A Journey of 1000 Steps always has an end. Eventually.
Sometimes that end can be a long time in the coming though. Last year, we spotted bargain prices of $800. RT from New York to Milan. The Emirates flight also left at 10pm which is a civilized time to cross the pond. Great we thought, and booked a trip. Ha! Just as there are no free lunches, and time is money, we learned that our bargain in $s ended up costing us a lot in time and exhaustion.
The going is never the biggest issue, it's the return even if it is a duplicate of the beginning. However this going itself involved a lot of hassle. Much to our consternation we learned that there were no convenient flights from BWI to JFK that did not include a 7hr layover til our Emirates flight left for Milan. Ok, then we'd take the train as we often did when we flew out of Newark. Hmmm...the train took us to Penn Station where we then took the Long Island Railway to the Jamaica stop and then took the AirTrain to the Emirates terminal for our 10pm flight to Milan. Leave our home just before noon, and fly out at 10 - that layover didn't sound so bad by the time we got to the Emirates terminal.
Surprise surprise...there are no seats inside or outside the Emirates area. Ok, there were 6 on each side of the area just before you went through security. I snagged one (thank you God!) and my dh went on through to the security side. Did I mention that we'd had a laugh thinking we were flying to Italy on St. Patrick's Day? Did we both forget that New Yorkers like to celebrate the day in a truly liquid way? and that it snowed/rained on St. Patrick's Day this year on the east coast? Oh well.
Milan was a breeze in it's own Italian way upon arrival. As soon as you clear the things you need to clear, there is an escalator to the train into Milan and a ticket machine as well as a ticket booth. Done. The train takes you to the main train station in Milan and there you are. Up an escalator and you have arrived.
Coming home? The Economist has an article about what they call America's Awful Airports. It had been a while since I flew in or out of JFK. Now I know why that was. Even back in 1976, my xh and I chose to fly into Boston rather than JFK when we were arriving with our two sons and adopted daughter. Boston welcomed us and made the immigration paperwork for our Thai daughter a breeze.
I won't go into details of our return other than to say it took even longer, and it's the repeated little things that wear down your soul. e.g. at Malpensa, the Milan airport, the luggage carts are free. At JFK they cost $5. etc etc. Oh did I mention there are seats outside the security area at Malpensa? Lots of seats? and that at JFK we waited in a line to scan our US passports at a terminal ourselves, have our photo taken at that terminal, got a printed 'receipt' with that photo and then waited in another line to have our passport and that receipt/photograph inspected? Eventually, the customs people took that receipt/photo so I can't show you how stunned I looked. We escaped from JFK around 8pm and eventually arrived at our own door at 02:45 the following morning.
$800. was not the bargain we thought it was. Live and learn.
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