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Misadventures in getting to Italy

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Even veteran travelers can have really bad travel days.

Mr. Misadventures and I must have been due…

It started when I hung up on the Alitalia agent at the call center. I rarely lose my temper, that Andi I left in the dust more than a dozen years ago.

In the process of trying to check-in online and make sure our luggage would go all the way to Florence from San Francisco, Mr. Misadventures discovered that due to some clerical error on Alitalia’s part our names were transposed and therefore our record could not be found by United.

Getting our luggage in Paris and checking into Florence from CDG was not a disaster, but it was painful, so in an attempt to avoid issues ahead of time, Mr. Misadventures placed a call to Alitalia to réglé (fix) the situation. When I heard him try to give our confirmation number ten times, I knew we were in trouble.

I walked upstairs, took the phone from him and asked the agent to speak to her supervisor as she would not help us try to resolve the problem. She refused to transfer me to a manager or supervisor, something I have never heard of. She said if I wanted to speak with someone else I could hang up and call back.


And that is exactly what we did. And got no where.

No problem, we are seasoned travelers and go with the flow. We checked our luggage just to Paris and when we arrived at Terminal 1 at CDG we grabbed our luggage, were pleasantly surprised by the tram system that replaced the buses (this is the first non Air France we have taken in many years) getting three largish suitcases, three camera bags and a laptop case would have been a bitch to get on the bus with.

We first went to the Alitalia office to get our name situation straightened out. The agent in the office said there was nothing to worry about, no change was needed, yet she couldn’t explain why if it wasn’t a problem, why United could not see our itinerary. She sent us on our way saying everything was fine.


Then we walked up to a kiosk to check in for our flight and made it all the way through the process, stopping at the charging of our credit card for a supplemental bag. No problem. We knew we were going have to pay. However that was the problem. The kiosk did not accept American credit cards.

We were then instructed to go to the Air France office to pay the supplement. After speaking with an Air France agent for about 5 minutes in the office, she said she could not help us and sent us to a specific counter where we could skip the kiosk and pay the extra charge at the counter.


We went back to where we originally started at the kiosk to the greeting area next to it in which we were informed that we would have to go to a different desk at the other end of the building.


Am I losing you yet? Three big suitcases, three camera bags and a laptop bag drudging up and down Terminal 2F, not my idea of fun!

We arrived at the new counter, with a much longer line, and found out we were finally in fact at the right counter. She began processing our bags and asked for Mr. Misadventures credit card.

No go. Her machine would not process credit cards, for some strange reason it decided to stop functioning. No problem. She processed the transaction over the phone and had them email us the receipt.

Bags finally dropped off, we proceeded to grab something to eat, pass through security (in which all my husbands bazillion camera bodies and lenses passed through security without issue, but the fact that I didn’t pull out my iPad was an issue…P.S. his iPad was in his camera bag, but never mind that…) and grab a beloved noisette before standing in line to board our flight.


When they scanned my hubby’s ticket it buzzed and the agent said that we owed money for an extra bag! Mr. Misadventures had to log onto airport WiFi, access his email and show the receipt for transaction in which we already paid the surcharge for. Meanwhile everyone was boarding around us and we were getting concerned that the overhead space would disappear and my hubby would not be able to get his camera equipment on the plane.

Transaction cleared, we boarded the plane and headed to Italy.

When we landed I literally wanted to kiss the ground!

The Florence airport is tiny, the planes literally sitting between 25-50 yards from the terminal, you can see them from baggage claim, so you would think getting your luggage would be quick.

Not today.

We watched as other flights came in, luggage came through, but nothing for Paris. I think people were considering taking bags from the other carousel, eyeing them like hungry hyenas, which looks like it contains something I can devour?


Eventually our luggage arriving, not sure what trip it took around the entire airport before it arrived on our carousel, but it arrived.

Ultimately, we did not get bumped from an overbooked San Francisco flight, we did not miss our connection and we did not lose our suitcase.

There are just travel days like this and if you don’t roll with the punches, you’ll end up feeling like you got punched in the gut!

How about you? Have you had a travel day from hell before? How did you handle it?

Traveler Tuesday – Paul of A Luxury Travel Blog
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