alitalia ?

Old Jan 20th, 2005, 11:32 AM
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alitalia ?

i'm getting the distict impression from this and other travel related websites that alitalia is an airline to be avoided.

they have the best price for the spring trip we're planning and they are partners in sky team (which helps me accumulate convertible miles).

but are they worth the supposed hassle???
subcon is offline  
Old Jan 20th, 2005, 11:38 AM
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I've flown them a number of times and they seem no better or worse than many other major airlines. The iffy part is their constant threat of strikes and going out of business. The strikes don't usually affect the international flights.
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 11:44 AM
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I'm flying Alitalia for the first time in a couple of months. My experience suggests that air travel is never predictable. Each flight is a unique happening. Sometimes its wonderful and sometimes the flight is late, the FA's are miserable, the food is terrible and I've had my share o misplaced luggage. I sit down, pop for a couple of libations and anticipate the best. I was once bumped into first even. My advice: go with the flow.
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 11:46 AM
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Well subcon, a good question for sure.

Once upon a time Alitalia was fantastic.

Now they are in big financial trouble.
The Italian governnment bailed them out some time ago (loaned them money).

They are suppose to split the company in two, airlines versus groud operations I believe.

They have laid off a lot of workers. Workers that are left are not a happy bunch.

They now need more loans with the government indicated they would do so but this goes against the EU laws evidently, government can only bail an airline out once. And the other airlines in Europe are causing quite a roar at the thought of Alitalia being bailed out again.

One poster had a thread that was very sad. They got to Europe and her FIL died 3 days later. Alitalia made them buy new one way tickets home that cost them over $1700.00 each with no credit for the original return ticket.

Very sad situation but am not sure what other airlines would have done as all airlines are having financial problems.

Alitalia does go on strike from time to time. But then so do the air controllers in Italy that affect all airlines flying in and out of Italy. I got caught in that mess a few years ago, stuck at the Amsterdam airport for hours.

Had a friend from Italy visit me. He flew Alitalia. When he returned home retrieved his check luggage to find luggage split open and many items had been stolen. Alitalia never did anything about it.

My friends in Italy avoid Alitalia unless they have no choice.

Do not know what your savings would be.
I guess this a judgement call you will have to make depending on how tight your schedule is, how much tolerance you have for irrations and perhaps more serious problems etc.

Guess what I am saying is that I don't fly with them anymore.

Good luck with your decision. And do have a wonderful trip!
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 11:58 AM
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Think about adding trip insurance for coverage for bankruptcy, currently offered by CSA, but must be purchased within 7 days of original payment on trip.

Then, if the cost is still less than other tickets, I might go for it. But I might not. I have sweated bankruptcy and strikes too often on trips to Europe and I'm sick of it.
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 12:10 PM
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It's a mess! I just got back from a Delta/Alitalia nightmare situation from L.A.-N.Y.-Milan-West Africa. First bad thing was that I arrived in Milan only to find out, when I went to the transit desk to check on my on-going flight to West Africa,for 7-plus hours later- that there was no such flight!Never existed. Planes only fly there 4 times a week. I had the ticket in my hand saying that there was such a flight. I'm not new at travel... have vacationed overseas 1-3 times a year over the past three I know to confirm and reconfirm which I did before I left and even the Delta agent who checked me in at the airport in LAX checked my luggage through to West Africa. So, in Milan I told them that someone needed to put me up in a hotel since I was stranded... only to be told that it was not their responsibility to put passengers up into a hotel. I said that it was someone's responsibility. I was told that I was welcome to wait in the transit area of the airport until my flight the next day at the time it was around 8.00AM the day before. So, I was told that I had been rebooked on a flight for the next day. After an hour of looking for my luggage, which was lost somewhere in Milan, I finally got it and went to the Delta office...which closes daily at 1.30PM! I then stood there for an hour, after I finally reached the counter to be helped and was asked by the Delta agent if the person who had rebooked me on the next day Alitalia flight had told me that it was 60 seats OVERSOLD! No, I hadn't been told that! So, the Delta agent then said that she had booked me on another flight, but I'd have to fly to Amsterdam the next day! Then I'd have to change to KLM and fly to West Africa from there. A MESS! Meanwhile, it was finally agreed on that it was the airline's responsibility to put me up in a hotel....3 hours after my battle started in the Milan airport over this situation....Thank goodness I have as much travel experience as I do and am used to traveling solo and having to figure out and take care of things myself. I can think fast on my feet. Anyhow, the next day....very early....I flew to Amsterdam and then about three hours later on to West Africa. Then on the way home....Delta lost my luggage. I picked it up in Atlanta and cleared customs and rechecked it in on to L.A. that was on Jan 01....It just arrived last Friday! Now... I know things can happen when one flies and I'm very flexible and like I said have a LOT of travel experience...I've been on every continent except Antartica....but never have I had the frustration that I just finished experiencing before...and I've had some frustrating experiences over a three decade period. Now that I've vented that out....I feel MUCH better! Happy Travels!
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Old Jan 20th, 2005, 12:20 PM
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thanks for the input so far...

i'm leaning toward AIR FRANCE with whom i have beaucoup miles and might be able to squeeze out a couple of freebos. on the other hand, the freebo would only be the trip from ATL to CDG as i understand it.
subcon is offline  
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