Alitalia Airlines

Sep 28th, 2007, 12:01 PM
  #1  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2
Alitalia Airlines

Does anyone have a good experience with Alitalia?

I have read all the bad ones, but here is my situation:

Flying from LAX - Rome (FCO) and flying back from Heathrow - LAX. This is with American Airlines.

From Rome, we are taking a one way, non-stop flight to Heathrow on Alitalia. As we only have 24 hours in London, I would really hate for the flight to be cancelled, extremely late or have lost luggage.

I figured since it was a one way flight, the chances of the above happening would be slim....after reading all the bad reviews, I am not so sure.

Any experiences?
Ladams12 is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 12:14 PM
  #2  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 10,175
May I make a modest suggestion? Perhaps you could fly on either Easyjet to Gatwick or Ryanair to Stansted. These one-way flights will probably be significantly cheaper than Alitalia, and they have the advantage of not going into Heathrow.

There are lots of hidden fees (for checking luggage, for example), not to mention taxes on both airlines, but for this short flight, I don't think it will matter much if you can find an acceptable itinerary that works for you.

Just be aware that these airlinse fly from Ciampino Airport, not Fiumicino (FCO), the normal international airport.

From Gatwick, you take the Gatwick Express directly into Victoria Station, or from Stansted, you take the Stansted Express to Liverpool Street Station. Either way, I think these might be worth considering.

My only experience with Alitalia was a positive one, but I may be in the minority there.
doug_stallings is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 01:23 PM
  #3  
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
Posts: 1,429
I just flew rome to Athens on Alitalia and it was fine. No problems.
MarthaT is offline  
Sep 28th, 2007, 01:31 PM
  #4  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Posts: 1,021
I am also in the minority of those whose Alitalia experiences have been good so far, over a 20-yr period. However, I have never checked in luggage on the way to Europe, and only once on the way back, and I always fly into Milan, which is one of my favorite airports and I believe Alitalia has preferential terms there, so flights are often shorter.


In your case though, I would follow the advice above.
enroute is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 08:28 AM
  #5  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 7
I have read a horrible stories about it too. And I am so regret about because it had disturbed my excitement for going to Italy. I read and absorbed all negatives about it.
I returned yersterday (10 days trip-Rome-Florence, Venice). I had Alitalia flight from Venice to Milan and connection from there to JFK. I was afraid not to make a connection (1 hour between). I was afraid about the weight limits, size limits of the laggage, etc.
I checked my laggage in Venice airport, I made 40 minutes enjoable flight on MD80 to Milan, I had a plenty of time to get some nice things in Milan duty free and made my Alitalia flight back to New York. And guess what- I picked my laggage from the carusel at JFK right after I had off the plane. The food was excellent, flight attendants were pleasant and attentive and serve with refreshments. Again, the only downside- I should've not read all those reviews (and not even about Alitalia, but about everything),because everybody has its own experience and you cannot judge upon their reviews. Have a nice trip
euro12345 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 08:46 AM
  #6  
 
Join Date: Mar 2007
Posts: 2,285
Had a generally very good experience NYC/Rome with Alitalia. They wouldn't be famous for their food in coach (no attempt to prepare us for the culinary treats ahead in Italia-sensa-"al") but not bad. Service in general leaving the US seemed perfunctory and not so friendly. But come morning flight attendants seemed to have adopted more of a "welcoming" mood. And they were efficient, sometimes a fair substitute for chattiness and oversmiling. Ground staff were good. Planes seemed to be in fine condition and very clean, even at the end of the flight.

Of course we have to keep your eye on the news re: Alitalia, as their viability is regularly a question these days.
tomassocroccante is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 08:50 AM
  #7  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9,017
I used AI yesterday, without major problems. On the the flight Narita to Milan, only one audio channel of the in flight entertainment system was working at my seat, this hasn't been fixed in three weeks, since on the same plane, same seat, the problem already existed. The plane was rather old, service was o.k. The flight Milan to Munich was delayed by one hour. The crew on the first flight didn't deliver excessively friendly service, but after coming from Japan, being treated "normally" for a change was quite a relief. I would fly AI again, if the price would be o.k
logos999 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 10:06 AM
  #8  
 
Join Date: May 2006
Posts: 3,221
You don't say when you're making this trip. But considering their well-publicized financial problems and, at least the last report I read, the government hasn't found a buyer, I'd be more concerned whether they'll even be flying more than their service, on time record, etc. If I were using them, I'd definitely have a Plan B.
dfr4848 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 01:56 PM
  #9  
 
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,204
DD flew AI. They lost her luggage, then lost her from their computer system (and she wrote them in Italian!), and didn't do anything until we made a claim with our homeowners. Now, a year plus later, they sent her a check for $638. and our homeowners reimbursed $1,000., but she's still out much money and more significantly, a personal journal and irreplacable DVD she took at a Billy Joel concert in Rome. Love Italy, but AI--never again for us!
artlover is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 02:26 PM
  #10  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 39
We're facing a similar "dilemma" that dfr4848 made mention of with a Delta code share with Alitalia over Thanksgiving. I understand from readings that they are covered financially through November, but what IF? You think Delta would make arrangements for legs Alitalia is flying if they closed shop (shudder) before we made it home? I appreciate the positive responses here as far as individual's personal experiences with Alitalia. Unfortunately, you only normally read about the bad. I guess I need to query Delta.
Phyllish is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 02:28 PM
  #11  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Hello Ladams, here is a website with lots of reviews from people that have flown Alitalia recently.

Many years ago Alitalia was a wonderful airline. But these last years that is not longer true. Even all of my Italian friends in Italy avoid flying Alitalia whenever possible.

Personally since you are flying home from Heathrow I would not want to depend on Alitalia getting me to London on time to make my flight back to LAX.
http://www.airlinequality.com/Forum/alit.htm

Best wishes to you.
LoveItaly is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 05:48 PM
  #12  
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2
How strict are the about carry on baggage. The size restirction posted on their website is ridiculously small (21in x 10in x 14in) that is just ridiculous.

Monkey likes to travel with a backpack that is 28x10x15. i would hate to go to all that trouble and end up checking (and having it lost) anyway.
monkeybrown is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 06:45 PM
  #13  
 
Join Date: Feb 2005
Posts: 9,017
>How strict are the about carry on baggage.
On all 4 flights nobody cared to weigh my carry on baggage, but who knows.
logos999 is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 09:00 PM
  #14  
 
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 14,664
Yes, there are a lot of stories and yes, thousands of people fly Alitalia without significant problems. BUT as many of us have reported here before, IF you have a problem while flying Alitalia, need extra help, changes, anything other than checking in and getting on the plane, then the problems can be insurmountable.

No customer service. None, zero, zed, zip. Nearly every negative report reflects my own experience. Yes, they fly you to where you're going. Delays aren't all that much worse than with any other airline, and sometimes the planes and crew are as nice as any other airline.

It's when you lose granny in the airport, or have to make an emergency change in plans, or need help with something that you are used to other airlines being willing to help you with, that you will see why so many of us avoid Alitalia.

That, and their dire financial situation are enough to encourage me to encourage anyone else to seek other options.

Phyllish, if you are ticketed with Delta, and there is a problem with a code share airline, I believe Delta will make sure you get where you're going. Maybe a little late, but you bought your ticket from them and they will be obliged to deliver you home, one way or another.

I doubt if a Delta phone rep will be familiar with Alitalia's problems, but you never know. Someone ought to be able to quote the contract of carriage for you. But if you are talking to a phone rep in Guadalajara or Mumbai, it could be difficult. Maybe someone at the airport?

Are these contracts of carriage posted on airlines' websites?

Ladams: Doug's suggestions are good ones. If you have already purchased your tickets on Alitalia, I guess it is too late. When are you flying?
tuscanlifeedit is offline  
Sep 29th, 2007, 09:47 PM
  #15  
Original Poster
 
Join Date: Sep 2007
Posts: 2
Thank you so much everyone for your replies/experiences.

I am flying in November and the Alitalia leg is just a one way from Rome to Heathrow on their first flight out on a Saturday morning. We will not be flying home from Heathrow until the next day at noon (on American Airlines).

We are stopping in London to spend that day (my husbands birthday) on a pub crawl with relatives that live there. It would really be a bummer to miss this.

I have already purchased my tickets and they were very cheap, but now I may look at other options too (Ryanair, etc).

Thanks again, I appreciate the input!
Ladams12 is offline  
Sep 30th, 2007, 06:01 AM
  #16  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 20
euro1234 Thanks for the post. I too feel that I have read too many negatives about Alitalia for my own good. The stress over worrying about delays and lost luggage have dampened my excitement for my trip in two weeks. We are flying over on American but our Rome/Palermo leg is on Alitalia. Now your remarks have made me feel better. Thanks
jmbchgo is offline  
Sep 30th, 2007, 06:35 AM
  #17  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 268
I'm flying with Alitalia on Tuesday, roundtrip. Have done the worrying and that was a big distraction for me for a while. But it did no good. I'm hoping to just get there safe (with my carryon) and if my checked in duffle doesn't make it, so what. I'll certainly give the details when I get back.
ljc4creb is offline  
Sep 30th, 2007, 07:20 AM
  #18  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 243
ljc4creb - Haven't seen any posts from you lately. Have a great trip. Where in Italy will you be again? We leave Thursday, also flying Alitalia on a Delta codeshare. Ours is actually a Delta flight so I feel a little more confident about that.
BarbaraJ is offline  
Sep 30th, 2007, 08:17 AM
  #19  
 
Join Date: Aug 2006
Posts: 5
We fly on Alitalia this past July and I worried that our luggage would not arrive with us in Rome since we were making a connection in London. However, there was no need to worry. Everything arrived safely and the flights were fine.
wachootalknboutwilis is offline  
Sep 30th, 2007, 05:00 PM
  #20  
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 268
BarbaraJ, I check in here every day and always find a good tip or two. I have been weeding through my piles of notes and folders. I actually cut out pieces of trip reports and suggestions and made a few scrapbook pages for each place I am going. I can't believe my pile is now in one folder. Rome first, 3 full days, Tuscany with car, 5 full days, and Venice almost 2 days. I am getting the butterflies now. Just had an unbelievable crazy week and am looking forward to Italy more than ever. I never could have planned this so precisely without the help on this site. I am so grateful.
ljc4creb is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy -

FODOR'S VIDEO

All times are GMT -8. The time now is 02:09 AM.