Three Hours?

You have to be kidding!

Seriously, most of us (not all mind you) but most of us get to the airport quite early any more. It takes time to get through the lines, the security along with the general madness.

In the US with luggage drop off ending almost an hour before a flight and boarding starting whenever the crew feels like – arriving 2 hours at minimum for a domestic flight and 3-4 hours for International is the only way to stay sane.

Since this wonderful Irishman had managed to put together a group of us for a van ride to the airport, I cheerfully joined the group at 0800 to head off down the Autostrada. Taking less than an hour, we were at the International Terminal.

The young man at the Lufthansa desk (VIP desk no less) informs me that 1) standby is not possible for an earlier flight but I can pay 120E to leave early. No, not going there. and 2) at Rome you can’t check in more than three hours before a flight.

Huh? Three hours? You are serious?

He is serious. I wander off and find a nice place to sit and read/knit. When I head back to the counter a few hours later there is this lovely woman. I ask her about the three hours. She looks at me and says that “you are a senator class traveler, of course we would have checked you in so that you could have spent your waiting time in the lounge.”

I thank her kindly and inform her that her colleague refused to check me in early but I certainly appreciated her assistance. Two minutes and I had a printed boarding pass, an entry for the airline lounge and ticket to use the Fast Track security lane.

Lovely idea, that. Six Italians running screening for two VIP lanes. I was their only customer which means that I was essentially ignored. Dropping all my jackets, kit, computers and backpack on the conveyor, I walked through the metal detector and repacked everything. Waving a cheery goodbye, I sped off before someone could change their mind.

Lufthansa uses an absolutely lovely lounge with free Wifi, cappuccinos, pastries, sandwiches and a full line of drinkables. The plane was more or less on time and more than 1/2 empty on this rainy Saturday.

George picked me up in Frankfurt and we stopped for Thai on the way home.

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