|Tuesday 9th October 2007 Weather: - Rome—Overcast
(J) 5am my shoulder told me----time to get up, tried to ignore it for a while but the voice was getting stronger. Like the good little wifie that I am I only had to clunk and clang around the apartment for 1 hour until my darling husband got up. Most of the packing was done yesterday so after showers and a cleanup of the apartment we took off for the airport at 7:30am and we arrived at about 8:50am. The plane leaves at 1:45pm and it pays to be early, doesn't it? In any case it is more entertaining to people watch at the airport then sit around the apartment.
Fiumicino Airport is a hive of activity but the check in counters do not want to see us "until 2 hours before your flight, madam". Spoilsports--- that is all I can say, but can you imagine the chaos if everyone turned up 5 hours early!! We are sitting here overlooking the runways at the moment, having a cup of coffee, lots of people coming and going and another few people working on their computers, catching up with their work, I expect. Outside, near the runways, it reminds me of George Street, Sydney (Yes, if you have not noticed by now I do have a tendency to over dramatise any given situation a little bit). The planes are being towed out by low slung plane tractors, huge tour busses are bussing people to and from the aircraft, luggage tractors towing their trailers, loaded with cases and dropping the occasional one, are scurrying about, food trains, postal vans, police and fire trucks. There are airline companies docking here that I have never heard of before.
We went to the check in 2 1/2 hours before take-off----Chaos ----there seemed to be 3 people checking everybody in and the lines were not moving; we found out later on that Malaysian Airlines had started with a new computer booking and seating programme that morning and it just was not working, all reserved seats had been reassigned??? We again found ourselves in the middle of the 5 seats and my supposedly under control claustrophobia was trying to raise its uncomfortable head. Again a lot of talking was done and with some friendly persuasion we managed to get side seats again—so much for being able to book seats and keep them. A couple of times there has been some alluding that our travel agent did something wrong when booking. Anyway, up, up and away we went.