How should i start? What i experienced here was quite interesting. To be honest, the main reason to visit this city was because the cheap flight to Vienna that i found was from Naples. The other reason was to taste it’s PIZZA!
Usually when we heard about Naples, we heard about pickpockets and a bit of mafia stories. Indeed, even my taxi driver told me not to bring anything valuable outside the hotel i stayed in (yes! I stayed in a hotel! But there was a story behind it). “Just bring 10 Euros with you! Not anything else”, Giovanni said. I think he was a bit worried. Me, a little girl from Asia wandering alone in the middle of Naples. What he didn’t know was i were there for 2 days already and i were perfectly fine with my stuffs. But since this was a bit different situation, i think it probably good to listen to him.
The question is why should i went back to the hotel after i spent 2 days in Naples? Simple, my flight got overbooked. How come? Seriously, i was thinking that i was pranked by the Airlines when they said that. For me its actually not ethical to sell non-available seat to a customer or to sell more seats than the capacity of the plane. After a bit research, this is one of the good explanations.
And here i was in the Naples International Airport waiting for my fate. Simple story short, i was on waiting list number 2 and there was only 1 seat available for waiting list number 1. They tried fo find a replacement ticket, but they didn’t have any available flights (including connecting flights) to Vienna until 2 days later. Then I came back to the check-in counter to check on my arrangements and to get my “rucksack” (thats how they called it).
While waiting, i was thinking on the consequences of this delay. I had all the accomodations booked all the way until i plan to fly back to Indonesia. Changing these meant that i have to change every single booking. I also still need to pay for the first night of my Vienna’s accommodation as this situation would be considered as “No Show”. Such a mess.
It turned out that under the European Law, i am eligible for assistance, reimbursement, and 250 Euro compensation. Assistance in this regard was the assistance in accommodation and airport transfer. Reimbursement in this regards was the meals cost. For more details about this law, please see this link.
Before going to deep into the flight issue, let me give Naples a proper story. Compare to other city in Italy, Naples might look dirtier and messier. But in the other side, things were cheaper. Train station was usually busy, same as Rome. But people were still quite nice. In the first two days, i stayed at Airbnb and the host didn’t speak any English, only Italian. She explained all the keys with me and asked me to repeat them. I understood which key to open which door and she was very happy. We didn’t speak each other language but we understood each other pretty well.
I mostly visited churches in Naples and ate Pizza everyday. There were several famous pizza places in Naples. For the review, please see this link. I accidentally found Pizzaria Da Michele at Via Cesare Sersale 1. It was very very crowded. When you come you should ask for a queue number. And if you do not find a crowd in front of the restaurant, you might be at the wrong place. Because i did not want to be in a rush in eating a pizza and waited too long outiside, i decided to buy one for take-away everytime i visited this place. They only sold two types of pizza: Marinara and Margherita. Simple but very very delicious and cheap!
Other than they are selling great pizzas, they are also famous for something else. This was the place where Eat Pray Love shoot took place. Yes! The scene of Julia Roberts eating pizza came from this particular restaurant. I didn’t realise it until i found a picture of Julia Roberts eating pizza on one of their posters. During one of my visit, i also got to talk with the owner. He was curious where i came from. With limited words, he shared that he would travel to Japan that night to open a new restaurant in Japan. It turned out that he has two restaurants there, one in Tokyo and the others in Chuo Fukuoka. He also has another store in London now. If you can not visit Naples, you can find his authentic taste in those cities.
Another amazing experience in Naples was to see thousands of birds dancing in the air. It happened when i walked from Pizzaria da Michele to my Airbnb accommodation near the train station. I don’t know the species of the birds, but the feathers were in dark color (grey or black perhaps) and their size were small, like sparrows. They flied in big group creating a loop of flying pattern, sometimes wide and spread, sometimes small and dense. After “dancing” in the air, they perched on a nearby tree and “singing”. I recorded this phenomenon on my phone and later will post it in Instagram account so you can feel it too. It was really amazing.
Lets go back to the flight problem. Instead of complaining a lot (which i did already in the past), i would like to give you some tips if you book flight with budget airlines (particularly Easyjet)
– Check-in much earlier. Easyjet has possibility of check-in 30 days before departure (which was new concept for me). Please do this to ensure your seat.
– If overbooked case happens to you, do not panic. Ask the ground staff more detailed informations regarding your replacement ticket (and make sure you check-in directly), accommodation, meals reimbursement (if possible charge all meals to the hotel and let the hotel to settle with the airlines) and air transfer. I almost took taxi from the hotel to the airport because i was not informed that they arranged a transportation for me. I met my driver in the lobby when i checked out and actually asked, “What are you doing here? Picking up a guest?” He laughed and answered, “Yes, i am picking you up.”
– Compensation payment. If you are from a country that has different banking system than Europe, its better to use European account with IBAN system. I tried to use my home country account and the Customer Service just got confused. Then i changed it to European account, but still no luck even until now (1 year after delayed flight). There are actually plenty of reportings of this particular issue, like this or this.
I certainly do not hope that you have the same case as i am , but thats what i learnt from my experience so far. I hope it helps you guys! See you soon!