travel travails: Bologna

Every time we fly, we are reminded that we prefer travel by train.

We went to Bologna with our friends Mark and Vicki. Our first trip on Ryan Air—not fans! We pre-paid to check one bag and carried on a carryon, a backpack, and a backpack purse. No problem. They flagged the carryon for gate check. No problem. Then they stopped me at final check-in and told me the bag was too big and we’d have to pay to check it: €50. PROBLEM! We did it – cuz what else are you going to do? And I watched many bags bigger than mine get on the plane and put into overhead storage. GRRRRRRR.

We did 2 day trips from Bologna by train – easy!

Travel travails continued on our way home. The Bologna airport is a hot mess. We waited in line about 20 minutes to check our bag, only to discover that we apparently hadn’t paid for the check on the return trip. The check-in counter couldn’t take payment, so we headed to the ticket counter (poorly marked) to pay. The €60 that the check-in lady said we’d have to pay became €40. We took it, then returned to check-in to show proof of payment and collect our boarding passes.

Off to security, where they scanned the carryon bags, then did the routine bag check. Whatever. We then dutifully followed the crowd to passport control, figuring out that there was a separate line for non-EU passports. After 40 minutes – and several groups pushed through to the front of the line to catch their flights – it was our turn: we were in the wrong line – we had been waiting in the line for travel outside the Schengen zone. GRRRRRRR. We hustled to our gate (which had not been posted before) and stood in line for another 40 minutes – no seats to be had. But Ryan Air let us on with our bag, no questions asked. And no gate check for anyone. Whaddup widdat?

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