I hate to admit that any American airline experience could be worse than traveling Alitalia, but our trip home makes that impossible. No one told us, first of all, that the airport in Rio had been experiencing a deliberate work slowdown for almost two months. Flights are regularly delayed at least 90 minutes and often longer. We were on American Airlines and the entire process was annoying and physically wrenching. The airport has at least five H. Stern stores, by the way - I think this business actually operates the entire country. We were bussed at 7:00PM to the airport - the ride took 72 minutes. We waited in line for nearly an hour to check in. We were handed forms that told us that any and all refunds on our flights would be given to Holland-America Line - that was a surprise and a shock!
We boarded at ten-thirty and took off about 1:00AM. We were so late getting into Miami that we missed our connection to Logan and had to wait an additional four and a half hours for the next flight out. Food on the planes was terrible, service was indifferent. The air was rank. I ended up with a head and throat cold. The seats were uncomfortable and the exit row seats we were given provided so much air leakage that Bob needed two blankets to keep from freezing.
In Miami the American Immigration official we got consigned to photographed and finger-printed nearly everyone on our line, causing additional delays. We were among the first to arrive and the last to leave the area. By the time we got to my car, at good old exit 13 on the Pike, we'd been traveling 25 hours and we still had a two hour drive to Connecticut for a restful weekend with friends. But we made it. We're alive and we'll be well again and the trip will take on softer sides and sweeter memories than these.
Sorry there aren't more photos on line, but if you like that sort of thing I have 439 of them and can do a slide show at your home or office. Give me a call.