Italy Repatriation Flight During Covid Lockdown | Budapest to Rome [CC]

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Italy Repatriation Flight During Covid Lockdown | Budapest to Rome [CC]

(tense music) Hi guys, so if you’ve been following my channel the last few months, you know that I got stuck in Budapest during the lockdown And as you can probably tell from the background here and the title of this video, I am back in Italy now I wanted to tell you guys all about that, which is actually not at all as simple as just booking a flight like it used to be When I made the video “Hungary’s Not a Dictatorship” was the third of May That day the restrictions eased up in Hungary outside of Budapest There were also some changes in Germany and France Italy officially went into phase two There were some changes here as well I even mentioned in the video that I saw there were some flights to Italy in about two weeks The way it works is the airline has the right to cancel the flight If it’s more than two weeks out, they don’t have to compensate you I think what they do, they wait until just before they’re under that two week mark to take the flights offline I saw this flight It was on the site, chatted with them, called them back and forth so many times, just trying to get things sorted out and make sure that my flight was changed from the original flight in March to the flight that I wanted, the 25th of May And the issue I was having was that they wanted to charge me a fee to change the flight and I wasn’t supposed to be charged a fee because my original flight in March was canceled with less than two weeks’ notice I had to argue with them about that and then finally they agreed They said that the flight was reserved and I just needed to wait for an email And then I’m thinking this fee that they wanted to charge me for changing my flight, I’m pretty sure that’s the actual full price of the flight because it only cost about like eight or ten euros I went to check the website, and I see that all of the flights are gone So then I called them back again The guy tells me all of the flights are canceled until July So there would be no flights in May, no flights in June, and I’m kinda confused I was expecting cases to surge once the restrictions eased up It hasn’t happened so far, so why would they be canceling all these flights? If they are canceling them, it’s probably something that was government mandated and they don’t have a choice So then I see this other airline that has flights listed in June and I’m thinking “Okay, well June is like three weeks away Chances are those flights will be taken offline in another week” because I can’t imagine the one airline would cancel all their flights and the other one wouldn’t There’s no way for me to reach someone at this other airline to verify, so there’s no way for me to get more information there Since there was an Italian staying in the hostel with me, he had been in contact with the embassy, and he knew that there was this repatriation flight being offered From what I have deduced, this is the first repatriation flight that’s been offered since the lockdown started Anyone who has stuck on holiday or lost their job or whatever, just had to wait the last two months for this flight to be offered The only other way to get back to Italy, because there was no FlixBus, no BlaBlaCar, there was basically just renting a car So something he had looked into He said there was one car rental company that would allow you to leave the car in Italy The fee for leaving the car and not returning it was gonna be the most expensive part of the rental So it was gonna come out to a total of like 1,000 euros I looked into other rental companies, and it really wasn’t that expensive to rent a car, but with those companies you weren’t allowed to leave the car behind If I had taken the car to Italy and then restrictions had continued and I wasn’t able to return the car to Hungary, I would’ve been charged for however many weeks it took until I was able to return the car Not to mention as much as I love driving, that would’ve been a very long drive and just incredibly exhausting So then I wanna find out more about this repatriation flight, but the Italian who told me about it managed to find a new job, so he’s not interested anymore I try to contact the embassy, the Italian embassy in Budapest To my surprise, they don’t speak English They speak Hungarian and Italian I have contacted other embassies where the language of neither country is English that spoke English, they had it on the recording and everything In this case, didn’t go too well They basically just said I should have someone else call for me who can speak Italian So, I had my friend call the embassy for me, and the embassy said he would have to call the immigration police at the airport to find out if I would be allowed on the flight So I call them, and they said the current legislation doesn’t allow me to return, but Conte announced some changes and maybe starting the following week I would be allowed to return to Italy But, as far as we knew,

the flight was only being offered once We have no idea if there are gonna be other flights or how long it’s gonna be So, I had my friend contact them He sent an email explaining the situation Then they wrote back, “If you manage to purchase the ticket, we will let you through.” So we’re like “Okay, well I don’t think purchasing the ticket is gonna be the problem.” I go on the website, I’m ready to buy the ticket It is a lot more expensive than what I would’ve paid with one of these normal, cheap flights to the point where I was kinda considering, “Is it really worth paying all of this money to be on this expensive flight? Maybe it would be better to just stay in Budapest.” But the problem is, I don’t know if there’s gonna be flights in June or July or how long this is gonna go Even if the flight in June is not canceled, that’s three more weeks The amount of money that I would spend on that flight, would ultimately come out to about the same as what I would spend staying in Budapest for three more weeks And then if the cheap flights in June were canceled and I had to get on the next repatriation flight, I would be paying twice as much If there was no more repatriation flight offered and the cheap flights were canceled then I would be totally stuck I decided to go ahead, take the flight Well, I make it sound easy, but I was incredibly indecisive, as I always am, trying to wait until the last minute Like I was really gonna book the day of It crossed my mind, “What if I’m the only person on this flight?” I got on the website to see if I could see how many seats were filled I couldn’t find the flight anymore It wasn’t listed It had disappeared. It was just under 24 hours to go I was getting nervous It did let me go back in the browser and open that page again I wanted to see if it would let me book, because I was thinking, “If it vanished from the website, it probably got canceled Even if it didn’t, it’s probably not gonna let me book.” In that moment, I was actually leaning more toward just staying in Budapest and waiting for this cheap flight It all just felt a bit too sudden I wasn’t ready to leave yet There was more stuff that I was trying to do in the meantime So it was like I was ready to go, I was gonna get on the flight, and then I started leaning more back in the direction of staying longer and then I see the flights vanish from the website Purely out of curiosity, I wanna see if I’m still able to book this flight I wanna know for sure if it’s been canceled I tried to book it It went through The flight was booked, and I’m like “Okay, well I guess I’m gonna be on that flight then.” I’m heading to the airport the next day That was a whole fiasco, because there’s normally the airport express bus I was coming from one metro stop away, so I decided to check Google Maps and see if there was a better way to get there Honestly, being in Budapest makes me question my trust of Google Maps Instead of taking the metro, it told me to take the tram, even though they both stop at the same stop, but it was equal distance, so it was okay And then I end up at the train station and I’m thinking “I’m supposed to take a bus,” because normally I take the bus to the airport After wandering around the train station, finally it registers “Oh, I’m supposed to take a train.” And then I’m going toward the platform I see that there’s construction You have to go down under, through this passageway, back up the other side I go down and I get on the other side, and then there’s like a shopping center and I don’t know how to get out again And then I get up, I see the platform, I have like one minute ’til the train leaves I’m like trying to jog a little bit toward the train I finally got my mask to stop fogging up my glasses, so I kept it on the whole time since I got out of the tram, gone from just getting sweaty and uncomfortable to really I can’t breathe and now my glasses are fogging up, but at that point I’m at the train and I have to keep the mask on, so I’m like trying to hold it a little bit away from my face, while I cool down a bit And then I had to buy a ticket in the train, which is a lot more expensive than they normally are And then the train stops near the airport It doesn’t take you directly to the airport There’s like this overpass over the rails that I have to cross over I go around to the elevator, and I see the elevator isn’t there yet They’re working on installing it right then So I have to go up like two stories’ worth of stairs, cross over the street, and then there’s a sign that says, “This is terminal one There are no flights being offered You need to go to terminal two.” So I have to go back up the stairs, across the street, and then down on the other side of the train tracks, which is like in the middle in order to catch the normal airport bus to go to terminal two There’s this announcement in the bus, “Flights are going from terminal 2A and terminal 2B, either one.” And I walk in and there’s like nothing there It’s construction It’s brand new I walk down to the other end and suddenly I see this really long line of people And there’s a guy from the airport asking, “Where are you going?” And he says, “Yes, you need to get in this line.” And I realized that all of the people in this line are on the flight to Italy I’m definitely not the only one I sit down on the ground so that I can reorganize some stuff, make sure my liquids are all in the bag I’m gonna check As soon as I sit down, I just feel the energy drain out of me I’m so exhausted from everything that it took to get to the airport The guy walks past again, and I was like, “Can I have a wheelchair? Normally I do have a wheelchair.” This flight wouldn’t let you choose seats

or any accommodations you needed So he goes and gets a wheelchair, comes back This straight line that everybody’s standing in is to get their temperature checked I basically get whisked to the front of the line They check my temperature I was afraid that my temperature would be too high, because when I overexert myself and I’m kinda like in a crash my temperature does go up, but I believe it’s lower than what technically qualifies as a fever So I go past After the straight line with the thermometer, there’s the normal zig-zagging line to check in and get your boarding pass and I’m taken to the front of that line and then they’re like, “Are you an Italian citizen? Are you an Italian resident?” I’m like “No.” So then, of course, we have a problem I said, “I already talked to the polaria,” (the immigration police) at the airport where I land, “and they’ve told me it’s gonna be fine.” I have documents I have this email and everything, but it’s in Italian So these people in Hungary can’t read it They don’t have anyone there who speaks Italian, and I’m like, “If you guys just let me on the flight, then when I arrive, I can explain it to the people there, but it’s kind of hard to prove it to you guys.” So they said that they’re gonna have to contact the polaria themselves and verify that I’m allowed to be on the flight, and it just took a really long time for them to make this call Everybody had gone through the line The people doing the check-ins were ready to go as soon as they got through the line, so they printed out my boarding card real quick, but they still hadn’t made the call Finally they make the call They ask to see this one document I have, and then they tell me it’s okay The guy pushing the wheelchair takes me towards security, and I’m like “What about my backpack with my liquids?” And he’s like, “No, no, it’ll be fine.” I was like “Really, are you sure?” “Yeah, we’ll do it at security.” “Okay.” So then we get to security, and they start separating my liquids between what is small enough to pass and what’s too big and needs to be thrown out Interestingly enough, I had a couple things that were a little bit too big but they were mostly empty and they said it was okay Last time I flew, I had to throw those things out Then I’m like “Well, I don’t wanna throw out the things that are too big That’s why I said I wanted to check the bag.” And then he’s like (sighs), we have to go all the way back, get all of my bags out of the scanner, back on the other side of security, go back to the check in counter, check the bag, go all the way back to security, take my bags out again, put them through the scanners again, get me through security, and go get to board this flight We get to the gate, and then it turns out there’s this piece of paper, At check-in, they were asking if everybody had it Some people had printed it off and filled it out already Because of what was going on, nobody ever asked if I had it So we get to the gate, they realize I don’t have it I have to fill it out real quick I don’t speak Italian They’re like getting the stack of papers and like looking at the answers to try to help figure out what I’m supposed to fill out, but it’s really rushed And like “put down whatever,” and then I hand the paper over to them I’m able to get on the flight The flight attendants are speaking Italian first with everyone because everyone there’s supposed to be Italian Everyone’s wearing masks the whole time Then at one point they made an announcement saying, “This isn’t our regular service We apologize, and we hope you don’t take this as a reflection of us.” And I’m thinking they’re saying that they’re not gonna be serving food, but actually they serve food right after that It was all glutinous, but I was really hungry, so I decided to risk eating it anyway But there was just this moment where I was like “Okay, everybody’s eating at the same time, which means we’re all taking our masks off We’re in this plane with the recycled air If we can take our masks off now, why are we even wearing them at all? Like what’s the point really?” We flew over Croatia, which was absolutely beautiful, and I believe that used to belong to Hungary Look at that beauty that they stole from Hungary No, I don’t know all the history that much in detail It was basically like as soon as we passed Croatia, 10 minutes later we were basically at land at the edge of Italy And right at that point they’re like, “We’re beginning our descent “We’re gonna land in 20 minutes.” And I was like “We’re gonna be all the way on the other side of Italy, landing in Rome in 20 minutes? Like what?” So we land the flight I’m waiting for the wheelchair I’ve already taken my first first gen antihistamines because of the gluten so I’m kinda drowsy, but I thought I was gonna have to justify my presence after I arrived and, since I did it before, I thought “Okay, I’m in the clear There’s not gonna be any issues It’s okay if I’m drowsy.” So then the wheelchair comes, and the lady’s like pushing me up the ramp, which I feel really bad for And then the flight attendant comes out, and she says something, “Du-du-du, la raggaza,” and I turned around and I was like “Oh shit, my maps.” I left my maps

Someone brought them up to me and I’m so glad I didn’t lose them on the flight So then she pushes me out and we get to this thing where they’re checking your temperature again and I’m thinking again “I probably have a temperature, because I just ate gluten and I’m really not feeling great.” Luckily, I managed to get by, and then there’s like these little stations with desks where everyone is filling out this form again Nobody there speaks English The lady pushing the wheelchair does her best to ask the questions and translate the answers We leave the form there with them and then we’re able to continue out We go to baggage claim to get my backpack While we’re at baggage claim I’m like “Okay, we’re through We made it I get to stay Now I can book my train ticket from Rome to the place I’m staying.” This flight stopped in Rome and Milan, but the reason that I got out in Rome was because it landed an hour earlier There are not very many trains running That was the only way that I could get on a train and get to my destination that night Because if I left from Milan an hour later there were no more trains And this was at like, we landed at six in the evening and the one in Milan was at seven It wasn’t very late, but their trains are only being offered every few hours So while we’re waiting for my backpack I book the ticket The lady takes me to the train station in the airport, and the police there are asking questions about where I’m coming from, where I’m going, and she’s telling them everything And we realize there’s a problem, but nobody there speaks enough English to really explain to me what’s going on I call my friend I was like “I understood something they were saying about I need to take a taxi or whatever.” So they get on the phone They explain it to him They said that if you’re coming from abroad you’re not allowed to use public transport You have to be picked up from the airport or take a taxi Obviously I’m not about to pay for a taxi for like a five hour drive This wasn’t mentioned by the embassy or the airline or the polaria or anyone until it was too late My friend had even said the day before, “Maybe I’ll drive to Rome and pick you up.” But we’re like why would you do that I can just take the train But at that point I’m standing in the airport, nothing left to do We find out he’s gonna have to drive all that way to come and pick me up I still had like an hour before the train left, and I’m trying to think if there’s any other solution And I’m like “Okay, the people at the train station in the airport would obviously recognize me, even if I came back walking.” My hair and everything just kinda stands out Even though I had to hand in a declaration when I got on the plane and when I got off of the plane, I had another one that they gave me on the plane that you’re supposed to keep with you at all times when you’re out in public in Italy I hadn’t filled it out yet, but I’m sitting there I know I can’t get on the train I’m thinking my friend’s gonna have to drive five hours to pick me up, five hours back home So the train is supposed to go from this station at the airport to one of the other stations in Rome, and then I’m supposed to switch to a long distance train to get to my destination And I’m like “What if I can board the train at another station and I just say that I’m coming from Rome? I put a local address on the form and pretend that I’m not coming from abroad and go with that.” And my friend’s like, “You can’t just put some random address,” because he’s been stopped before, and they wanted to know his landlord’s name and phone number They actually called to verify They’re really strict So you would have to put the address of someone you know who’s actually on board with this plan And I’m thinking I have a friend who got stuck in Rome with her boyfriend because of the lockdown, and maybe I can use their address But that sounds like a really sketchy plan that probably nobody’s gonna be on board with I wasn’t gonna do it, and then finally I decided to call And she said what we could do maybe is come and pick you up and drive you to the other station, because if you take a taxi it’s gonna cost like 50 euros But they live like 30 minutes away, and by that point I have like just under an hour and there’s really no way that I’m gonna make it in time So we’re like “Okay, what now?” So her boyfriend says he’s gonna come pick me up She’s afraid to come in the car with him, because they’re really strict about only having one person from the household pick you up When he got there he said, “If you don’t live in the same household together, then the passenger’s supposed to sit in the back.” So I couldn’t even sit in the front next to him At that point they said it had already been declared that, starting the next week, you would be allowed to visit your friends at home,

but at the time it was technically illegal for me to go over to their house and hang out with them My friend that was coming to pick me up was saying he could put that he’s going to the airport on his form, and, if he got stopped outside of Rome, that would be okay because they wouldn’t be able to tell the difference But if he got stopped within the city they could tell that he’s going the wrong direction He could get in big trouble Anyway, I ended up not catching the train, and my friend came to pick me up It was this whole like really awkward reunion because we were standing out in public and we’re wearing masks and normally we would hug or faire la bise or something And we were just kinda standing at this mandated distance And it was really strange for me, because in Hungary you only have to wear masks if you’re indoors in a public place There aren’t nearly as many rules and, if you think about it, if you remove the statistics from northern Italy, the degree of infection, the number of cases in the rest of Italy wasn’t that bad So the lockdown that they’re experiencing in the whole country is a little bit unproportional to how many cases there are in most of Italy Places like Rome and Tuscany and everywhere outside of northern Italy, they weren’t that badly hit But they’re living under this really strict, authoritarian rule that is starting to ease up now, but it’s like, compared to what I’ve been experiencing in Hungary, it’s very strange and new and just like “Oh wow, that’s actually a rule?” And it’s like one person in the elevator at a time Maybe some people in Budapest would’ve chosen to go one by one in the elevator, but in Italy it’s actually mandated It was a bit of a culture shock for me to be in Italy, because the rules were a lot stricter than what I was used to Very different experience even though we’re already in phase two and things have eased up and I missed the strictest part of it I did leave the airport to go to my friend’s place that day, even though you weren’t allowed to go visit your friends While my friend was driving to pick me up, he put that he was going to the airport on his form and then, when we left, we both put that we were leaving from that address, because we didn’t wanna be stopped and have them see that we’re clearly not coming from the airport, because it’s 30 minutes away, it’s a totally different part of town But we felt that we did have a legitimate reason, because of my health problems and, because I had eaten gluten earlier that day, it was justifiable Also, the whole situation with me not being able to take the train was totally unexpected There have been stories of the police just making things up that are not actual mandated rules So, we were thinking if we got stopped and we got in trouble, it would be better to say “This is what the police told us to do” and possibly expose them for doing something wrong than for us to get caught in a lie and get in trouble But fortunately we were not stopped at all Starting the following Monday, like three days later, people were allowed to move freely within their region They no longer have to carry these forms with them every time they leave the house, but I am technically under quarantine for two weeks, because I’m coming from another country, which makes absolutely no sense to me that every country has this rule because every country is affected, so what difference does it make? But, I feel really lucky that I am staying where I currently am, where I can walk around this property without having to actually leave and go someplace public Being chronically ill, it’s not like I go out that much anyway You guys see me filming outside I really only go outside to film So, for me, two weeks of quarantine is nothing I guess I’ll see you guys back here next week