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A very strange airport
Member Name: linzeelou
Advantages: Arriving was lovely
Disadvantages: Departure lounge is horrible
Choosing to fly to Rome with Ryanair meant that we had no choice but to fly to Rome-Ciampino Airport. Ciampino doesn't deal with larger airlines so if you find you are flying on a budget; this is probably the airport you will arrive at.
Getting to and from Rome is very easy from Rome-Ciampino Airport. With a pre-booked shuttle bus, we were able to be in the center of Rome only 40 minutes after our flight. On the way back to the airport, it only took 30 minutes as there was a very small amount of traffic. Our bus cost Euro8 each for return tickets although one way will cost Euro6. Taxis to and from the airport can be expensive and still take the same amount of time in most cases.
== Arrivals ==
My experience with the arrivals sections of the airport was extremely positive. Once out flight had landed and we were allowed off the plane, I realised just how small an airport this was. As we flew without checked luggage, we only had our hand luggage to carry off the plane so there was no need to wait to pick anything else up. Even so, the baggage claim area was amazingly quiet. When going through passport control, there was only a couple of people in front of us. The man working at the booth barely looked at my passport before letting me through.
The arrivals area is quite small with not much on offer. Straight ahead is the ticket booth for Terravision, a bus service to Roma Termini. We had already booked tickets online but as our flight arrived early, I decided to ask if I could change them or not. The woman at the desk quickly reassured me by saying we could get on whatever bus we wanted and there was already one outside waiting if we wanted to get on that one.
Arriving at this airport was extremely quick and easy and was a lot less stressful than other airports I have been to.
== Departures ==
Departing from Rome-Ciampino Airport was unfortunately not as pleasant. We arrived at the airport way too early, thanks again to catching an earlier Terravision bus than planned. Our flight home was not until 11:30am but we arrived at about 8am. Usually flights need a good 2 hours beforehand so that you have time to get through security etc. but here, it took us about 10 minutes. Again, no checked luggage so there was no need for checking in as we had already done this online. After crossing through security there was barely anything to do.
As well as a 'duty free' shop which sold alcohol and perfume, there were a couple of small accessories shops and a snack bar. The snack bar only sold drinks, pastries and few small sandwiches so there was nowhere to get anything proper to eat. Next to this snack bar was a burger place but due to it being in the morning, this wasn't open. The shopping area at Rome-Ciampino Airport is the smallest and most pathetic I have ever seen. Although I did buy some perfume and cigarettes because they were cheap, there was not much else on offer. We had nearly 3 hours to kill before our flight and there definitely wasn't enough to do for this length of time.
One of my main problems with this airport, which is just a personal thing, was that there was no smoking area after security. I know that many places now have smoking bans in place but most airports still have smoking areas. If you are at the airport even the recommended 2 hours before a flight, this is a long time to wait. As there wasn't much to keep me occupied, I could feel myself getting stressed and restless.
== Overall ==
Normally, I find airports quite fun but Rome-Ciampino Airport is one of the most boring and unimaginative that I have ever been to. The building has no colour inside; there wasn't even an Italian flag in sight. If I hadn't already known what country I was flying to, I wouldn't have had any idea just from looking at the airport. The airport is small, which is a good thing as you arrive there but there just isn't enough to do in the departure lounges. The only good thing about this is that you can't overspend money you don't have. I would definitely advise a big meal before heading to the airport or waiting until about an hour before your flight to pass through security.
Summary: A very basic airport