Our first experiences with Terravision 2 years ago had been positive (see Thumbs Up for Terravision). Fast-forward to the present, and things appear to be deteriorating into Terravision Turmoil.
At least, this is our impression from recent experiences travelling between Rome and Ciampino (Rome’s budget airline airport).
As usual, we booked our tickets online, and arrived at the airport bus stop a good half-hour before our bus was due to leave. There was a large crowd of passengers waiting to board, in a very loose impression of a queue.
Apparently, there was a shortage of buses. They were running only once per hour with a maximum seating of 58 passengers per bus. After waiting in line in the wind and rain for over an hour, the single Terravision representative informed us that there was no guarantee that we would get on the next bus.
Since this bus hadn’t even arrived, the prospects of getting into Rome anytime soon on a Terravision bus were looking bleak.
All this time, we’d noticed buses regularly arriving and leaving at the adjacent bus rank.
After enquiring with the driver of the Bus Shuttle company, we discovered we could leave in 10 minutes on his double-decker bus for €5 each. Wishing to waste no more time standing in the rain, we paid an extra €10 and took the more spacious double-decker bus.
We would have to leave the matter of re-imbursement from Terravision until we returned from our trip 3 weeks later.
However, we had already pre-booked 3 more trips with Terravision: Termini to Fiumcino, Fiumcino to Termini, and Termini back to Ciampino. After this first abortive trip, we were naturally apprehensive about the others.
As it turned out, our 3 other trips with Terravision went smoothly enough, and (more importantly) on time.
The main problem seems to be with journeys from Ciampino airport to Rome. Since Ciampino deals mainly with budget airlines, there’s a larger number of travellers likely to choose the cheapest transfer option – which is Terravision. Many of these travellers turn up without tickets, and try to board ahead of the travellers who have tickets. Queues disintegrate, and with just one Terravision representative it all becomes a bit of a scrum.
At Termini station in Rome, Terravision no longer have a ticket office. Instead customers are expected to wait unsheltered on the opposite side of the station (again, often in the wind and rain). This also leads to confusion and frantic rushes for a Terravision bus as soon as one turns up.
There are now other similarly-priced shuttle options for traveling between Rome and the 2 airports. Our advice is not to buy Terravision tickets in advance. You can buy when you arrive, or choose from any of the other bus companies nearby.
As for our reimbursement from Terravision, we’ll keep you posted…
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