Aki Solomos

Traveler, writer, reviewer, all-round observer. I like anything cool & fast, but occasionally sit at a cafe watching the world go by.

TWO WEEKS IN TUSCANY – day 1: The Roller Coaster Ride

IMG_0135The following are actual events of my trip to Italy from my personal travel journal…

Oct. 04, 2010

A late start from home on a frantic morning before traveling is never a good thing. The day was filled with ups, downs, twists, and turns.  One frustrating roller coaster ride.  Despite the last minute items to pack, looking for a cab willing to take us to JFK, hitting the unavoidable traffic, we did make it on time to check in, technically.  Unfortunately, Murphy’s Law took over with his infamous adage: “Whatever can go wrong, will go wrong” -curse you Murphy! IMG_20130725_162541 The taxi pulled up to the terminal, only to be turned away by police because it just closed.  Apparently, it closes after a certain time each day, therefore check-in is now at their other terminal.  This important tidbit wasn’t mentioned anywhere online nor when I called.  Off we went back around the airport, through heavy traffic, to the other terminal, losing more precious time.

Finally at the awfully crowded and small terminal, we immediately darted to the automated kiosks only to find them not working properly.  Meandering now through the wrong and extremely long check-in line (in my defense, there were no signs nor anyone to ask which line was which, and the other passengers on the line had no idea either!), we found that Delta Airlines made a blunder with our reservations.  They allowed my wife to check-in with her luggage, but not me.  Apparently, they couldn’t find my name in their system.  They lost about half an hour looking, although I confirmed it the night before.  When they did find it, they couldn’t explain the mishap and they gave me a boarding pass, but with only 15 minutes left till boarding, it was too late to allow me to check my bag.

Wait, there’s more: Since there wasn’t enough time to check in my luggage, they suggested I ship it, which is at the next terminal over, this way I can catch the flight.  After running back and forth, looking for the shipping agent, I finally find out it’s a lot more complex and costly than what Delta led me to believe, and they were not willing to foot the bill.  I was instructed to ship it to their counterpart in Pisa, and they would hold it for me. The shipping agent told me, in his broken English, that I’m not allowed to do that.

Long story short, time quickly ran out and my wife made it onboard while I was rebooked for the next day’s flight.  Delta “tried” to make up for their blunder by rebooking me “at no extra charge” (really? Why bother mentioning there would be no charge?!? There better damned well be no charge!), giving me a taxi voucher to go back home (but no voucher to come back the next day), and a $200 discount on my next Delta purchase.  Although I was now on my way back home and my wife taking off in the plane, the same thought came across our minds, ‘how are we going to explain this to her family in Italy when they pick her up and I’m not there?’

Queens-20121007-00454 On top of that, I found out the next morning, while on the phone with my wife, that they lost her luggage -it never made the flight after all.  It was still in JFK (they must’ve unloaded it to make room for freight, a common practice in the airline industry, despite the law that bags are not allowed to travel without their owner).

For anyone that knows me well, one can only imagine my boiled-over anger and frustration. “Serenity Now!”

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This entry was posted on January 19, 2015 by in Uncategorized.
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