Sunday, February 13, 2011

A Quiet Sunday At FCO - Aeroporto di Roma

We left our Hilton Garden Inn on the 7:30 a.m. shuttle. Kathy in particular had a terrible night's sleep on the fancy Sleep Number bed in our room. We adjusted it but it didn't change from the saggy setting reminiscent of a genuine flea-bag hotel and we quickly discovered it was not plugged in to electrical power.

When we mentioned it to the desk clerk this morning, he said that it adjusted "manually." We told him that was not the case. We wonder if all Italians haven't figured out that these beds require electrical power or just the folks in this hotel.

It's a quiet day at FCO. The UA check-in clerk tore up up the boarding passes we printed in the hotel last night and issued us new ones. Her printer wasn't working so that process took about five minutes. We breezed through security with no line at all and no searches - just a magnetometer walk-through.

We followed the signs up an escalator to G gates. A train was in the station and we hastily hopped on. A young couple with a baby followed us. We then realized that the escalators up the gate were behind us but we couldn't get off. At the other end, some kind of police officer politely but firmly told us we had to get off and couldn't simply ride back. So downstairs we walked and went through security all over again, fortunately without lineups or complications.

We then walked back upstairs, got on the same train, and went back to G gates. This is all in Terminal 5, which seems more or less reserved for flights to and from the U.S. We said farewell to the young couple with the cute baby and apologized once more. An Italian woman in front of us had made the same mistake so we don't feel as silly as we otherwise might have. If the subway hadn't been in the station we would have taken a moment to look around and would undoubtedly have spotted the signs and the escalator up to G gates. All's well that ends well.

Kathy figured out that we could get wireless in the contract lounge by using the Alitalia lounge's signal at a cost of 50 Euro cents. Our Capital One credit card just informed us that a charge of 68 US cents has been made on our card, so it's proven to be a good deal. This lounge wants to charge 3 Euros an hour or 5 Euros a day, which is a little excessive for our short visit.

We're scheduled to board our flight to IAD in about 45 minutes, at 10:00 a.m. local time, and look forward to those lie-flat business seats after last night's saggy mattress.

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