I am completely breathless and my feet incredibly swollen as I write this. Yet, I am exhilarated too, while en route to Italy. I have one thing to say: NEVER embark on a multi-leg journey without all of your boarding passes! I began my day in Los Angeles Airport where I was given two boarding passes and was told that getting the third would be “no problem.” RIGHT. So, I raced to make my first flight with only 10 minutes to spare, to Charlotte, NC. From there, I embarked to Frankfurt, Germany and had an amazing experience on the flight where I made a good friend. (I will write about this amazing Italian woman, who is fighting for her daughter’s life, in my next post.)
For whatever reason, maybe US Air’s computers were down or weren’t linked correctly, but I had to navigate the Frankfort airport and to try to get the Lufthansa boarding pass that I should have been given in LA. I did this after already traveling over 12 hours. Needless to say, computer glitches—married with a communication barrier—made me nearly miss my flight to Rome. Somehow, I mustered up the courage NOT to take the pitiful advice of three negligent Lufthansa agents and I ran to security and begged a woman to let me through, sans boarding pass, to my departure gate. Somehow, miracle, of miracles, she let me through!
Basically, in Frankfurt I went to two kiosks that didn’t give me my boarding pass and was directed to a long check-in line (which of course, I didn’t need to be in, as I had already checked my bag all the way through to Rome from Los Angeles!) And then when my heart started beating overtime, I jumped out of that line and went into the first class line. When that wasn’t moving I raced over to priority. When that wasn’t moving, one snotty man who worked for Lufthansa actually told me that I would just have to buy another ticket to Rome. WHAT? I mean, this was all their fault, right? And I was already checked into the flight from Rome, I just needed a f*cking boarding pass that they should have already issued me to get on it! So I raced to security and passport control and luckily, a woman felt sorry for me after looking at my printed itinerary (ALWAYS have a printed itinerary for these multi-leg flights) and she let me through.
With 25 minutes until my flight took off to Rome, I waited and waited in a ridiculously slow security checkpoint and then raced through miles of airport, running like the wind with my swollen feet about to burst. I had to race through three terminals and to the very end of one in order to wait in another line to finally get a new boarding pass at the gate. What a nightmare!!! Luckily, I only had one light roller bag, so racing through the airport wasn’t too difficult. At one point during my race, when a very large American family blocked my way, a cute Italian pilot looked at me sympathetically, pointed and screamed “Mi Scusi!” and pushed the obese man and woman out of my way and winked, letting me continue to run through the terminal. I’m sure I ran a bit like a girl, but hey, I made it. AND…I didn’t lose it like this woman did, who missed her flight to San Francisco earlier this year. Take a look at this for a laugh. Thank God I didn’t lose my cookies like she did, but I can completely understand her stress!
So, I am now sitting sandwiched between two enormously fat teenagers from Atlanta, Georgia (what is going on, my fellow Americans??) who are going to Italy to study abroad for the summer. One is sweating profusely and I’m trying to ignore that aroma as I write. Just 90 more minutes and I land in Rome to be greeted by my adorable boyfriend who will make this trek worth the hassle! By this time tomorrow, when I’m driving with his family to our vila in Tuscany, today’s stress should be a long-forgotten, or at least humorous, memory.