Anne & Tom's Italy Adventure 2011 travel blog


Friday the 13th! Broken tow bar on tug.

Across the Atlantic

The Rome Airport

For the flight to Alghero

Boarding for Alghero

We arrive!

Entry #2 May 15, 2011

We're unusually not superstitious, but traveling on Friday the 13th!? When we arrived at the Rochester Airport, were told that there would be a delay of our 10:45 AM flight from Rochester to JFK in New York. The delay was minimal and we actually would not have had a problem since the flight was much earlier than we needed to make the connection with our international flight at 7PM. The flight we originally had booked on from Rochester had a more convenient afternoon departure and would have entailed a shorter layover in JFK, BUT the bean-counters at Delta saw an opportunity to save money and cut that flight.

We arrived in NYC just in time for lunch and we ate at a nice sit-down restaurant. We thought we were in terminal 4 and asked our waitress where we were and she replied that we were in terminal 2! We were able to find our gate (4) was in terminal 3 and we walked there passing many Starbucks along the way. (Of course, we stopped for a Carmel Macciata and a White Chocolate Mocha Frappaccino).

With our silver elite mileage status (we travel a lot on Delta), we were among the first to board and settled into our Airbus 330. The plane left the gate right on time and as we headed to the runway, a sudden stop lurched us forward in our sets. A few minutes later an announcement proclaimed that the captain was powering down the engines. We were in a taxi lane and suddenly surrounded by vehicles including a police car, a tug, a two seat scooter, and what looked like a baggage loading truck.

The engines powered down and after a bit of waiting, the captain announced that the tug that had been taking us out of the gate area had broken the tow bar and he had to make the sudden stop to prevent the plane from ramming the tug and possibly damaging the front wheel of the plane. This occurred at about ten after seven with the sun still in the west.

After number of announcements and apologies, we were assured that there was no damage to the wheel and maintenance had signed off on the incident. The captain also told us the he had personally gone down to inspect the wheel and found it to be "normal." We took off at 8:30 in the dusk and decided that we would not get to visit the church in Rome (that closed at noon) with the Bernini Statue of Saint Theresa. The crossing was uneventful (although a long 10 hours).

We arrived in Rome only half an hour late, but there was still not enough time to get to Rome to visit the church. Plus we did not know which terminal we had landed in (signage in the Leonardo Deviancy Airport was less than adequate). We walked around and finally did a search on the iPhone for an airport map.

The trip to Alghero was right on time and we got to our hotel (Carlos the 5th) where we had a wonderful dinner and a good night's sleep in a real bed (not an airplane seat or a terminal floor).

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