Shotgun of emergency international travel questions
April 25, 2012 10:35 AM Subscribe
A dear family member suddenly passed in Italy. I live in the Mid-Atlantic USA. I really need to travel to Italy on very short notice for the funeral. I am not a frequent air traveler to begin with, but have never been abroad in my life (though I do have a passport). I have no idea how this works. I want to know anything I should know about getting to and from my destination (e.g., negotiating customs). I also want to know how bereavement fares work, whether I should bother trying to get one, who people have had good experiences with, etc.
posted by Keter to Travel & Transportation around Rome, Italy (35 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
Any advice any can have on this subject would be very much appreciated. I know many of these answers are in some way Google-able, but this is a rough time and I want to get as much information and perspective as I can, fast, especially as I'm not thinking terribly clearly or rationally.
* I know bereavement fares exist, but I can't seem to find any hard information on them. People seem to be souring on them recently, and many carriers seem to be dropping them. It seems confusing to the point of being prohibitively bewildering. Obviously, though, short-notice international travel is madly expensive. Has anyone had any "good" (relatively speaking) experiences doing bereavement fares with any particular carrier? Any tips for negotiating this if I do dive in? Any idea on other ways to get (as is possible) cheap international fares, fast?
* What can I expect at customs? I have a passport but have never actually exited the USA. I know rules on domestic travel restrictions, but is there anything else in particular I should think about or know about, perhaps especially regarding the EU and Italy in particular? I'll probably be travelling specifically out of Philadelphia International Airport. Any resources? I'll pack light, generally speaking.
* International flight in general: what can I expect on the plane? What might it be like in economy? Is there anything I should be wary of?
* W/r/t power converters: Can I pick one up at a local CVS or similar? I imagine they must sell them in airports?
* I do not speak Italian. An out-of-place question, but: best online Italian phrasebook?
Thanks in advance, MetaFilter.