29 June 2011

Seasoned traveler? Apparently not.

But, you see, there were a few complications with this trip. First of all, there are baggage restrictions for carry-on bags. Now, I know there are always baggage restrictions but they aren’t strictly enforced.. at least not for carry-ons. My bag couldn’t be larger than 10 kilos, and I only got one (and a laptop bag counts as an additional carry-on, as does a purse, and as does a camera). So at that rate I had 4 bags- unacceptable. So everything had to fit in my carry-on AND be under 10 kilos, which just wasn’t going to happen. Luckily Matteo was a light packer so I was able to fit lots of stuff in his bag and we were ready to go. So I thought.

When we arrived at the airport, because I am not an EU citizen and even though I’d already printed my boarding pass, I still had to go to the counter and check in. when I gave her my printed boarding pass she looked at me like I was crazy. I guess I didn’t that s print it correctly, but what confused me was that the barcode was still there as was the information, but apparently that wasn’t good enough. Luckily she was only kind of cranky and complained and snapped but still printed me a new boarding pass. So I was good to go now, right? Wrong.

We went through security and of course they stopped me for my bag. She pulled out my glasses cleaner and hand sanitizer and empty water bottle (er, bag) and told me I needed to go back out through security and pay 1 euro for a plastic bag. I understand the security precautions and all, but that seemed to be rather unnecessary. I mean, she already pulled them out and saw what they were. But oh well, I wasn’t going to complain too much and just went to do what I was told. But the patter downer lady wouldn’t let me through. Instead she pointed to the computer person and they just gave me a bag. All that drama for nothing .So whew- last stop: board the plane. Not so much.

Matteo suggested getting water because it’s RyanAir and you have to pay for that (and the bathroom). We went into the duty free store and found what we were looking for. It was easier just for one person to pay so I took his and he paid me back. Before she let me pay she said she needed to see my passport and boarding pass. Then the guy behind me said, “I’m Italian. Do you need mine?” She then responded no. I’m not sure the reason behind this… but it just seemed unnecessary (could be that I was already on edge as it was). Ok, so surely that would be the last thing. Nope.

We got to our gate just as it was supposed to open so we could board. Well, it took an additional 45 minutes to get us boarded. What we had to do (once they opened the gate) was give them our ticket (after they’d already come through to everyone and torn them?) and then go down a flight of stairs to take a bus to our plane (oh, low-cost airlines). As I went past the guy and he scanned my ticket, we walked down the stairs. As we were halfway there Matteo caught my attention and told me to turn around (I guess it’d blocked out all sounds, including someone hollering at me in Estonian to come back). I guess they’d originally taken the incorrect part of the ticket and had to give me back the right one. Thankfully that was the last issue in the travels from Estonia to Italy- and I am thankful I didn’t check a bag after all or who knows if I would have had it in time to leave Italy.

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