It’s been a while since I’ve written and I have a great reason. I went to Italy for 9 days and just recently returned. I wish that I had taken my laptop with me so I could blog while I was there but I wasn’t that comfortable lugging my laptop on a tour that consisted of me hopping from Rome to Florence to Milan to Venice with a few stops in the Tuscan region. So here’s the blog summary of my trip broken down by city. However, before I even made it to Italy I had a bit of an adventure. Ok, more than a bit. Want to hear about it…here it goes.
I was scheduled to depart for my Italian getaway on September 18. My flight left that afternoon with a layover in New York before we headed to Rome at 6:55pm. Well as I arrived to the airport at 10am, I was very much on schedule for the 12:55 flight. I took advantage of the extra time to walk around the airport and look for an Italian phrasebook that I had forgotten to pick up the day before. I got on the airport train to return to my terminal at about noon, confident that I would sit for a spell before the plane started boarding.
When I got to my gate, I noticed something odd. I didn’t see any of the ladies that were going to Italy with me and there was an angry looking crowd of people standing around the counter. I notice that the sign at the gate said 12:25 for the flight departure to Bucharest. But I was confused so I went over to a gate agent and asked about the flight and discovered that it was gone. My heart sank. I went over to a ticketing agent to see if I could get on another flight and not have to pay too much money.
Luckily for me, the angry group of people was a good thing. The flight had been overbooked which meant that about 20 people weren’t given seats on the flight which was taking almost everyone to New York to connect to an international flight. After visiting the ticketing agent, I was directed to join the group of people who were being taken care of after being booted from the flight. I was able to be booked on a 1:40 flight to LaGuardia that would put me in New York at 4 and give me enough time to catch the shuttle to JFK which is where my 6:55 flight to Rome was leaving from.
Relieved, I headed to my new terminal with a voucher for a free flight because the other one had been overbooked. As I boarded the plane, I felt a little better about things. I took a nap on the plane and woke up right before it was about to land. As we began the landing prep, the pilot came on the intercom. Apparently there was a lot of traffic on the airway to New York so we were asked to slow down which meant we would land about 15 later than initially scheduled.
As my stress level slowly rose, I tried to remain calm. After about 15 minutes we were cleared to land and I felt a bit better. Once we landed, I was told that we would have a shuttle to JFK airport but that we would have to see a delta agent about it. When I walked into the area, the agent walked the other way and out the other door. Annoyed, I walked around to see if I could just catch a shuttle but there weren’t any around so I returned to the area and the agent had returned.
She called a car service for me and another gentleman who had a 7pm flight to Saudi Arabia. She assured me that it would take about 15 minutes for the car to arrive. 20 minutes later, she was calling back to check on things. As time slowly ticked by, I looked at the time and it was 4:45. I knew I should be at JFK by 6 in order to be cleared for the flight. The car pulled up at about 5:15 and we happily jumped inside. As he pulled into rush hour traffic, I was wondering how long it would take us to get there. As we drove slowly through traffic, my stress level began to rise. At about 5:55, we pulled up to JFK airport, which is huge. The driver dropped one guy off and then headed to the Delta terminal.
When he pulled up, I almost got out while the car was moving but I took a breath and waited for him to stop. As he handed me my suitcase, I waved goodbye to my travel companion and ran into the airport. Thankfully the boarding agent had checked me into both flights so I was able to go straight to security and to the gate. As I walked up, the ladies were glad to see me, which was nice. I took a moment and got a bottle of water and calmed down. I had made it! I was on my way to Italy.
I figured after making it through that adventure, I was up for anything once I arrived in Italy.
PS: I discovered that I had misread my airline ticket and my flight had indeed been scheduled to leave Atlanta at 12:25. Moral: Pay CLOSE attention to your flight schedule!