After eight months of planning, the day we travel to Italy is here! Neither one of us could sleep well and we finally gave up at 2 am. Just 2 1/2 hours before the car service picks us up for the trip to the airport.
When checking in the day before for our flights on US Airways, first class was sold out in the first two flights and there was only one seat left in business for the Rome leg. We’re stuck in our economy seats but are as prepared as possible.
Our driver texted me he was there about 10 minutes early and we were all ready so out we went.
At the airport, the US Airways kiosks were not working so the staff had to check every passenger in. As Advantage Gold I was able to use the first class check-in but that line was longer than the other.
We had TSA precheck was was nice in that we didn’t have to remove our shoes or jackets. Once we were past security we found our gate. My husband picked up the morning paper ($1.50!) and we tried to relax while waiting to board.
A second benefit of being Advantage Gold is boarding right before group 1. We had no problem getting one of my carry-ons in the overhead space. Our flight to Phoenix was brief and we had a couple of hours before the flight to Charlotte.
Steve and I walked through the terminals looking for something that inspired us to dine there. We selected Cowboy Ciao. Steve had the
standard eggs, bacon, and potatoes breakfast while I had the hallelujah hash.
The hash was made with short-rib, sweet potatoes and peppers. It was delicious but I wish it came with one of their home-made English
muffins that Steve had.
After that, we walked back to our terminal. The boarding area was crazy packed because it had four or six gates all at the end leaving fairly close together.
The four plus hour flight went quickly as we watched a movie on my iPad (Wild) and then read. In Charlotte, we had a half hour or so before boarding the flight to Rome. Everyone had to check in to get their passport checked before they could approach boarding.
We quickly found our seats (17 GH) and settled in. We felt it was pretty comfortable for economy with enough room between rows. It was nice having just the two seats together so we didn’t have to worry about bothering anyone else.
Every seat was taken but the plane pulled back from the gate right on time. Unfortunately the movies/tv shows never worked on my seat back entertainment unit. The flight attendant reset it and it still never worked. I did switch seats with Steve for a few hours and watched the movie “Still Alice”.
We had a dinner service which included free wine or beer in addition to the usual complimentary beverages. We had red wine with our meals and both had selected chicken instead of pasta.
The dinner came with a roll, butter, cheese, crackers, green salad with ranch dressing and a caramel brownie.
We took a sleeping pill with dinner and tried to sleep. We each ended up getting 3-4 hours of sleep during the 9 hour flight.
At 8 am Rome time, the lights were turned back on and a light breakfast was served. We had raspberry yogurt with a stir in granola packet. There was a flat top blueberry muffin. We also had some kind of fruit/nut mix which I saved for later.
I must say I was pleasantly surprised at the quality of the meals. They were better than expected but I had low expectations due to comments on Flyer Talk.
We enjoyed the French and Italian scenery before landing. I never realized that Rome was so close to the coast.
After landing the passengers had to take a bus to the terminal where we went through immigration. The line moved very quickly and we were through in less than 10 minutes. We got to luggage carousel and both suitcases were out within a few minutes.
Outside the luggage claim, our driver from Bob’s Limos was waiting with our name and off we were to Rome.
As we took off from the airport, I had to pinch myself. We’re here in ITALY!
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