If I have to get up at 4.50 am for a long and inconvenient trip, I always remind myself of how people used to travel in the past, by boat to other continents and that they were travelling for weeks if not months.
Pizzo - Bangkok this time would be our most inconvenient trip so far. Since we were travelling at the end of the European Easter holiday and the beginning and end of the Thai New Year holiday all direct flights between Rome and the Thai capital (usually just three per week with Thai Airways) were fully booked.
We left Pizzo 5.30 ish for the 6 am check-in for our 7 am flight from Lamezia to Rome. Luckily, the small bar that serves great coffee and even greater conni (I chose mine with Nutella) was already open!
Our plane departed on time and arrived even a couple of minutes early in Rome Fiumicino. The inflight magazine of Alitalia 'Ulisse' featured a 6 page Special Calabria (which should become content of another post).
Our connection flight with Alitalia to Paris - yes, that's our detour - was scheduled just over an hour later. Enough time for a second cappuccino at our favorite airport bar (Ferrari) in Roma. However, apparently not enough time for our luggage to be transferred! (Which we didn't know back then).
Actually, I was looking forward to land in Paris. I haven't been for ages in the French capital, where I spent exciting times, went to school briefly and later worked for a short period. Today, while descending towards Charles de Gaulle airport, the air was a bit hazy, but I still managed to spot the Eiffel Tower (Montparnasse and Défense along) in the distance!
Our layover initially was 3 hours. (Departure around 2pm, same like the direct flight from Rome). But Air France had already indicated in the morning a 2 1/2 h delay. So we decided to do the best of our extra time and picked a newly opened nice looking restaurant and had a pleasant lunch (entrecôte). But waiting almost 6 h to board a plane is not that pleasant. At least the duty free shop had this 20% discount campaign on Champagne (alcohol is extremely expensive in Thailand).
When finally boarding was announced the plane was overbooked! Air France offered 800 Euro per person for those who would take the next flight. A super deal! And we would most likely have accepted it, if we wouldn't have been up since 12 h with almost another 12 h to travel and school and office waiting for us on Monday. (We didn't know at that time that our bags probably were still in Rome).
When we arrived in Bangkok the next morning - I am always happy to have solid ground under my feet and don't complain about inconveniences that might have occurred - we were the last and only passengers standing waiting at the empty luggage conveyor belt.
We were informed that our suitcases will arrive the next day. Well, two arrived the next day. Mine arrived the day after - in total three days after departure in Lamezia. CC, of course blamed Air France. But it was Alitalia for sure. My bag even was checked to Paris only! Not through to Bangkok. That's why it needed another day to be shipped, I guess. Is that a sign?! Should I visit Paris next time?
At least a sign for us to better book early and direct flights. Luckily, in Europe there was still cool April weather and cheese, coffee, chocolate, tuna, and bottarga reached our fridge in Thailand in good condition.