ben123planes
Topic Author
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:53 pm

A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:21 pm

A Nightmare in Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR on Skyteam

Hello All,

Welcome to another report from the wonderful guy that is me. This report will detail the three flights I took with Air France and Alitatlia when I took a quick break in Paris in January of 2015.

Background

I know you all love a bit of background, so I’ll give it to you. When I went to Australia I set up frequent flier accounts for all of my family (without them knowing, of course) and transferred all the points into my account when I got back; voila! 70,000 frequent flier points for a quarter of the flights.

I originally wanted to book some flights, possibly to the US (which I really wanted to go to) but I quickly realised that this would be too expensive and started looking around for flights to Europe. I then realised it would only knock about £8 off of the flights if I bought it with frequent flier miles. I was stuck. After 5 months of mindlessly browsing and announcing I would book a set of flights after the next payday, I realised I could book hotels.

Eventually I booked 4 nights in the Park and Suites Val’d Europe apart-hotel just outside of Paris, near the Disneyland (or forced-happiness land as my Dad calls it) for £4.50 + 69,000 miles. I admit now, I’m a bit of a Disney-junkie and I hadn’t got my fix since 2012 so this suited me nicely.

For the flights I was after full-service airlines (shock horror) and quite quickly booked a snazzy LHR-CDG with Air France and CDG-FCO-LHR with Alitalia for a nice price of £103. The only slight snag I had was the short 55 minute connection I had in Rome, but I figured this would be plenty of time… or so I thought at the time.

I told my lecturer (I’ve now switched to studying Aviation) and he was angrier at the fact I’d not be flying BA (he’s an ex-pilot) rather than missing 2 days.

The Big Day

Finally the day arrived and I crawled out of bed at the horrific time of 7.30am like an arthritic giraffe and prepared myself for the 12:15pm departure on AF1981 from Terminal 4.

After checking in I walked up to the new viewing platform and took in the views like a good old-fashioned reggie hunter.

Nice maps of the field;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10404475_1061373240556142_2559770713519406168_n.jpg?oh=f64b7ded905ded18b217b94b5385a910&oe=552382B5&__gda__=1432507788_1e984648a18b7b8e0e7ca8479a211ca4

https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10923594_1061373287222804_1653444235940717539_n.jpg?oh=13d91bd6eef25c4e0513a3c2bf2f6d74&oe=5569D789&__gda__=1432971225_c6742709df9ff2e14e9dce747b5a5caa

I originally thought this was my aircraft landing but it turned out to be the delayed 9:40am service;
https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10922652_1061373353889464_2665165737235393037_n.jpg?oh=d2bf8484c48cb1f49911bdebdfc57bf1&oe=55372AF1

A jazzy camera angle from a probably accidental photo;
https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/10922501_1061373390556127_1069375331291625508_n.jpg?oh=3bc4e4205a1489aa6cafaa1a4578fe2a&oe=5537A152

After a while there was announcement announcing a short delay for my flight due to ‘adverse weather conditions’.

Although I already knew this as I saw the weather front sweep in… quite an interesting sight;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10933741_1061373400556126_5531160576877753165_n.jpg?oh=e300ee7d516ef1d0300bb4b1e2b7a4df&oe=552418D2&__gda__=1428986552_206e2830fc624a6a1b1b437a566a1e77

https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xaf1/v/t1.0-9/10417618_1061373923889407_598700242420990583_n.jpg?oh=6438e1cd95858877d3ed140361e37b02&oe=5561B511&__gda__=1432822944_8f40877bd37a1bd2ec0e48ce78dade92

And a few other arrivals, including the Kuwait 744 and a Virgin 787-9;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10931537_1061373837222749_7152439213739811593_n.jpg?oh=23bc6b2b2158e0546bc24eb50c98afac&oe=5537B1AE&__gda__=1432766871_62d8e319d4438a2f7ae629d5ce322400

https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10247214_1061373753889424_7550584928609428116_n.jpg?oh=9a4fbc1e3e15b8666d5176ea0ceba8a2&oe=5528B426

https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10931439_1061373680556098_8157309056600357453_n.jpg?oh=6fe3e688c550345430c0f675a9a00fdc&oe=5565C6D0

https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10906546_1061373880556078_2249599862201187295_n.jpg?oh=e54dcd2860d01a1641e2635c455ec347&oe=556499BE

Eventually my aircraft (forgotten the reg) arrived a good 70 minutes late but boarding was announced a mere 15 minutes behind the boarding time. During this procedure a bloke came sprinting down the terminal, pushed to the front of the pointless queue (queuing for their reserved seat?!) and demanded to be let on board because “that’s my flight and I’m late”. Once he was informed he was in fact trying to board alongside the business class passengers he sulked like a toddler and clumped to the back of the queue.

Once onboard I was greeted with a stoney-faced “Bonjour” and I made my way to my seat of 18A.

Before you read this, I’m going to point out this technique works like a dream on the train.

I always sling my bag off one shoulder and spin around, letting the other shoulder slip off in the gap between the seats whilst simultaneously sitting in my seat – it’s a snazzy move and I have to sign autographs once I’ve settled down with a wink and a smile. This time however I ended up whacking the seat with my bag and stumbling backwards into the person in front. Already mildly embarrassed I tried to put my bag in the overhead locker using one hand as the other had my camera within its grasp. My hand struggled to balance my bag and it fell out of my hand and promptly fell straight onto the head of a woman, she let out a noise similar to a cat with asthma and muttered in French. My next words must have settled her down a bit though;
“Hi, sorry about that, I’m sat in the window next to you… you don’t mind moving so I can get in do you?”

She gave a muffled squeak and a slight nod of the head and moved. I settled down in my seat and calmed the woman’s nerves even more by immediately taking a picture of my knees.

Nice legroom; enough for this flight at least.
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10933699_1061373990556067_7835747957805430770_n.jpg?oh=3d945297f04a287f6a23486e983e4c16&oe=553400FF

And my view out of the window;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10940414_1061373970556069_8659570111549707032_n.jpg?oh=23d8db7ed7dd6752d7a02b8eca412de0&oe=55620558&__gda__=1428417586_3f39adaf42b4c8f7f0e68fe893e63ccb

The Captain spoke over the blower and informed us of a 35 minute flight time and told us the delay was due to a mechanical problem with the aircraft. (Completely contradicting the ground staff)

Pushback was about 20 minutes late and we made the taxi over to 27R for takeoff.
https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/10488030_1061374017222731_8883654000229848121_n.jpg?oh=7d51f495e077730d12314f4a120f49ac&oe=556EE2CB&__gda__=1428470080_fd8e57c922a2e3624c421b9f041846e8

https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/10406419_1061374040556062_4595540281941744294_n.jpg?oh=1aab93607450a08f8433314a5f3f2ee7&oe=55238E61&__gda__=1432476650_a11f83d5267bdffccf68437e83e8a43b

https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10923539_1061374060556060_8539766953450949313_n.jpg?oh=ddf4d5029dd0e0faa4c3c35d9f6aec6b&oe=552AAC18

The big beasts;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/1795788_1061374080556058_3428365600750991042_n.jpg?oh=3841f3a4763ea04afd2657400644e0f1&oe=556E32B9&__gda__=1433201921_e326ea74f09563e57e02504b70e14e7b

I filmed the takeoff so no pics and I can’t be bothered screenshot like jwhite so you’re just gonna get the first photo I took after takeoff. It was pretty bumpy and a few screams (possibly from the pilot) were heard. The takeoff was laterally westbound and vertically upwards;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/10698422_1061374100556056_2430219837949133231_n.jpg?oh=c5cdabd35ce4cf6c9e775f676c07dea7&oe=556F58A3&__gda__=1428458396_a76f2110b9e2b0371067812fcd687125

https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10923834_1061374120556054_6077246190679867052_n.jpg?oh=98c3cddf3c50545089ec287674a7355a&oe=552E466B

https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10888584_1061374143889385_6472557360652414723_n.jpg?oh=0bb227cee8186d0ccf34b4fea54bf140&oe=5524D9CB

https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/1723330_1061374173889382_4325989143457808325_n.jpg?oh=9711c654c7e1f7a46f3cc67217938684&oe=552D0336

https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10891892_1061374203889379_2583354041171465738_n.jpg?oh=f1f4e8cee27b6199dfe5952321b2d3bd&oe=556AA686

Once in the cruise of 24,000ft, the cabin crew practilcally ran down the cabin offering out some Rosemary flavoured cracker things and a drink. These crackers were surprisingly nice and I wished there were more in the packet.
https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10922735_1061374250556041_4870925588764687587_n.jpg?oh=28e7b347de152666aa1c34efaa95222b&oe=5530BDCD

https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10505586_1061374267222706_861388286948900187_n.jpg?oh=44d18a8960bac64c500c6fe5c7d8c2f0&oe=55652342

About 5 minutes into the cruise descent started and we had a positive nose-down position;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10417709_1061374290556037_1968049389658714814_n.jpg?oh=8f48046ae1810a1ef49737c56526ff18&oe=5562E5E2&__gda__=1433236658_eea121a4097e70bfd686e29ad6f83bb1

https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10440267_1061374320556034_6880518267249498870_n.jpg?oh=8f2eee80d7257c77a25d1956f95c1078&oe=5565886F&__gda__=1428936278_18b2d8b813a0cfd7893daa314b3be7dc

Halo;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10922433_1061374337222699_8639812155164838768_n.jpg?oh=9c80cbaca3e2549fbb5b75d1a3d306df&oe=556E3A5A&__gda__=1433170186_c5715436081e1d786c3330aad158976e

https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10430892_1061374370556029_8768601135685843248_n.jpg?oh=e31d7454fb8ee37fc75616d2caf6e379&oe=55369EBE&__gda__=1432575470_4f5a92f1f90bdc6f4749bcb3a19f1a2e

We landed on a 26(?) runway and it was vertically downwards, it was still pretty windy and we came down with quite a healthy crash. A few images from the taxi;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10933945_1061374437222689_4785425374030911319_n.jpg?oh=b6cf720bf1f0cb35b57560db6a311095&oe=552B00D4&__gda__=1429025261_1a9749c3f087f10e83a2ddcb7928b808

https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10930874_1061374460556020_845300824694649277_n.jpg?oh=a9afd67efd5b756c4720d796a195f069&oe=55308EAA

https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/10882332_1061374500556016_1786664486180710386_n.jpg?oh=9321729c48c125d607ac2ebe8eefc056&oe=55648746

For Colby;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10392502_1061374547222678_3136673226304233913_n.jpg?oh=edf6f7081d1d39060874d757d92c0975&oe=55366961&__gda__=1428818008_6a5769f7704bcf9d9881831df5cd10f9

Once off of the plane it was time to navigate the mess that is Terminal 2 at CDG. After 20 minutes of walking, travellators, trains, grunting and under-my-breath moaning I made it to the bus stop for my VEA Coach to the hotel which turnout to be just one floor below the arrivals hall I walked into. Maybe CDG should improve their signage a bit.
My colourful coach was clean, practical and got me to the main bus/train station in Marne-la-Vallee which is directly outside Disneyland. Although I would question the 40 Euro return ticket cost.
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10690135_1061374577222675_1345422836833846519_n.jpg?oh=386d493f6a2f7a2a55ce308abd1e0dc7&oe=5531309E

It was a comfortable 40 minutes and I was dropped off at the main bus/train station serving Disney. On the hotel website it says that there is a free bus service to my hotel, so you can imagine my surprise when I couldn’t find he allocated stop for my hotel. Asking a security guard he told me to catch bus number 24 and told me to go over to the far bus stop. So I went.

After 50 minutes (!) bus 24 finally rolled up and I asked the driver if he went to my hotel.
“No” he spluttered “you need bus number 43” he said pointing at a bus just rolling past towards the exit. “ah, you missed it” he said, flashing a frog-like smile, “go back 2 stops and wait for the next one in errr, 40 minutes.” And with that, a few hydraulic hisses and a squeak, he blasted out as fast as his bus could go.

I clumped back to the 43 bus stop and waited. And waited. And waited. After 90 minutes my bus rolled up. I stepped aboard, ready to be directed to a bus that doesn’t leave until next week. I shoved my reservation confirmation under his nose, he looked at me, looked at the paper, looked at his timetable, waved at his mate in the bus opposite, looked at me and then his timetable again and uttered the immortal words;
“Yes, no, maybe, sort of, two Euro”.

And with that confusing message and 2 Euros shorter I collapsed into a seat and hoped this would get me somewhere in the general vicinity of my hotel.

After 35 minutes crawling through some housing estate we suddenly came to a halt. He pointed at me with both fingers and said “Park and Suites, walk left, straight, left straight et voila!” After this yet again confusing message I followed his instructions and surprisingly ended up directly on the doorstep of my hotel.

I walked up to the reception and told the bloke I had a reservation in the name of Vaughan.
“No, we have no-one of that name booked in tonight.” Great! Whoopty-doo. I procured my passport, drivers licence, credit card and student card in desperation more than hope.

“Oh, you mean it’s in the name of Vowkhan!” he announced triumphantly. I give him credit for getting this far into the pronunciation of my name, as most non-english speakers give up before the first letter, and I had forgotten about this so automatically pronounced it correctly (if it was spelt phonetically, it would be spelt Vorn). Normally I pronounce it in the way that whatever country I’m in pronounces it, apart from in Spain, where they normally end up choking with the effort.

Fianally, I made it to my room…
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10940475_1061375450555921_8366113537812399285_n.jpg?oh=cfd7697c6699278ecefb06a9b95b87b7&oe=556234BD

https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10941212_1061375477222585_4828527249606305588_n.jpg?oh=aa678908995510b3b27a9a62b40c1f70&oe=55687275&__gda__=1432640805_cc1d0550411a751bc644176ba8b6e3cf

To get an idea of how long it took me to get to my room, my flight arrived at 2.30pm, and it was dark by the time I got there – the view from my room included a crane and the castle at Disneyland;


The next few days were spent alternation between going into Paris and going to Disneyland. I’ve actually been into Paris 8 time previously, so this was nothing new to me apart from the Notre Dame, which I wanted to visit. I’ve never particularly like Paris, I always find everything very spaced out and get bored quite quickly. I share a few photos;

The castle;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/1908057_1061375363889263_5937066473526563170_n.jpg?oh=08db889ad2599b5d4104f7f0e99d672c&oe=55627606&__gda__=1432659855_e5405d6eb6027fde48ddddfcafe33166

Main Street USA;
https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10392431_1061375417222591_5596827372106564769_n.jpg?oh=7324a153914f5f54706ee57b5273ccb5&oe=556D5149

Train that cirles the park;
https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xaf1/v/t1.0-9/10544395_1061375330555933_990049541848809987_n.jpg?oh=bd095e9dde9cf1f082f2f0c2a8167035&oe=5528D7A1

When on the Big Thunder Mountain ride it broke down, and we all had to get off and walk across the track, seeing “Behind the Magic” as they kept on saying.
https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10392431_1061375260555940_8261963832983969772_n.jpg?oh=0de48461de8caeb17da9b77b406a189f&oe=5526D2C6&__gda__=1429026988_08d2e5ca1ee229c4f2e4388048399546

For the trouble we were rewarded with an unlimited fastpass – allowing me to go through the exit of any ride to skip the queues for the rest of the day.


The same also happened the next day on the Pirates of the Caribbean ride, but I was unable to take pictures as our belongings went on a little boat and we donned waders and walked down a river… quite an adventure. For this I got another unlimited fastpass.

For anyone planning on eating there, ‘Restaurant Hakuna Matata’ does a very nice African Curry that comes with a drink and a dessert for only 13 Euros – tasted much better than any restaurant I ate at for a fraction of the price;
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10891766_1061374777222655_3162279840862697749_n.jpg?oh=e1b7fd79399d4002c8599c6f7a351b9a&oe=555F6958

Le Eiffel Tower;


Boat ride through the Seinne;
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10923831_1061374947222638_1912914048338402979_n.jpg?oh=b14e32ce7e9d3d25fbe1f6b73c4a9bcc&oe=55661170

I’m probably wrong, but is this the building that has the Louvre next to it?
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10922856_1061375040555962_4129994660262420635_n.jpg?oh=d1340c3350680e442290eba4fb2f7566&oe=5567AFFD

https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10915352_1061375070555959_651407234750664202_n.jpg?oh=bc6f17a78b51b5ae6b5822fa93de36a3&oe=552FFEFD&__gda__=1428552005_29fa7e74faf2fde80a9698ef4fe67a1c

Notre Dame;
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/1549329_1061375150555951_6980969407414081590_n.jpg?oh=9e56ce605e89c6d5eb63997e31ef818e&oe=5524F4DE

[img] https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10455120_1061375210555945_4493628123406009773_n.jpg?oh=4adbbcead7a2b82288c71830a0340c18&oe=5534D79F&__gda__=1429381327_2e8810f1d21c27bd1f71ea747a623ede[/img]

On my final day, I checked out of my hotel and stored my luggage at the Marne-la-Vallee train station for 9.50 Euros which was very convenient. Starbucks Brekkie;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10502368_1061375510555915_7931524868091840287_n.jpg?oh=8f54d6c4a113d110c6a1d26821302dfb&oe=556361F0&__gda__=1429162953_51ac8fd6776033159ff832ebbc24adf4

I spent the final day in Disney’s Hollywood Studios taking in a few shows to escape the rain.

I then caught the 3.05pm VEA bus to CDG in time for my 6.20pm departure.

[Edited 2015-01-17 08:34:55]
 
ben123planes
Topic Author
Posts: 93
Joined: Sun Aug 09, 2009 4:53 pm

RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-CDG On SkyTeam

Sat Jan 17, 2015 4:26 pm

Once in the airport I checked in using the machine and I discovered that I had already been pre-assigned some nice seats, so I kept these.
https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10675738_1061368230556643_3189486637693381014_n.jpg?oh=649575f32fd99b196d5bfb4a303e95e0&oe=5535B05B

I found my gate pretty easily, although I was slightly disappointed at the lack of eating facilities and eventually settled on a Croque Monsieur which took me back to my days at school burning one to a cinder on my first lesson.

My aircraft arrived slightly late and a 10 minute delay was announced, slightly shortening my connection time to 45 minutes, which was still doable in my mind. It was about now the passengers formed the inevitable pointless queue.
My aircraft, EI-DTL;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/10931425_1061368260556640_5266198135404265893_n.jpg?oh=6024866464d905798f57022b844c9df8&oe=55329DAD&__gda__=1428364326_be9d5d6f26c300fb02bdab4c1900ba68

And the delay;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/10360452_1061368283889971_6249408493480996860_n.jpg?oh=031dbf0a3f0ecca8d5b43472e29556e3&oe=55233BA7&__gda__=1432358188_fbd4a5b673ad3e4282acc40f042b578d

Once onboard I settled into 18A and I was immediately impressed by the legroom;
https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10915328_1061368320556634_5186805830015643197_n.jpg?oh=c3b2944e0091708388447e0e3463d188&oe=556BDD48

Being 6”4 this was a very welcome surprise and I was able to stretch my legs out nicely. The view from my window;
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/l/t1.0-9/10930114_1061368357223297_5391228392168486186_n.jpg?oh=e3c376b3f277b88b339058af6673d389&oe=5534688C

It was shortly after this I realised my seat was actually 18F, not 18A. So I scooted across the aisle apologising to no one in particular. 2/2 embarrassing boarding events, could I make it 3 in the next flight?

The middle seat remained empty (the only empty seat on the entire flight) and I was just putting a few things in there when a rather large (huge) gent sprinted down the aisle and poured himself into his seat, immediately taking up at least half of my legroom;
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/10411142_1061368423889957_8077309900602385583_n.jpg?oh=773b411c73933541a466aa5996d8d2e5&oe=55687C3D

A quick sneak peak at his boarding pass showed his sequence number was something like 140 and he was connecting to some place I’d never heard of (turned out to be in Albania). After sitting down he set about making his bed for the night, shut his eyes and was snoring within six seconds.

My view from the correct seat;
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10917372_1061368380556628_2692318138512414405_n.jpg?oh=d05e80bc89c48d1fc8574adf7c0e2cd6&oe=556CD898

Big boy in town;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/10931385_1061368460556620_6644092000236939687_n.jpg?oh=3c05e4b9a343a8ce4a3e22979c31ea17&oe=5534F615&__gda__=1429304874_02e905f3b4698891ef66cb4e363a1cb8

During taxi, the Captain came over the blower and let out a long and drawn out announcement in Italian, before paraphrasing into semi-English;
“Bonjourno, this is your Commandante, flight time to Roma is 1 hour 35 minutes, weather outside is dark” After this confusing message we took off (believe it or not)

I don’t remember the lateral direction of takeoff, but vertically it was upwards;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/10926466_1061368480556618_6955726712044546205_n.jpg?oh=2f119be0af2c714d34ce0100ade03fda&oe=552E9196&__gda__=1429536029_12f1b53f3d2e90129509c8d262e69616

https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10922639_1061368507223282_1096364556335226425_n.jpg?oh=ff9b0fde6ebd10ecd1b2f9918e93f6d3&oe=556AFFF8&__gda__=1428944577_9b71d9339b66ab2696655d9c58ff63f0

https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/10926437_1061368537223279_5222887597250822057_n.jpg?oh=640150877d81beaccc702afd76c09d99&oe=552443A0&__gda__=1428456095_3c188d56493e74d8bcf0728edbe4e61f

https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/10382825_1061368577223275_1596276753343367586_n.jpg?oh=6bce4a0dad6fa7327d58cb5cd7510906&oe=552D869F

After takeoff I skilfully took a picture of this logo (comfy seats by the way);
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/1979742_1061368607223272_6723626662071504162_n.jpg?oh=ff1332ea7c24bf4a253f90de819531a4&oe=5530F2FA

Service took a while to start but eventually got under way;
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/10430464_1061368627223270_3625715617851432090_n.jpg?oh=2b7acd457dfa77bd422bd319c288e35d&oe=552FC361

When they reached my row, the lady looked at my Albanian friend (who suddenly woke up at the sound of rustling packets) and asked “Drink? Sweet of Salty Snack?”

He cracked off some joke about wanting Spaghetti Carbonara, grinned and gave a wink so violent I thought he was having a minor stroke. The attendant on the other hand looked at him as though he was a recently dead relative and repeated “Sweet or Salty snack?” My friend announced he would have nothing, shut his eyes, threw his head back, dropped his mouth open and let a ridiculously fake snore rumble from this throat. Unfazed, the lady looked at me and asked “Drink? Sweet or Salty Snack?” Being a greedy pig I asked for a Pepsi and both the sweet and salty snack. She looked at me as though I was being a bit forward but allowed me have what I asked. The sweet snack was some kind of orange biscuit and the savoury was exactly the same rosemary biscuit I had on the outbound, albeit in a different packet which had a nice story on it;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xaf1/v/t1.0-9/1977300_1061368663889933_4073188119145791213_n.jpg?oh=c2e1894e4d7cc4972c4770a66a5657c1&oe=556AE310&__gda__=1429576609_6147d8002318acd3b7873ea331513be9

About 30 minutes after service, we started our descent. The Captain announced a 15 minute delay in the air due to a “technical problema with the airport”, which thoroughly shortened my connection time to just 25 minutes. About now, my seatmate suddenly awoke (again), made some guttural noises in an unidentified Eastern European language and whacked his laptop out to do some furious typing. Reading his emails I noticed there was some pretty weighty stuff in them, and after some subsequent googling I found out he was actually quite a high-up within the Albanian government. Strange world.

Finally we landed to a stupid round of applause and people started getting up and retrieving their luggage whilst we were still on the runway. I already knew this crew were pretty no nonsense and I couldn’t help but smile watching a member of the cabin crew physically place about 3 passengers in their seat, the remaining passengers sat back down themselves to save themselves from the fury of this crew.

I noticed it a bit strange that we stopped on the runway and joined a queue of aircraft stretching down the parallel taxiway the entire length of the runway. After about 5 minutes we crept forward off the runway to the taxiway and stopped. The Captain came over the blower and announced that there would be at least a 30 minute day due to “a very looooong sequence because of technical problems with the ground crew.”. He later said that he had informed the ground crew of the high amount of connecting passengers and that he was fairly certain we would all make our connections as the delays were covering the entire airport.

My view for 20 minutes;


Finally (to a round of applause) we moved after about 40 minutes on the taxiway. On the way to our stand, I noticed a line of fire trucks all with their blue lights on, it was then I realised something slightly more serious than a technical problem was holding us up – but no news was given by the crew.
Eventually we parked on a remote stand;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10940572_1061368737223259_8737152386523991934_n.jpg?oh=aae95a034aac8404176c38dc41f9e184&oe=552ED4ED&__gda__=1432449927_ad74bfabda4512b93e6875bc83c64c9b

With 7 minutes to catch my onward connection we started disembarking;
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10923287_1061368810556585_2725474930581722942_n.jpg?oh=cda1bb10d82a0d17b3de6bafd8b7466f&oe=5562C0B4

https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10923217_1061368850556581_6375148970868067119_n.jpg?oh=b0adf03bb78810d4ec72dd4c48ac13cb&oe=556DE1CD

The bus crawled to the terminal and we got off. I looked through the departures screen and my flight was showing as boarding, which installed some hope into me. I walked quickly (no running, as that would end up with me on the floor at some point) to my gate H2. I’ve since found out the ‘H’ on H2 stands for “Hell of a long way away” with the G gates further still standing for “Go even further”.

Once I finally got to my gate, there was not a soul, aircraft or anything to be seen. Gone. I’d obviously missed it. My gate was conveniently directly opposite an Alitalia customer service desk and I approached it to find 3 staff members hidden under the counter. Something doesn’t seem right here. I waved my boarding pass at the first head that bobbed up and I got given a short reply;

“You will fly tomorrow, go back the way you came”.

That seemed to cement the fact I missed my flight.

After asking several hundred people where to go I eventually found the ticketing desk in the check-in hall. I approached the lady and she set about furiously typing. Upon enquiring about the delay she replied;
“I’m not allowed to tell you at the moment Sir, it is not the airlines fault though”
This was a bit strange so I promised myself to do some googling when I got the chance.

About 5 minutes later she said I could get the 1.25pm flight the next day or the 8.55am flight into London City. I would’ve preferred to fly into LCY but after a conversation with my dad over the phone we decided it would be best to go for the 1.25pm departure. She handed over a flight confirmation and a hotel confirmation slip and informed me that they had paid for dinner and breakfast and that a taxi was waiting outside.

My flight confirmation;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10940635_1061368900556576_8700760732743867294_n.jpg?oh=c577d84f7f4bbf740cd0de4f152ab410&oe=55686CB6&__gda__=1433334492_49c1014f6e874218a91b55e16081db5b

I thanked her for the help (she was very helpful and got me sorted out very quickly, Kudos to Alitalia) and hopped into the taxi to the Hilton Garden Inn hotel. It turned out to be a very nice hotel and I was immediately given a menu (it was 10.30pm, I wasn’t overly hungry but it was paid for so I went for it) and told to have dinner whilst they made a room up for me. After a Pizza I was given a room-key and I then headed up to my room. It was a very nice room (a smoker’s room by the smell of it) and certainly hit the spot and I slept the entire night.
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn2/v/t1.0-9/10941876_1061368880556578_340207876567834404_n.jpg?oh=ca8207192a1cfb420b34efdeac09cb2d&oe=55362E82&__gda__=1429122168_8b7410547b4a70e9bdcee6a70487e33c

The only thing wrong is that I didn’t get given an overnight bag so I had to make do with what I had and what the hotel gave me, which wasn’t too bad, but I could have done with some deodorant and toothpaste. My baggage would remain in transit apparently.

The next morning I enjoyed a huge breakfast at the Hilton buffet and relaxed in my room until 11am and caught the world’s scariest bus to Terminal 1.

Upon arrival I approached an empty desk and gave him my reservation card. After a bit of typing he asked for my baggage ticket. I told him it was on the back of my old boarding pass that the lady at the ticketing desk had taken. He looked at me for about 7 hours, and finally announced that “we have problem…it could be not possible to get your bag”. The lady in the next counter spotted our predicament and gave a sympathetic smile and wished his buddy luck.
What followed was 15 minutes of furious typing, arm waving, phone calling, Air France insulting and desk whacking. It seemed my desk agent had given up. He looked at his buddy in the next desk and said something along the lines of “here, you have a go” and chucked my passport across. She was obviously having none of it and managed to catch it and throw it back in one swift (and impressive) movement. This caught my agent off guard and although he managed a spectacular one handed catch, he juggled it about as if it was a feisty frog for about twenty seconds. After he had my passport under control he gave it another go. Another 5 minutes later and a number emerged. He typed it into his computer so many times that I was worried the keyboard might snap.
Finally…finally finally finally, he stood up, raised his arms in a triumphant, all-encompassing gesture, gave a small whoop and said “Good news! I’ve done it – have good flight sir.” I give the man credit for effort, for after nearly 35 minutes he finally did what I thought was impossible. I will send a letter to Alitalia in the near future thanking them for the fantastic customer service I received at the airport.

I went through security and eventually got some access to some internet. It turns out my delay last night was caused by an idiot on a Niki Airlines aircraft claiming he had a bomb. This obviously grounded the entire airport to a halt and resulted in a lot of diversions, turns out I was pretty lucky to end up in Rome at all.

Boarding pass;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xaf1/v/t1.0-9/1977300_1061368917223241_5220621828055787284_n.jpg?oh=e0110b6d36a34ab88a179a00ad67e80c&oe=552E577C&__gda__=1428579277_0a014190bfc1f1c061e91807c1d89a0c

Anyway, boarding was on a remote stand again and it was delayed slightly by some late arriving passengers.
Upon arrival at the aircraft, it turned out I was on my old friend EI-DTL again;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/10917334_1061368933889906_6932516523650503279_n.jpg?oh=29f412648828bdeed0f40d542de3292f&oe=55680198&__gda__=1428299431_281d7ec409c53bb60e72d446c1fcd4a0

Now, unfortunately I managed to complete the 3/3 embarrassing boarding antiques by overbalancing and nearly falling over, only being stopped by transferring all of my weight to a small woman in her seat who creaked was she folded up under my weight.

I quickly sat down and marvelled at the legroom again;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10405300_1061368960556570_849117333801404111_n.jpg?oh=0afcc01bd494534d264ecc7d944340bd&oe=55638CBC&__gda__=1429263200_5e10f0b4193ef5bd17bbcf374e99a426

The only slight annoyance was that my seatback pocket was slightly broken, hanging off and hitting my knee.

The view from my seat;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10353037_1061368990556567_971488098811302773_n.jpg?oh=092c8cced27aa04fad4c63842be36a2c&oe=5528CBDE&__gda__=1433136983_290efd9c3483692c79ea5b42d75eb5e1

A flight time was announced of 2 hours and 10 minutes.

Pushback was more or less on time;
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/1622878_1061369027223230_2678500971199583752_n.jpg?oh=52ecf976f8a3d22fae3fe9cc0bd832e1&oe=552E7146

And taxi was made to the active runway passing this beauty;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10931439_1061369053889894_8233998456691439351_n.jpg?oh=fb02b8c32787ddc9ef4b13a457deeb9f&oe=5563A3C7&__gda__=1432974509_b1ff50f3f42e10f5095fa3e121aa8806

And this one;
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/960214_1061369097223223_2761566322489844289_n.jpg?oh=0b70fce09ae466a73ba33063c14d68f6&oe=556774AF

We took off upwards and headed out over the coast – a lovely day for flying;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-c-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/10351603_1061369077223225_9181193472022189635_n.jpg?oh=957a2c64d0fcfb0460797b847960452f&oe=5520CE17&__gda__=1428840092_191e7c10490369fce5606be5628c7d75

https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10898140_1061369133889886_8243576985337955660_n.jpg?oh=d2e3731481584b92ad7d0c96c466197d&oe=556AB645

https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/553323_1061369167223216_6726409366215785324_n.jpg?oh=c668c8a867b0d56c32303201f7c7ea1a&oe=5569522A

https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/988932_1061369207223212_7328717477521139823_n.jpg?oh=dbe55be7d2a2dca17067972abe4dde60&oe=55688433&__gda__=1429001896_e0e23042078c3f99477fcb6bf58ceff0

I believe this is Corsica, though correct me if I’m wrong;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10933766_1061369233889876_6346347935938589862_n.jpg?oh=80196107a91b136f723e5981dee11d9b&oe=55651A7E&__gda__=1428255252_8d96e6ff208954dfa82ebb30cc7a9360

During the cruise;


There was nothing worthy of mention during this flight apart from the lovely views;
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/1622869_1061369377223195_3734653713758453667_n.jpg?oh=931424e26e3fdb9bb6fa21bf9012a850&oe=5564E91D

https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xaf1/v/t1.0-9/10917304_1061369447223188_3793626613526018419_n.jpg?oh=21fd3a226e3868a4d6e6225c9c57b3c7&oe=552A0951

Looks kinda like Innsbruck but I doubt it is;
https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10942430_1061369500556516_8107786986849908534_n.jpg?oh=dee7d06f7b6bc6f6e7fc01f0ab700c4f&oe=5524DFA7

Service was made around this time, and we had the same choice as last time, although this time I just went for the Rosemary biscuits;
https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10917266_1061369527223180_5497612073530248609_n.jpg?oh=c0c96dea6c52618a74318c5c1842997d&oe=55337E9F

The woman in the aisle seat (middle seat remained empty) had a glass of water and during some quite abrupt turbulence this was launched almost perfectly onto her chest which made for a variety of noises, swear words and giggles from both her and the flight attendant. I found it quite strange that both the passenger and flight attendant were Italian yet both switched to English during their exchange.

We carried on over the mountains;
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10444349_1061369693889830_2177252306541559922_n.jpg?oh=159868d323df69ae4085c417fdf1598f&oe=55260755

Some random interior shots;

Curtain and sign;
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10624621_1061369720556494_587623900676833791_n.jpg?oh=1e04fb75c5c3f57bb2b516eaca1f0b67&oe=5536E243

A complaint is on its way;


Shadow;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10308096_1061369797223153_7569308621586760837_n.jpg?oh=15032f69173652ad5cd345402224afa2&oe=5531A403&__gda__=1428781161_4f2993fe56e6f1375d4c4ef85b9a1894

Recline angle;


Passing the French;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-prn1/v/t1.0-9/156043_1061369870556479_740975144054653163_n.jpg?oh=21ec66aae9840cdef4bc094e4a9e49d3&oe=555FEBCE&__gda__=1433345062_65ef506e3f88bcbb814fc1f1aadcd13c

Empty screen;
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10941444_1061369900556476_3187741590580532005_n.jpg?oh=73c9e1f8d7f51caefe7f7fe46be26e92&oe=55260A7C

After around 2 hours, the descent was started and the English coast soon came into view;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-g-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10544399_1061369970556469_530820904326212990_n.jpg?oh=50278833a35ff103912491be73a13573&oe=556F4473&__gda__=1429538507_4b4c42b8ae26783d23cb406f44a27263

A bit of weather was about, creating a few bumps;
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/1484268_1061370073889792_6879372173309362173_n.jpg?oh=f18835f998da9664d4e127fe026e8429&oe=5569355A

Here we have an airport, I think it may be either Lydd or Southend;
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10928981_1061370037223129_1819899985669058310_n.jpg?oh=94474e5fa06cd210de433462f5b179c5&oe=552EB229

We did a few circles around the Biggin hold (or “Biggin City” as the Captain put it) and Biggin Hill airport was visible a few times;
https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10933915_1061370197223113_1253373686554238104_n.jpg?oh=ceda620cab4831d4947f6344241e45ed&oe=552ED65C

In the hold;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10941875_1061370253889774_5893867237589830074_n.jpg?oh=126f619f5fe27b82be9bb65c01ee35ac&oe=55351545&__gda__=1428998524_43526f090c85d9bd6d1876c82a880559

First view of London;
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/1908055_1061370347223098_2697634007322004440_n.jpg?oh=7832eeb4cd037361730c46d7c77c1857&oe=5568B10E

Air to Air with a BA A380;
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpf1/v/t1.0-9/10713007_1061370420556424_2919551838754834026_n.jpg?oh=3cb27b37d8d507bbe76057c02cb7778c&oe=556764E9

Note the high angle of attack – we were obviously flying quite slowly here;
https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10931466_1061370460556420_3076889625355534689_n.jpg?oh=d7f59208489725bbff6f8b8cb5f71fec&oe=556A3B53

Gaol;


I reckon this could be Redhill Airport;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-e-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfa1/v/t1.0-9/10891885_1061370520556414_7404035161879830111_n.jpg?oh=922aa8cf329b07534d370e8814ecd486&oe=55296D61&__gda__=1428889322_7c44b8168aca1a90086102d5fd5e0b46

London City Airport;
https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10906548_1061370647223068_1646575090450779962_n.jpg?oh=d670114e4693d4917f016ea5d1104441&oe=552EB5CA

Isle of Dogs;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/960214_1061370760556390_6291960683797492177_n.jpg?oh=8e0e1438b5352ec6c5b280e6a4bc131e&oe=55342F08&__gda__=1433212819_3073cab2a5721b8da94eaa44ee0cc159

Southbank;
https://scontent-b-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10923287_1061370977223035_8809687622799250477_n.jpg?oh=7a5b7c8d3c71db4aa948010f8767052e&oe=552AF5D0

https://fbcdn-sphotos-d-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/10924760_1061371030556363_1067186790510047161_n.jpg?oh=64b0f77796ac83db778420e32c332bdf&oe=552B1E61&__gda__=1428983857_f1f7ab36d5ae451b5ec702be2b7943b7

Hyde Park;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-h-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10934044_1061371897222943_7123687542505609635_n.jpg?oh=f232efae9cee11ee247915d0d163f25c&oe=556C41AD&__gda__=1428700871_5564c3efadc8a779a33a8247c88ca63e

We touched down on 27L after 2 hrs and 28 minutes in the air at 3.18pm (full of facts, I know)

A view of some of the private aircraft;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-a-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10931439_1061372013889598_6998030608889298536_n.jpg?oh=e4588d92d0faab88c8b7dee5e67fc4d8&oe=552FE600&__gda__=1428350314_4b2e4cb734292d7a19a5ed14cbb972d0

https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xfa1/v/l/t1.0-9/10940512_1061372053889594_6744441234473597069_n.jpg?oh=b152f0080e88b8a1ad23cf3b081b847a&oe=5564293A

https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/1907928_1061372077222925_2488778841494999181_n.jpg?oh=e1c3d51562c4d2856a01eef549e5b7d6&oe=5536124B

I reckon Terminal 4 could have a couple more aircraft if they needed, considering we had the entire place to ourselves;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-b-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xap1/v/t1.0-9/10915210_1061372140556252_4432258646716565825_n.jpg?oh=8263123f6e847fb12008ad11537fb07a&oe=5562819E&__gda__=1432385703_f770ce50f9e2684a4eca495da12848eb


Arriving on stand;
https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.net/hphotos-ak-xfp1/v/t1.0-9/1618674_1061372197222913_1295552494519878701_n.jpg?oh=1b2a8d8b069a5891e14026421b4281dc&oe=55696F5F&__gda__=1432710102_8cddbb79085df86e9273fd812b5eddb3

And we’re back;
https://scontent-a-lhr.xx.fbcdn.net/hphotos-xpa1/v/t1.0-9/10931231_1061372230556243_1100806948799623080_n.jpg?oh=26292fba0719816216995d4650b64ac8&oe=552EEABF

Finally I arrived back on home turf, and surprisingly my back made it with me, which I was not expecting at all.

In conclusion Alitalia may be a little lacking in warmth on board the aircraft, but were amazing in sorting out the problems I experienced. Air France were just OK, they got me where I needed to be.


That concludes my report – I hope you enjoyed!

Ben
 
SInGAPORE_AIR
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Sat Jan 17, 2015 6:33 pm

What a contrast to the repulsive and insulting behaviour of Alitalia staff when they handled my family's misconnection VCE-FCO-LHR.

I'm glad you luckily encountered someone of competence.
Anyone can fly, only the best Soar.
 
lychemsa
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Sat Jan 17, 2015 7:18 pm

I have been flying Alitalia since 1958 and their crews have never been warm.
 
thegoldenargosy
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:43 pm

I'm sorry but that's hardly a nightmare in Rome.
 
ben123planes
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:53 pm

Quoting thegoldenargosy (Reply 4):
I'm sorry but that's hardly a nightmare in Rome.

Hi thegoldenargosy,

I was trying not to write overly negatively. Next time you're suddenly told you're not going home and that you'll be stuck in an unfamiliar place with no power whatsoever to fix it, you're not exactly going to be the happiest person in the world. The title was meant to describe that feeling.

Thanks,

Ben
 
thegoldenargosy
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Sat Jan 17, 2015 8:58 pm

Quoting ben123planes (Reply 5):
Next time you're suddenly told you're not going home and that you'll be stuck in an unfamiliar place with no power whatsoever to fix it, you're not exactly going to be the happiest person in the world. The title was meant to describe that feeling.

Understandable but that's one of the risks of traveling. They gave you a room for the night & two meals. It's not like you had to sleep on the floor in the FCO airport.
 
moby147
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:07 pm

Hi Ben,

Great report, I love the writing style

Moby147
 
TYCOON
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Sat Jan 17, 2015 10:40 pm

A very good thing you didn't take your lecturer's advice and fly BA... Given the circumstances, I am 150% sure BA's Customer service would have been much worse than AZ's.
As a recent example, a Brazilian friend of mine flew last August from Ibiza-Madrid-LHR-GRU. The LHR-GRU flight was cancelled at the last minute due to "techical issues".
After waiting around LHR for BA to get its act together, my friend and fellow passengers were provided a hotel room... AT GATWICK... which entailed a one-hour bus ride arriving at the hotel at around 2am.
BA told them that check out was at noon... even though the new BA GRU flights wasn't until 21.30!!!! So they took another one-hour bus ride back to LHR and had to spend about 8 hours wondering around LHR.
And they were only provided with a £10 meal allowance!!!!
My friend's luggage wasn't returned to him at LHR and wasn't in GRU upon his arrival. Only one of his two pièces were ever found... arriving over a week later.
After initially refusing to indemnify him Under EU régulations for the cancelled flight (€600), BA finally accepted after the UK Supreme Court ruling of end-October 2014.
Although he has forwarded all the paper work BA required in order to pay out the amount, he is still waiting... Each time BA says they haven't received the paper work... but proof of fax, etc... states otherwise.
AZ or AF is way above BA Customer service Wise.... You should thank your Lucky stars you weren't on BA!!!
 
ben123planes
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Sat Jan 17, 2015 11:03 pm

Quoting thegoldenargosy (Reply 6):
They gave you a room for the nigh
[quote=TYCOON,reply=8]A very good thing you didn't take your lecturer's advice and fly BA... Given the circumstances, I am 150% sure BA's Customer service would have been much worse than AZ's.
As a recent example, a Brazilian friend of mine flew last August from Ibiza-Madrid-LHR-GRU. The LHR-GRU flight was cancelled at the last minute due to "techical issues".
After waiting around LHR for BA to get its act together, my friend and fellow passengers were provided a hotel room... AT GATWICK... which entailed a one-hour bus ride arriving at the hotel at around 2am.
BA told them that check out was at noon... even though the new BA GRU flights wasn't until 21.30!!!! So they took another one-hour bus ride back to LHR and had to spend about 8 hours wondering around LHR.
And they were only provided with a £10 meal allowance!!!!
My friend's luggage wasn't returned to him at LHR and wasn't in GRU upon his arrival. Only one of his two pièces were ever found... arriving over a week later.
After initially refusing to indemnify him Under EU régulations for the cancelled flight (€600), BA finally accepted after the UK Supreme Court ruling of end-October 2014.
Although he has forwarded all the paper work BA required in order to pay out the amount, he is still waiting... Each time BA says they haven't received the paper work... but proof of fax, etc... states otherwise.
AZ or AF is way above BA Customer service Wise.... You should thank your Lucky stars you weren't on BA!!

Hi Tycoon,

Interesting story, but from what I can see, BA just did what the rules tell them to do. Under EU261, airlines only give compensation if it was the airline's fault.

Don't let my lecturer catch you saying to never fly BA! He swears by them, only yesterday he booked 4 flights with them on his ID90.


Ben
 
TYCOON
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Sun Jan 18, 2015 12:06 am

ben123planes, it was BA's fault as it was a mechanical problem with one of their aircraft that resulted in the cancelled flight. The UK Supreme Court has ruled that mechanical reasons for flight cancellation does not fall outside the EU rules, and passengers are entitled to compensation.
I fly BA a fair bit, I am even an Executive Club Silver (soon to be Gold) frequent flyer, but they are far from my favourite. I find the cabins filthy compared to most other Airlines... a recent flight to EZE on BA in business class was disgusting.
 
ElanusNotatus
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Sun Jan 18, 2015 2:50 am

Hi Ben,

Great trip report on a not so great trip. A litany of mishaps, delays and frustrations told with a great sense of humour. It raised a chuckle ot two but I guess that you didn't feel like laughing at the time.

Best wishes for your next trip.
Crawl, walk, fly into the future
 
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SOBHI51
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Sun Jan 18, 2015 3:06 am

Is that a Concorde plane, in the upper right hand corner of the Kuwait Airways 744?
I am against any terrorist acts committed under the name of Islam
 
zkncj
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Sun Jan 18, 2015 6:41 am

What's with the switched off PTV's?
 
joeytaffy93
Posts: 318
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Sun Jan 18, 2015 9:12 am

Hi Ben, thank you for the TR.

Your opinion on AF seems consistent with most the other trip reports I've read which seem to conclude that they're just an average airline with no special product. The same can be said about AZ as they're hardly an airline which stands out for service, infact from some of the experiences I've read you had a pretty good one.

The comments about BA confuse me mind as I've heard plenty of good things about them from multiple people including family who swear by them for long haul and short haul flights. Infact I'm looking at traveling with them from Bulgaria soon as part of a trip to Bulgaria.

Quoting SOBHI51 (Reply 12):
Is that a Concorde plane, in the upper right hand corner of the Kuwait Airways 744?

Correct, that most certainly is a Concorde.
 
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aerdingus
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:49 pm

Quoting ben123planes (Thread starter):
I know you all love a bit of background, so I’ll give it to you. When I went to Australia I set up frequent flier accounts for all of my family (without them knowing, of course) and transferred all the points into my account when I got back; voila! 70,000 frequent flier points for a quarter of the flights.

Slyyyyyyyyyyyyy.....but good idea.

Quoting ben123planes (Thread starter):
Finally the day arrived and I crawled out of bed at the horrific time of 7.30am like an arthritic giraffe
Quoting ben123planes (Thread starter):
Once in the cruise of 24,000ft, the cabin crew practilcally ran down the cabin offering out some Rosemary flavoured cracker things and a drink. These crackers were surprisingly nice and I wished there were more in the packet.

I loved these too! Go nice with red wine.

Quoting ben123planes (Thread starter):
“Bonjourno, this is your Commandante, flight time to Roma is 1 hour 35 minutes, weather outside is dark”

Oh holy Jesus that is hilarious

Oh mannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn....this was such a good report....ye had me chortling a few times. Seems you handled the missed flight quite well though. I like the photos and humour of it....you really don't strike me as a Disneyland kinda guy though.....  

Cheers, please fly and write more.
A306 A313 A319 A320 A321 A333 A346 A359 ATR42 ATR72 B734 B737 B738 B744 B772 B789 C152 MD80 RJ85 S340
 
ben123planes
Topic Author
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Mon Jan 19, 2015 6:54 pm

Quoting aerdingus (Reply 15):
Oh mannnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn....this was such a good report....ye had me chortling a few times. Seems you handled the missed flight quite well though. I like the photos and humour of it....you really don't strike me as a Disneyland kinda guy though.....  

Cheers, please fly and write more.

Hi aerdingus,

Thanks for the nice comments   I'm glad you enjoyed my report - sometimes it's a bit too straight laced on this forum :P

I don't strike myself as a Disneyland kinda guy either, I suppose it's in the genes.

I plan on booking a flight to Amsterdam next month so hopefully a report to write up about that - maybe not as funny as funny stuff to write about threw itself at me on this trip.

Thanks,

Ben
 
gabrielchew
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Tue Jan 20, 2015 10:33 am

Quoting ben123planes (Thread starter):
Eventually I booked 4 nights in the Park and Suites Val’d Europe apart-hotel just outside of Paris, near the Disneyland (or forced-happiness land as my Dad calls it) for £4.50 + 69,000 miles. I admit now, I’m a bit of a Disney-junkie and I hadn’t got my fix since 2012 so this suited me nicely.

Oh, Ben! Spending all those miles on 4 nights in a hotel in the Parisien outskirts?!!? I feel weak! 60,000 is a single F ticket to ORD/JFK! Or a o/w Business to SIN/EZE/NRT. (if you're with BA).

Hopefully at least you enjoyed Eurodisney! As others have said, it's lucky you were on AZ, az BA can really be useless when it comes to mass IRROPS. Stil, you got a free nice in Rome, so it wasn't so bad.
http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights: AMS-RIX-BUD-VDA,ETH-TLV-FCO-LHR,STN-TXL-LCY,LTN-CPH-LTN,LGW-SZG,MUC-LHR
 
signol
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Fri Jan 23, 2015 4:15 pm

Hi Ben,

Nice report, very humorous!

As Gabriel says above, you could have got some much better point-to-value from those points, but you're young, you'll get the hang of it   (reading the blog Head For Points will help   )
Also that bus to Disney, for half the price you could have spent 11 minutes on a TGV  
Good job Alitalia took care of you, kudos to them. They also have a nice blood orange juice on board that is recommended!

Keep up the good work!

signol
Flights booked: NWI-AMS-JNB-DUR, JNB-AMS-NWI
 
ben123planes
Topic Author
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Fri Jan 23, 2015 5:38 pm

Quoting signol (Reply 18):
As Gabriel says above, you could have got some much better point-to-value from those points, but you're young, you'll get the hang of it   (reading the blog Head For Points will help   )
Also that bus to Disney, for half the price you could have spent 11 minutes on a TGV  
Good job Alitalia took care of you, kudos to them. They also have a nice blood orange juice on board that is recommended!

Hi Signol,

Thanks for the comments. I've actually personally apologised to Gabriel for spending my miles on such an abhorrent thing; the original plan was a LIN-JFK on the EK 77W and then EWR-LHR on the BA 787 but this came to £200 in taxes, and then I'd have to buy a hotel on top (I wouldn't live in a hostel - against my morals or summink) which was too much for my £90 a month job. So eventually I settled on this. TGV prices were coming up at £26 each way when I checked, but even when I bought a train ticket at the desk for when I went to Paris, it came up about £10 cheaper than what I was quoted online, so perhaps I should have looked into this a bit further.

Alitalia did me proud on this one, I sent a letter thanking and I got a reply apologising for the service, and that a longer reply would be on its way, possibly hinting at some kind of compensation which I didn't ask for, but won't turn down either. My belly was already sloshing with blood orange juice from the Hilton buffet so I decided against it :P

Thanks,

Ben
 
ozark1
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Fri Jan 23, 2015 9:39 pm

Nightmare? I thought you were going to be telling us of diversions, cancellations and mechanicals. I don't find your experience even close to a nightmare, even though I suppose we all have different definitions. A nightmare, to me, is being stuck an Etihad plane for the better part of 24 hours.
 
ben123planes
Topic Author
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Fri Jan 23, 2015 11:17 pm

Quoting ozark1 (Reply 20):
Nightmare? I thought you were going to be telling us of diversions, cancellations and mechanicals. I don't find your experience even close to a nightmare, even though I suppose we all have different definitions. A nightmare, to me, is being stuck an Etihad plane for the better part of 24 hours.

Hi Ozark,

I case you haven't noticed, I do give my reports a bit of poetic licence. All of this did happen and I may have not seen it in such a positive light at the time, I always try to turn it into an enjoyable experience to read.

Thanks,

Ben
 
roberts87
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Sun Feb 01, 2015 9:08 am

Hello,

Interesting and sometimes even entertaining report, I enjoyed reading it.
Have to say kudos to the Alitalia staff at Rome indeed, they are not known for their customer service but they helped you very well I geuss. And at least you had some very nice views on the FCO-LHR segment the next day.

Did you find out what happened in Rome what caused all the delays?

Thanks for sharing!
 
ben123planes
Topic Author
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Sun Feb 01, 2015 7:45 pm

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 22):
Did you find out what happened in Rome what caused all the delays?

Hi roberts87,

Glad you enjoyed the report  

The delay was caused by a man on a Niki flight saying he had a bomb on board. This resulted in an evacuation of the terminal I believe or something along those lines.

Ben
 
MIAspotter
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Mon Feb 02, 2015 11:25 am

Hey Ben, interesting report, full of anecdotes, at least AZ could sort you out.

Quoting ben123planes (Thread starter):
The takeoff was laterally westbound and vertically upwards

Always good when takeoffs are vertically upwards...

Quoting ben123planes (Thread starter):
Once in the cruise of 24,000ft, the cabin crew practilcally ran down the cabin offering out some Rosemary flavoured cracker things and a drink

Unbelievable that they manage to run a service, when I flew the AF A380 to LHR, they also did the service, even tho the actual ¨cruise¨ is like 25 minutes.

Quoting ben123planes (Thread starter):
We landed on a 26(?) runway and it was vertically downwards

Always good when landings are vertically downwards (with a controlled rate of descent and speed)

Quoting ben123planes (Thread starter):
I’m probably wrong, but is this the building that has the Louvre next to it?

Looks like the Grand Palais, the Louvre is the one with the pyramid  
Quoting ben123planes (Thread starter):
“Bonjourno, this is your Commandante, flight time to Roma is 1 hour 35 minutes, weather outside is dark” After this confusing message we took off (believe it or not)

LOL!

Quoting ben123planes (Thread starter):
Unfazed, the lady looked at me and asked “Drink? Sweet or Salty Snack?”

Not like Vespa Alitalia? Tagliatelle o Ravioli? Tagliatelle o Ravioli?? I am-a sorry I don´t- a speak-a English-eh...

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=alx80hvbcLI

Quoting ben123planes (Thread starter):
I thanked her for the help (she was very helpful and got me sorted out very quickly, Kudos to Alitalia)

Great! I think it´s always best to handle this situation with a cool attitude, asking what options do I have? always being polite and humorous, this happenned to me in VIE last august, I was supposed to fly VIE-FRA-LCY on Niki/BA but the niki flight was delayed and I wouldnt make the connection in FRA, I was "Ok, what can I do then?" they offered me a bunch of option via LHR or ZRH, whilst they arranged for the connections I told the girl I was just taking this flights to experience the Embraer 190 and to score a landing in LCY, she was curious and made a few jokes ¨Oh we have a plane freak here¨ unfortunately they could not put me on any LCY flight, but she arranged an E190 flight to MUC and then a BA connection to LHR.

Thanks for sharing and look forward to more  

MIAspotter.
Nos vamos de Vueling?
 
Bluesky72
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Joined: Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:00 pm

RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Mon Feb 02, 2015 9:19 pm

Hi Ben - Thanks for a fun read. At least now if I see a guy spinning and falling down on a future flight, I'll know who it is .

Remarkable that the Alitalia guy was able to track your bag (and persisted in trying until he did) -- miracles do happen, it seems.

Cheers.
 
ben123planes
Topic Author
Posts: 93
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Wed Feb 04, 2015 7:46 pm

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 24):
Hey Ben

Hi MIAspotter, Glad you enjoyed my report  
Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 24):
Always good when takeoffs are vertically upwards

Certainly is :P

Quoting Bluesky72 (Reply 25):
Hi Ben - Thanks for a fun read. At least now if I see a guy spinning and falling down on a future flight, I'll know who it is .

Hi Bluesky72,

Thanks for the kind comments, I'm glad you enjoyed my report.

If you do see me falling down in a cabin, be sure to say hello and feel free to offer me drinks :P

Ben
 
SeaMeFly
Posts: 249
Joined: Sat Jan 24, 2004 1:54 am

RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Thu Feb 05, 2015 3:30 am

enjoyed the TR... and I think I love your teacher ! lol...where can I find one in my part of the world that would understand fully the addictions! 
 
YYZAMS
Posts: 236
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RE: A Nightmare In Rome, LHR-CDG-FCO-LHR On SkyTeam

Sat Feb 07, 2015 3:04 am

Quoting thegoldenargosy (Reply 4):

don't be sorry...it wasn't a nightmare in Rome. I look at it as an extra adventure! (hopefully you didn't have to be anywhere the next day) This is why I always have a buffer day or 2.

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