My Trip to Florence: Getting to Florence

(March-April, 2015)

Let me first say–I do not like to travel. I do, however, love being at my destination. Yes, I am one of those travelers who does not like to fly. I become very nervous, with a newsreel panning in my head of tragic airplane incidents. This last year did not help, and this week in particular did not help with the tragedy in the French Alps. Add my superstition–I “believe” everything comes in threes–and my anxiety goes on high alert. But that did not stop me–and off to Florence I went.

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My flight was scheduled to leave at 11:00pm, so I was hoping that it wouldn’t be a full flight. I had a plan. When I purchased my tickets, with Alitalia, I selected Premium Economy. I’m petite–or to put it more bluntly, I’m short–so Economy is ok to a point, but I have a bad back and circulation problems with my legs. So I need more room, particularly on an eight hour flight. The price was a couple hundred dollars more–and no, I’m not made of money–but I wanted to have a little bit more luxury. Ok. Explanation given. However, there was another method to my madness. People get “bumped up” all the time. How does this happen? What can you say? I am not, shall we say, gifted in the art of persuasion. So I thought–Why not? I’m not only traveling for myself, but I also planned on writing for my travel blog. Why not use that? Here was my plan–when I checked in I was going to say I’m writing for a travel website, requesting to be placed on a waiting list–if they had one—-for an upgrade. Why not? But, of course, I didn’t even get that far because the flight was completely full. Ok, ok–at least I had Premium Economy.

Alitalia Premium Economy on the 330 model.

Alitalia Premium Economy on the 330 model.

Alitalia Premium Economy for the 777. These were better than the 330 model.

Alitalia Premium Economy for the 777. These were better than the 330 model.

To my surprise, Premium Economy was better than I expected. The seats on my departing flight were different than the seats on my return flight–different airplane. And the seats on my return flights were better. The extra room was delightful, but the real pleasure was the recline and the foot rest. Lovely. As well, the headphones were headphones, not ear buds, which I prefer. Nice.

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The airline also provided a toiletry kit, which is a nice little travel bag, including a toothbrush, toothpaste, comb, eye mask, socks, hand cream, and lip balm. While not too important in the long run, it was a nice little extra.

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All in all, the trip was pleasant, the flight attendants were lovely, and the airports in Rome and Florence–way nicer than JFK. I’m just sayin’.

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