I have discussed some of the restrictions you may encounter if you buy a ticket on Ryanair or Easyjet. Everything I tell you I know because I have experienced it first hand. I thought you might like to hear about me trying to get our boarding passes printed the night before we flew out of Rome to Paris.
Recently I had a girlfriend getaway to Rome and Paris with two friends. I am still friends with one of them and the other one…well, all I can do is pray for her (that is a story to be told later on a different post). Whenever I travel with family or friends, I’m usually the one who plans everything. It comes naturally to me and I enjoy doing it so I don’t mind. So, I was the one who found our discount tickets on EasyJet which only cost us about 35 dollars a piece so we were really happy.
We went to Rome first then were flying to Paris. The night before we were leaving for Paris, I was getting everything ready and checking on our flights when I came across an email I had received from EasyJet weeks before.
I had to read it a few times to make sure I was reading correctly because it seemed crazy to me. EasyJet was going to charge us 40Euro if we didn’t print out our boarding passes before we got to the airport.
I thought this was absolutely ridiculous and there was no way I was going to pay that. One thing about me, I can be a bit on the frugal side. I mean, I like nice things and going to lovely places but to spend 40 Euro on a piece of paper that is supposed to be free just seems like tomfoolery to me.
It was almost midnight but I didn’t think anything about it, I figured there would be an Internet cafe open somewhere close by, I was in Rome and wasn’t worried about it at all. I googled it and found one not far away but since it was close to midnight, I didn’t want to walk as I wasn’t too familiar with the city and it’s safer in a taxi. I hopped in the taxi, gave him the address and we were off. Wouldn’t it be nice if the story ended there?
Well, he pulled up to the Internet cafe and it was closed. Even though on the Internet it said it was open 24 hours. Isn’t everything always true on the Internet? Apparently I had the one lie on the Internet so my taxi driver told me he thought he knew where there was another one. Cool. We drove there. Guess what? That was closed.
The driver called a few of his colleagues and tried to find an Internet cafe. Meanwhile, I’m sitting in the backseat thinking, “Maybe I should have just let us all pay the 40 Euro.” Cause at least 30 minutes had gone by, I was no where closer to printing our passes, my meter was running and my friends were at home chillin’. Hmph.
So then I was trying to figure out what I was going to do. AH HA! I got it! I’ll go to a hotel. So I told the taxi driver and he found a hotel. I went it, asked if they had a business center. No. Okay, thanks. I went and got back in the taxi and told him they didn’t have one and he said no problem, we can find another hotel.
Seriously, we went to about 3 different hotels and no one had a computer with a printer. By this time I’m just irritated because I have been trying to get this done for about 45 minutes and I have no idea what I’m going to do and at this point, I don’t want the time I’ve spent looking for this cafe to be for nothing.
Then my taxi driver said in Italian, “You can come to my house and print them off.”
Now I know what you’re thinking, ‘I know she didn’t even consider that.’ Well, actually, I did. I mean, just for a nanosecond but I did think about it. I was tired, I was irritated, and I was sick of being in a taxi. Did I mention the driver kept trying to flirt with me? And I had to be nice because I didn’t want him to get mad at me for not responding to him and put me out of his taxi (oh yeah, that happened to me. I’ll write about that later on) I was ready to be done. But then my good sense prevailed and I told him in Spanish, “Thank you but that’s ok.”
Driver, “But why? I have a printer, you could print it easily and I don’t live very far.”
All of a sudden I got a glimpse of a future news story, “This just in, a young Black woman has been missing for days and her friends have no idea where she is. She got into a taxi, lost her mind and went to a strange man’s apartment.” Meanwhile, I’m on my way to be someone’s sex slave in some random country. No thanks.
And then, all of a sudden, I had an idea…I’ll go to a five start hotel! They always have business centers. I asked the driver if he knew where a 5 star hotel was, and thankfully he did. He drove me there and I walked in. At this point, I was afraid they would tell me I couldn’t use it if I wasn’t a guest so I didn’t ask anyone. I just walked into the lobby like I knew where I was going, found the business center and sat down at the computer. Could it be that simple? Of course not.
I had buy time on the computer. I just wanted to scream. I walked to the desk told them what I wanted and thankfully, the nice gentleman gave me the code and let me use the Internet. HALLELUJAH! I printed out our passes, hopped back in the taxi with a huge smile on my face and went back to the apartment.
So what’s the moral of this story? Learn from my mistake.
1. Read all e-mail correspondence from the airline. It may contain information that is valuable to you.
2. Don’t wait until the last minute to read e-mails from the airline. Had I read this e-mail ahead of time, I could have planned better and not been out at midnight trying to do something I could have easily done during the day.
Have you ever done anything like this? Would you have done things differently?