After an 8-hour flight, my hubby (JS) and I arrived in Roma airport and hurried through the gate, anxious to pass through customs and collect our luggage. A driver was to meet us and take us to our hotel and we were exhausted from lack of sleep, uncomfortable seats, and terrible, gas-inducing food.
After a brief pit-stop in which 2 of the 4 toilettes did not flush, we followed the signs for customs and found ourselves in a long, long line that snaked across the room. Several passengers from our flight stood near the front of the line, and I wondered if their digestive tracks were somehow better than mine or if they simply opted to skip the airline food…
People moved as if in a scene from Night of the Living Dead. Some sluggish and barely awake — you could just imagine a groan and then maybe some drool before they turned carnivorous — and others anxious to move forward and get away from the rest of the crowd but blocked in by rope and rules. Given the slow, yawn-inducing shuffling, I turned to JS, “Well, at least we won’t have to wait for our luggage.”
Murphy’s Law thought otherwise. Eventually we passed through customs and proceeded to baggage claim. Excitement cut through our exhaustion. Freedom! No more lines! The city awaits! Foolish optimism that in a few minutes, we would finally step outside and catch our first glimpse of Rome.
Once in the baggage area, we immediately noticed something was amiss: Several passengers from our flight still remained; some of whom had at least one piece of luggage. The rest were long gone I assumed since it took us over an hour to get through customs. A few lonely bags remained on the carousel. I glanced at the computer indicating the status of our luggage…In progress.
Not quite time to panic…
And so we waited. Five minutes, 10 minutes, 20 minutes…. Baggage from other flights began to appear. Our driver began to call. Panic steadily increased.
We searched for personnel to assist us with our lost luggage.
And finally we received answers. Our bags was not lost or left behind. One of the containers that held the passengers’ luggage broke mid-flight so upon arrival, a series of bags needed to be unloaded one at a time. Our luggage, it turned out, just so happened to be involved in this mess.
And so we continued to wait. Forty minutes turned to 50. More bags from other flights arrived. When finally, a shout of joy. Bags from our New York flight began to appear on the carousel. One after another.
I waited with baited breath until finally I spotted our beautiful, wonderful, joy-inducing luggage.
Finally, we were free from the clutches of Roma airport. We proceeded to the exit, happy, exhausted, and relieved. Our driver, of course, was not so happy, having waited for us for close to 2 hours…