Fun and games with Al Italia

TRAVELS

So you’ve all heard that we got robbed on the Athens metro, right? And another adventure we had was even worse. Here’s what happened: We were flying from Athens to Venice via Rome. We had to stop in Rome and change flights. Well, through no fault of our own (I swear!) we missed our connecting flight to Venice…

We were waiting at the gate that was listed on the overhead board and also on our tickets. We got to the gate an hour in advance of the flight. So we (my sister and I) were hanging out in a super noisy terminal, eating bad airport pizza and the absolutely WORST French fries imaginable. You couldn’t even bite into them – literally! You had to gum them! hahahaha They were bad, really bad…inedible…

Then we stood at the gate for our flight and got to the ticket taker, who told us that we were in the wrong line and furthermore, our plane had already taken off! This was bad, very bad. He told us to go to the Al Italia ticket counter. We went there, and the agent said, ‘We called you but you didn’t answer, you missed your flight, we had to delay the plane a half hour to get your bags off. No, you can’t just take that flight that you were in line for. You have to retrieve your bags on Belt 16. There is no way you will make that flight. And furthermore, there are no other flights until tomorrow morning at 8:30am. Furthermore, there are no trains from the Rome airport into the city, they’ve stopped for the evening (9pm!) You’ll have to get your bags and wait until the morning.’

So after insisting that we never heard anyone calling us, down we trod to the hell known as Belt 16. It was at the farthest end of the terminal in the bowels of the building. We looked and waited, looked and waited some more. No bags. We checked in the lost baggage storage room – shelves and shelves filled with bags that no one had claimed. We looked and looked. No bags for us. (Seinfeld soup Nazi episode springs to mind!)

Now we’re getting mad. We’ve (haha – I give myself too much credit here, it was my sister) prepaid for the hotel in Venice, and it’s clear we are not going to make it to Venice anytime soon. This is pitiful beyond reason. Terrible, our (her) hard earned dollars going to total waste. So we went to the Baggage Customer ‘Care’ line and stood with dozens of screaming Air France customers. Air France had lost everyone’s luggage, a whole planeful of luggage! There was a screaming Italian whose specific words we could not understand but the intent was clear. There was a Chinese woman saying ‘I’m here for 3 weeks. I missed my connection, and so you did what? You sent ALL my luggage back to China?’ There was a proper British couple at the counter, reserved but turning red with steam coming out the ears, mumbling bad things as they turned to leave. There was a woman of indeterminate nationality (maybe French) saying ‘I have a wedding tomorrow! My clothes are in my bag!’

This was a bonding experience for everyone in line. We were all like best friends whose common enemy was the airline we had had the stupidity to pay money to for transporting us and our bags. Al Italia – you are rotten! We despise you! Good – I said it in writing!

What happened next was like a nightmare…

 

 

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