#937724 by RLF
22 Aug 2017, 21:13
This is my first trip report and a few thoughts on a recent trip to Rome

Back in January, Our three children thought my wife and I deserved a holiday without them as we approached a Significant wedding anniversary and so a long weekend in Rome was arranged for us as a surprise. In the meantime, the girls were invited to tag along on a trip to Mouseland (with VS!) leaving Son alone who was working long hours all weekend and so we weren’t missed and there was no chance of a house party in the absence of Mum and Dad.

Having had no internet for about 10 days before we went, and getting the girls ready meant it was all very last minute for us. Short term parking was booked (which I think cost more than the flight) and we were off…

Having never flown through T5 before, we found it very easy, and had an agent not become free, would have managed to get through entirely without speaking to a human in the process. Flight was on time, at a very early hour, CC delivered a Marks and Spencer run almost before the wheels were up and we never saw them again until Rome, when a drinks run mid flight would have seen several takers, including us…

FCO airport was fine apart from a wait for our bags that seemed longer than the flight, with Nice and Moscow bags on the same belt, and a box from Dhaka that looked as if it had been long forgotten.

Having not arranged a transfer to the City, and looking at train maps, we were accosted by a salesman who offered us a trip to the hotel for the same cost as the train which seemed good value, and we were deposited nearish to the hotel which we found when we went the other way up the street to what the driver said.

Rome is a beautiful City, a mix of new and very old and everything is walking distance if you have a city Centre hotel. All the main squares and the important buildings (and some that didn’t look important, but must have been) had a heavy Armed Army presence which showed how Italy felt, and the tragic events in Spain last weekend show were not in the end unwarranted.

For the return, I had discovered the Leonardo Express from the mainline station non stop to the airport which sounded fun. Once we found the station which was quite a walk from our hotel, the train was easy, a version of the Heathrow express with a top speed of about 30 miles an hour….We did stare slightly bemused at the ticket machine until a lady offered to help us which she did, and it was only when she asked for a Euro at the end of the transaction we realised she was not official station staff, (but the ticket worked so all was good)

At check in we were told the flight was 30 minutes delayed, with no apology, in the same sort of voice the agent would have told us the flight was operated by an aircraft!

Flight was called and boarded quickly, the CC on the way back were more “mature” pleasant, efficient and really all you needed. Flight deck crew gave a few announcements, but seemed to have the microphone on minimum which made them difficult to hear.

We would have made up the delay had we not been taken for a ride around the south of England, awaiting a new slot at LHR. Landed and taxied to the gate at the very end of T5B and were met by bus? Not sure why, when an airbridge was right next to the aircraft? A few passengers were showing signs of anxiety as they had tight connections which were becoming tighter….

Another tour of LHR, we were deposited at the terminal near Immigration which was a breeze, bags were on the belt as we arrived, 2 minute walk to the car and we were on our way.

A really nice weekend, I was quite impressed by BA and their home at LHR, particularly the A321 on the way home seemed to have lots of space, and was in good condition. A clear step up for Lo cost carriers, now how long will this last???

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