Oct 7th, 2005, 08:49 AM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 689

Flying from Paris to Cairo via Rome on Alitalia the first week of November. Just wondering if anyone has had any recent experience with them (the older posts make me nervous). Are they still having financial difficulties? Strikes? I know there is no such thing as a stable airline these days (my husband is an airline employee) but I'm wondering if we can expect any problems and possibly need to have a back up plan. Many thanks!
loru100 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2005, 09:51 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,513
Alitalia does still have a lot of problems. Yes they do have strikes. They will put you on the next available flight if they shut down. Possibly on a code share airline. Their service is horrible. If you search Alitalia on this forum you will see new posts about it.

You also have to be concerned about leaving from Paris. They have strikes there, too. We had to dance around our plans one year because of strikes in Paris.

Whatever happens, they will get you to your final destination eventually.

You always need a back-up plan when you travel. I'm not saying make many reservations, just think about what you would do in the circumstance.

You just have to be the right kind of traveler and be prepared, take what comes that you can't change and work with it.
Ann1 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2005, 10:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
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I was nervous about booking with them due to all the negative publicity, but for the last two summers they had the best times/prices for where I wanted to go (Italy in both cases) so I went with them. I flew non stop NY to Milan in 2004 and NY to Palermo via Rome with return Zurich to NY via Milan this past summer. So that was a total of six flights, all of which were on time. I checked luggage on the return trips in both cases and it was not lost. About half the planes were lovely, new with great entertainment, etc, the other half were pretty old and shabby (at least on the inside). Service? - no different from any other airline.

So, even though the stuff you read about them still makes me nervous, I would fly with them again. I've been reading some awful stuff about AirFrance, horrible reviews about Iberia. BA and Virgin have supper strick luggage limits. United and Delta are bankrupt. Get the idea? But even with all that, most of the time they all get you where you want to go, reasonably close to when you want to get there. Just remember that the people who DO have a problem are much more likely to write a review about it than the masses of people who don't experience any problems.
isabel is offline  
Oct 7th, 2005, 11:02 AM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,513
" people who DO have a problem are much more likely to write a review about it than the masses of people who don't experience any problems"

Not true. Many people say how much they like BA or Swiss Air on this board. If someone asks about a bad airline, the people are honest. Alitalia isn't a good airline. I personally don't know anyone who has flown on better airlines and also on Alitalia, have anything good to say about Alitalia. It is safe and will get you where you want to go.... If they know there is going to be a strike, they have notified people a day or two ahead of time. That's why it's important that they know how to get in touch with you.

Ann1 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2005, 11:32 AM
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Must have gone down hill. I always prefered it to British Air, which reminded me of those gritty neighborhoods on the outskirts of British cities.
Oct 7th, 2005, 11:42 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Alitalia years ago was a fantastic airline. Times have changed. Even my friends in Italy avoid Alitalia if at all possible. Can you expect problems loru? Yes, you can. Does it mean you will never get to your destination. No, it just means to be prepared. I would suggest that in your carryone you have a change of underwear plus one other outfit in case you have to deal with one of Alitalia strikes that usually only last about 8 hours. But since your husband works for an airline you no doubt know that an 8 hour strike can cause a back up with air flights.

I just read on one of the news websites this morning that there "could be" a strike of planes, busses and trains" in Italy for 48 hours starting Sunday. The Unions do have to, under the law, announce their strike plans. But sometimes the strikes are cancelled. Financial difficulties, yes. Best wishes to you that your flights are without any interruptions and that everything goes well for you.
LoveItaly is offline  
Oct 7th, 2005, 12:03 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 162
Here's what happened to us:

Scheduled to leave 9/16, went to print our itinerary on the 14th and had a message to contact Expedia. They tell me that the flight was cancelled but agree to fly us out to Boston (first leg of trip) on the scheduled date. In addition we were now being routed through Milan. On hindsight it was good that they bumped us because we got delayed out of Indy due to weather and would have missed our Rome connection.

In Boston the next day, we were glad to be at the ticket counter when they opened. We were about 6th in line. Two gals in front of us had gotten cancelled the day before because they had oversold the flight to Milan. When we got to the counter they tell us that there were seats on the direct flight to Rome and that is the way we went. Since we were there so early we were able to get seated on exit row.

The flight back was uneventful. Lots of AM flights out of Rome. We were there 2 hours and 15 minutes before the flight and had 10 minutes to spare before boarding. Had to go through 4 security checks.

At the Rome airport first you show your passport and ticket to a military outfitted fellow that allows you into the desks for fligths going to the US, UK and Israel. You then wait on line at the desk to get boarding passes/check luggage. Next is metal detectors and a final line for customs/passport stamp.

The saving grace was the Tazza D'Oro coffee shop near our gate.

Another thing about Alitalia, don't expect a smile from their flight attendants and don't you dare ask for additional water!
monicainindy is offline  
Oct 7th, 2005, 01:26 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,513
This is a great site for anyone concerned about strikes in Italy.
Ann1 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2005, 01:31 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,513
"Another thing about Alitalia, don't expect a smile from their flight attendants and don't you dare ask for additional water"

I LOL when I read this. You are so right! I went to the galley to ask for water and you would have thought I asked for the world!

I truely believe that if you are nice and considerate to people you will get that back. Not at Alitalia.
Ann1 is offline  
Oct 7th, 2005, 01:39 PM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
And the sad thing is years ago you could not have more pleasant flight attendants, better food, great wine etc. then Alitalia offered. What a shame!
LoveItaly is offline  
Oct 7th, 2005, 01:41 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 1,513
Loveitaly: Yes, you are right. Years ago it was good. But as you mentioned with your Italian friends, my Italian family don't like to fly Alitalia either.
Ann1 is offline  

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