*I am doing these updates in a series of chunks because it’s too much for one post!
Arianna helped Sara and I book a car service to Ciampino airport for our departure Friday, since no public transportation would have been open by 3:30 on Friday morning, except maybe the Thursday night buses. For safety and sanity reasons, we decided on the car service. Massimo, it was called, i.e. “the Best,” recommended by a friend of Arianna’s. The driver picked us up in a Mercedes, and he was very nice, so I guess it was the Best. We spoke a bit of Italian, mostly about how tired we all were, and arrived at the airport in no time. The driver told me to have Arianna call him again for our return journey. But the €30 each was a bit steep, so I nodded my head, said thank you and goodbye. I think he had interpreted my Italian wrong anyway, and thought that we were spending two months in Barcelona, Berlin, and Prague before returning to Rome. So he won’t be expecting us anytime soon.
Anyway, Sara and I had tried to do an online check-in with RyanAir, but because we don’t have EU passports, it wouldn’t let us select our nationality as “American” or “United States” or any of the things which apply to us. So we nixed the online check-in idea and decided to pay the extra €4 and stand in the line to avoid confusion. Turns out, we had to go to a separate line to pay by credit card because they don’t accept cash at the check-in line, and while on that line we met a few other girls who had actually done the online check-in but had specified “Italian” as their nationality (a thought Sara and I had thoroughly considered) but they had to pay extra and stand on both lines anyway. So boo to the US for not being in the European Union. And Sara had to check one of her bags, because she was being honest and asking. Otherwise they would have let her carry it on, as she did in subsequent flights. Morals of that story: don’t specify online check-in with RyanAir if you’re not an EU national, just pay the €4 when buying the ticket originally; and don’t ask whether you need to check your bag if you don’t want to, just shove it in the overhead compartment with the help of your friend or a burly Italian man, whichever is first available.
The flight went well albeit uncomfortable, cold chairs. What do you want for low-cost though, eh?