Deb in Amman 2013 – 9
Let me tell you what I HATE about the Rome Airport. You get off the plane and need to get onto a shuttle. The temperature was 1 degree Centrigrade, so chilly. We ride and disembark, only to wait in a drafty hall for about 15 minutes before we very very slowly place our carry on luggage on the belt to go through screening and walk through screening. Then I thought we went to pick up our luggage to take it through additional screening. I waited and waited at carousel 4 where the Amman luggage was to be delivered. I noticed that I was the ONLY person waiting, so I got nervous. I walked up and down the area, discovering that only carousel 4 was listed for Amman.
More waiting, then panic. I asked one customer service agent near carousel 4, who sent me to the Air Italia customer service agent near carousel 8, who told me that I did not need to pick up my luggage.
Fine. I go upstairs and discover that my flight to Atlanta checks in at location 536. Increasing panic as I realize there is NO 536- they only go up to 430. By now, my watch says it is almost 9 a.m. and my flight leaves at 9:50 a.m.
I finally discover that I need to take a shuttle to terminal 5. I find the shuttle and no one else is on it and it is not moving anytime soon. So completely panic-stricken, I ask one of the shuttle guys if I’ll miss my flight. He assures me that I won’t.
Ten minutes later, my blood pressure rising dramatically, the shuttle finally starts to move. When we get to terminal 5, I need to check in, where there is some confusion about my luggage- which is determined to be booked all the way through to Madison, although I’ll have to take them off the carousel in Atlanta to go through security.
I’m sent through a door to a huge room where I’m completely confused as to what to do next. A staff person yells at me, pointing out a door. There, I go through a more thorough security, where I have to take out my laptop, camera, phone, ipod, ipod player, Kindle. I’m almost having a heart attack by now, and one guy ahead of me takes his sweet time putting his belt on , his shoes on, I wanted to yell at him because they wouldn’t put my things through security until he was out of the way. When I get through screening, my stuff has just come through on the belt so I start to pick it up. A guard scowls at me when I pull my bag (which has already gone through the screening) before it is totally on the conveyer belt. He grabs my bag and puts it through screening again.
I go through a door and see another line for more screening. I can’t believe it! I ask the staff person there, who points at a far door and tells me to go there, where they checked my passport.
Then I find that I need to take ANOTHER shuttle to the gate. A guy from California and I sit there in the shuttle waiting and waiting for it to move. Fifteen minutes later, an entire crowd gets on the shuttle, including a woman pushing a huge stroller, and off we roll.
When we get to the gate part of the airport, we need to go up an escalator. Despite signs to the contrary, the woman puts her stroller on the escalator.
By now I’m certain that I’ve missed my flight. I race to G3 (I had to find a monitor first, because my ticket had no gate information). My watch says 9:10 and the ticket agent tells me they’ll be boarding at 9:10. I ask if I’ll have enough time to run to the rest room and he tells me I have plenty of time, because it is really 8:10.
After a strange experience following a man into the woman’s rest room (where he extricated someone from a stall) and doing my business, I went in search of a water fountain. Well, guess what. There ARE no water fountains in the airport!
The young woman who told me that informed me, when I asked where I could get water, that I should go to restaurant. There was a somewhat classy “fast food” restaurant (selling spectacular pizza, by the way). I waited 10 minutes to be able to purchase my bottle of water. By this time, I just handed the counter person my envelope of euros and had him pull out what was needed.
So, I’ve been up since 1:45 a.m., had a 3.5 hour flight from Amman to Rome (where I had to keep asking the stewards for water). And then fell into this nightmare.
Bottom line, trying to navigate the Rome airport is horrendous!
Okay, I hear that they’re boarding my flight. Onward and (literally) upward!
February 16, Madison
Well, a long 36 hours later, I am in Madison. Jenny picked me up. It was good to have finally made it!! I sorted things (laundry, luggage, mail, bills, cat, etc.) until midnight. Then slept all day (literally) on Saturday, waking up finally at 8 p.m. for breakfast…
Thank you again for coming along with me on my travels.