Yea! We (and our luggage) have arrived in Rome and we’re comfortably settled in Hotel Savoy! Of course, no trip would be normal without a few hiccups, and we certainly experienced those.
On the day prior to departure, we printed out our boarding passes, only to discover that our reserved 24A/24B seats had been changed to 17E/41F, in spite of having paid extra for United’s Economy Plus seating, which gives more legroom. We immediately called customer service where a very nice young man named Chet said he was sorry, that he couldn’t reassign our seating, since that is turned over to the airport agents 24 hours before departure. He promised that he would tag our reservation for the airport to review the first thing in the morning. Imagine our pleasure at arriving in Washington, D.C. and finding that we had been reassigned to 18A/18B. Thank you, Chet!
We traveled from Oklahoma City with our friends Mickey and Tana and met Jim’s sister Sharon and her husband Mark (from Columbia, MD) at Dulles. Our 5:55 p.m. flight departure became a 6:15 p.m. departure. Once we were all settled in our seats, however, the captain informed us that the weather had taken over cockpit controls and we wouldn’t be leaving too soon.
The flight attendants were very nice and all passengers on the 777 were thrilled when we finally departed at 8:50 p.m. The flight itself was uneventful, though the 8 ½ hour trip was decidedly tiring. Pillows and blankets were provided, and first-run movies were on the entertainment channels.
A couple of tips about long flights like this one:
* purchase one of the semi-circular neck pillows. They provide support and make it much more comfortable.
* use earplugs if you aren’t going to watch the video or listen to music. Blocking out all the extra noises of hundreds of people will make sleep a better possibility.
* take along a snack or two. The dinner was typical airplane food, as was the continental breakfast; so some snack mix or fruit to snack on is a help.
Heard in the airport: “I did it! I switched to a window seat! And the ticket agent said it was a good window. I asked her ‘What’s a bad window?’ The answer? ‘OPEN!’”
We’re still laughing about that one.
Now the sightseeing begins.