check in...
The CLT agents were trying sooo hard, but they needed so much help. They had been given a crash course of two days training on the system and then the ability to practice with it, which very few had taken up. It was a rough day I spent at the special services counter rebooked hundreds of people.., I was working a regular agent and helping them as issues arose. They tried very hard but some things weren't working as they were supposed to, there were several glitches.... which made the learning process more difficult, but they all kept smiles on their faces, we all tried!
Monday was a much better day. Things were still slow moving and flights were still running behind schedule from the previous day but some glitches were fixed, making the process easier. Agents still had lots of questions... but those who had been there Sunday were making vast improvements, after having been forced to work in a situation controlled by irregular operations (which is where the most difficult of all issues in any system will arise).
Then today Tuesday, the agents were operating mostly as normal. They stil had plenty of questions, but they now had no issues running flights and getting them out as they are planned.
The agents in CLT are a great group of employees and are trying their hardest and learning much quicker than anything I would have expected. So if you're travelling through CLT, please bring your patience as they are learning new things every day still!
We're working hard, just thought I would share things from an employees point of view who was there and saw it all.. this report would have been more full, but I am heading off to dinner and need to type quickly!