Fodor's Travel Talk Forums

Fodor's Travel Talk Forums (
-   Air Travel (
-   -   Alitalia (

GrannyPaige Oct 18th, 2006 12:03 PM

We have flight booked on Alitalia in early January--I have not heard anything good about them. Anything new?

Hagan Oct 18th, 2006 12:25 PM

Well, I just booked 4 tickets today for Alitalia flights to Italy next March. Now, I've read several places where they might be bankrupt by Jan. and I'm really freaking out! What can we do at this point?

Hagan Oct 18th, 2006 05:40 PM

I have read several slightly encouraging posts on other sites that feel like Alitalia will be around for awhile, although they may have to restructure like SwissAir did. We'll just have to keep our fingers and toes crossed. As for the airline itself, I've been reading mixed reviews - some really like it and others won't step foot on it again. I'm planning to LOVE it, if it just gets me there and back!
Where are you going, and where are you flying out of? I'd love to hear about your trip!

rkkwan Oct 19th, 2006 08:05 AM

Swissair was mentioned in another recent thread too, so let me set this straight. Swissair, along with its subsidiary Sabena (of Belgium), simply shut its doors. Like Ansett of Australia did. Equivalent to Eastern here in the US, which is Ch 7.

The current Swiss International used to be Crossair, a regional airline that was associated with Swissair but not the same company.

So, it wasn't just a "restructuring" described in these threads.

Anyways, Alitalia has been on the brink of economic collapse for many years. Nothing new. They may fold, they may not. Who knows. They're trying to sell themselves to AirFrance/KLM, but AF/KL doesn't seem too interested.

Hagan Oct 19th, 2006 08:30 AM

Well, I just got an e-mail from the online agency I booked with, saying my e-ticket hadn't been issued yet and was still pending. I called the credit card company, and it hadn't been charged yet (wasn't even showing as pending), so they put a temporary block on my card, Now when the agency tries to put the charge through, it will be declined. I was thrilled with the low fares, but really felt uneasy about the whole thing. Guess I'll keep searching. Any ideas on decent airlines Fl to Italy?

LoveItaly Oct 19th, 2006 11:09 AM

Hi Hagan, personally I think you were smart to put a block on your credit card. This time from all the Italian news website I have read it does sound like the Alitalia problem is serious. And guess the EU will not allow the Italian government to bail them out as they have done in the pass.

Do you have flights by KLM from the airport you will be using. I have used KLM these last several flights to Italy from SFO with a change at Amsterdam to the KLM City Hopper and then on to Italy. The airport is fantastic and I have always been very pleased with KLM.

In the US you book KLM through their partner Northwest..just make sure you reserve flights that are on KLM planes. Best regards.

Hagan Oct 19th, 2006 02:31 PM

I' am feeling better about things tonight, relieved, but I'm disappointed also because I really liked the itinerary and got a great fare. It's too bad.
I received an e-mail confirming that my booking was cancelled, after sending the online agency one and following it up with a phone call. So I lifted the block on my account. I just found it strange also that after 24 hours, the agency still hadn't purchased the tickets! Anyway, I saw it as a blessed way out and took it.

KLM does have flights from my airport, but I'd have to fly to Detroit, then to Amsterdam, then to Rome, and the cost is nearly 3 times what my just-cancelled tickets were! I think I'll try to hang loose and see what November brings, hopefully some good fares for March!

richardab Oct 19th, 2006 05:33 PM

I have a flight with Alitalia in November that I am dreading. Have you tried Lufthansa? One thing i have to say about Lufthansa is that they are professional and punctual.

Of course you have to connect in Frankfurt, but thats not too bad. Have a pretzel and a beer!

LoveItaly Oct 19th, 2006 10:33 PM

Hi Hagan, I just wanted to say I don't think there is anyway you could have a KLM flight from your home airport to Detroit. That must be a NW flight as KLM flights only fly from a US airport to Europe. Someone can corret me if I am wrong but I am sure KLM is not allowed to fly from one US airport to another US airport.

I sure hope you find a decent fare in November..isn't trying to plan trips getting more and more difficult? Best wishes to you

Hagan Oct 20th, 2006 07:58 AM

LoveItaly, Yes you're correct. I'm sorry, my eyes are beginning to blur over as well a my brain!
And I did find a Martinair direct to Ams for $607, but I'm finding the connecting fares and flights from there to Rome to be difficult and high. I'm still out there looking, but thanks SO much for your input. And yes, it's getting stressful instead of fun!!!

Tere Oct 20th, 2006 12:45 PM

I flew Alitalia to Istanbul via Milan and was very pleased with the flights. Had no problems or issues , everything went great. For me it was just like other airlines such as Air France or KLM. Not great but good.

GrannyPaige Nov 2nd, 2006 10:49 AM

We leave out of Newark to Milan and return from Rome with a few (tours)stops in between. Just never have flown Alitalia. Will post comments when we return in late January. Thanks for the info.

jhschlak Nov 4th, 2006 09:37 AM

Is there some type of trip insurance out there that would cover the cost of the tickets if alitalia went bankrupt? Even if the insurance adds $100 onto the cost of each ticket, it would still be $200 less per ticket for me. Anyone ever research this?

Hagan Nov 4th, 2006 02:11 PM

I looked into the insurance coverage, and talked to an agent at I was told that there is NO coverage for airlines that are already in trouble, and the list included NWA, Delta and Alitalia. I'm speaking of coverage in case of financial default.
I was also so very tempted to grab some of those low fares to Italy next March, but I need 4 tickets, and the risk was just too high for me. I sure hope they can pull through, but I guess we won't know until the first of next year. Meanwhile, I'm still searching, waiting for those "November Sales" that don't seem to be coming!

jhschlak Nov 5th, 2006 10:55 AM

That is good to know, thanks for reporting back about the insurance.

jhschlak Jan 8th, 2007 04:22 PM

Ayone hear if things are looking any better at Alitalia? I am going to Italy in May, and they are still the best price. Back in November, I was told not to book with them due to risk of bankruptcy.

flanneruk Jan 9th, 2007 01:23 AM

If I were a betting man, I'd stake the family fortune on Alitalia going bust - but I can't imagine any bookie would be nuts enough to offer me odds.

BUT I certainly wouldn't bet anything on WHEN they go bust. The Economist ( reckons they've got enough cash to last a year, and I can't imagine anyone would want to provoke a bankruptcy before then.

Jan 29 is a crucial date. If no offers for the airline are received by then (after the Jan 19 proposed strike), some AZ stakeholders will start getting antsy. I doubt anyone will do anything - above all I doubt the unions will start behaving sensibly - but lots of data will emerge then about how much cash the airline really has.

In jhschlak's shoes, I'd book with a trustworthy airline. Failing that, wait till a few days after Jan 29 then search the financial press.

jhschlak Jan 9th, 2007 04:30 AM

Thanks Flanneruk. Can you give us an update after Jan 29th?

flanneruk Jan 9th, 2007 04:43 AM

I'm sure you're every bit as capable of googling Alitalia as I am. And a lot more likely to remember the importance of the date.

GrannyPaige Jan 10th, 2007 07:37 AM

Since I posted the question about Alitalia our plans were changed and now we will be flying Delta from STL to Milan, Italy on March 3. Delta is a little shaky right now but we are going on a 14 day guided tour and purchased the air through the tour company. I guess if Delta goes bellyup or sells out it will be Perillo's problem to get us to our destination. We are really looking forward to the trip. We have already been cancelled once for January departure becasue the trip was not sold out but they guaranteed us the March departure. It is not a sell out either yet but that is okay. Just means more "room on the bus". We opted for an organized tour because we did not want to worry with transfers, luggage, tips, meals. It is all planned or us. Since it is our first time to Italy we decided to go this route. If and when we do make another venture to Italy we would probably go on our own but we have been on too many cruises and opted to do to do our own thing and missed too much trying to find our way. I know most of the posters on this site are independent travelers but we choose otherwise at least this time. We will be going to Milan, Venice, Florence, Sienna, Sorrento, Rome, Pompeii, Verona and some others that I can't remember at this point. It is our 40th anniversary trip and on my husband's "list to do before we die". When we were going on Alitalia our travel agent was not too concerned because she said if they were not flying someone else would pick up the slack we would not be left at the airport. Hope that is comforting for you. What are your plans? Good luck. I will post more if I hear anything and will post a trip report upon returning. Thanks,

rkkwan Jan 10th, 2007 07:44 AM

DL is in good shape. It's adding European destinations, it's ordering new widebody planes. It's adding one free alcoholic drink with meal for coach across the Atlantic.

There's nothing you need to worry about. USAirways isn't try to buy DL to wreck it.

GrannyPaige Jan 10th, 2007 10:21 AM

Thanks, that is good to know. I will be sure to get my free drink. That is about all you get free anymore.

do_it Jan 12th, 2007 10:53 AM

I am getting highly stressed about booking a flight for 2 from Newark to Palermo, Italy in May. Recent posters said that Delta will be OK, but when I look at Delta's website, the flights I picked said "operated by Alitalia." Continental and AirFrance say the same thing. No escape from Alitalia? United/Luftansa have 2 extra stops. Yikes.

rkkwan Jan 12th, 2007 10:58 AM

No escape from Alitalia to PMO if you buy your tickets on CO, DL, AF, KL. All switch planes in Milan or Rome to AZ.

When we went to PMO over Christmas, we flew IAH-LGW on Continental, then Ryanir STN-PMO. I am not afraid of AZ at that time and I don't like the LGW-STN transfer, but there are very few one-stop options to PMO from the US, and that schedule fit us.

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 11:00 AM.