Monday, October 12, 2009

Jennifer's Arrival to Italy



I have arrived to Rome. All has gone pretty smoothly for me except for my check-in at Blu-Express. They got me good for having gone over their weight limit. The limit is 17 kilos for the checked luggage, and 5 kilos for the carry-on.


It was a joke of sorts, watching the people before me rearrange their suitcase content moving it from one bag to another. I stood in the line wondering if I would soon be the next fool opening up my suitcases for everyone to see inside. Sure enough, it happened to me too. I was told my carry-on was too heavy. So, what do you think I did? I transferred all I could to the larger suitcase only to have the man at the desk tell me, "Now your other suitcase is too heavy." First, my carry-on was too heavy, now the carry on is practically empty and the other suitcase goes over the 17 kilo limit.


So, yes, I had to pay extra. But only with Blu-Express! The sad part is, I really tried to travel lightly. At the last minute, I was taking out items from my suitcase in my house, leaving them behind for fear that this would happen. And it did. I even left behind my Italian grammar book which must weigh at least 2 pounds!


Now I am sitting here waiting for my flight, wondering what other surprises Blue-Express will have for me. I am hoping there won't be any others.


Aside from the unpleasant experience at Blue-Express, everything has gone pretty smoothly. I was pleasantly surprised by Alitalia when they told me they had a gluten-free meal option. Well, actually, they didn't tell me, I overheard the steward confirming with a passenger behind me that he was having a gluten-free dinner. This I had not expected. So, when I had a chance, I signaled the steward over to me and I asked him if a meal was being served on the plane. When I purchased my ticket online, it said, "no meal". I explained this to him in my simple Italian, and he chuckled! No, it wasn't my Italian, it was the idea that a plane full of Italians and tourists visiting Italy could actually survive an 8 hour flight without a meal.


Blue Express had one more surprise for me on my flight to Lamezia Terme. This time it was a surprise at boarding time. I got off the shuttle with all the other passengers and I made my way towards the plane. A stewardess wearing a hat and fitted suit stood at attention at the staircase. She looked like she was in the Navy. I noticed that several people were walking at a quick pace and a few men actually cut me off while going up the stairs. What is all the rush? I no sooner got on the plane and the man behind me saw me looking for my seat, JG35. He informed me, "There are no assigned seats. You can sit where you want." Ahh, I get it! That's whythat herd of horses just ran me over so they could get their favorite seat for a 50 minute flight. It's amazing how easily people can forget to be courteous when it's a first come first serve kind of situation.


How will my flight back to Rome work out? Will I pay extra?


I have already started strategizing about this one. I am using up and tossing out all toiletries before the 19th of September. It occurs to me that I may also put things in the multiple pockets I have in both my hip hop pants and my rain coat! I will be the heavy one, not my suitcase. Blue Express doesn't have a\rule about the weight of its passengers now, does it? Just you wait and see Blu Express, I will take several lbs out of the suitcase!


If any other ideas occur to you all, please do share!

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