Coming back from France in 2006, we had an Alitalia flight via Milan. Everything until Milan was fine – except one thing. This is an aside, but I must say this.
In Milan, like in Vienna, I was asked to take off my belt and lay it in the tray to be passed through the X-Ray machine. That’s okay, acceptable.
Then, I was asked to raise my hands as I walked through the security gate. If I was comfortable enough to lift my arms wearing jeans without a belt, I would not wear a belt at all, I wanted to tell them.
I now make it a point to wear a salwar kameez or tighter jeans.
Coming back. Our stopover from Paris was at Milan – and there, we discovered that the flight ahead was cancelled. All kinds of reasons were given to us. ‘Technical snag’, ‘staff on strike’, ‘no co-pilot’… We had no idea when we’d get a flight back and our visas were due to expire that day.
That, we were told, was not a problem. It was the responsibility of the airlines to make arrangements for us.
And they did.
Never before and never again have I stayed at a four-star hotel in Europe. What an experience that was! We had two nights in Milan before we got a flight back, and we spent each night at a different hotel. A shower in a fancy hotel is an unparalleled luxury.
We discovered later that the likely reason for our flight having been cancelled was that there was no staff.
Italy was playing a football match that day!