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Alitalia question

Old Jul 13th, 2001, 03:11 PM
  #1  
Zane
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Alitalia question

I've heard pretty bad things about Alitalia: old planes, rude personnel, bad food, you name it. Has anyone flown it recently, and if so, what was your experience like?
 
Old Jul 13th, 2001, 05:14 PM
  #2  
Kathy
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I flew Alitalia last fall...JFK to Rome and then on to Palermo. The food was pretty awful, but I can overlook that. What I most clearly remember is the cartoon style safety film shown prior to takeoff. When the people in the film exited the plane and were aboard the "life" rafts the sound that accompanied this scene were the waves loudly lapping up against the raft...this was too much for me. I never say I love to fly..I fly because it is the quickest and safest way to travel. I thought that part of the film was total inappropriate. Kathy
 
Old Jul 13th, 2001, 05:20 PM
  #3  
Capo
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We flew on Alitalia from Amsterdam to Rome in March. The plane was an older DC-9 (I think that's the right model number), but the interior looked brand-new and was beautiful, done up in rich green colors. The flight attendants were as friendly as any others, and the food was fine (for airline food.)

I'd have no problem flying Alitalia again.
 
Old Jul 13th, 2001, 06:48 PM
  #4  
Ruth
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We flew to Rome on Alitalia last year and loved it. Food was typical but everyone was very friendly. I would definitely use them again. Movies were free.
 
Old Jul 13th, 2001, 07:28 PM
  #5  
ellen
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We flew from Milan to Paris last year on Alitalia. I think the plane was a 737. It was fine inside and the food was better than I had expected. At least within Europe I can vouch for the airline.
 
Old Jul 13th, 2001, 09:00 PM
  #6  
Nancy
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I have flown Alitalia before and did not enjoy the flights..but with the threat of a Delta strike, I figured..it can't be that bad. For starters, we flew out of JFK, leaving one hour late. No reason, good weather, made for a tight run to catch our connecting flight to Nice. We made it in time so that was good. At The airport in Nice, NO luggage shows up. Two bags, both missing. We go to report the missing bags and are assured that they will be at our hotel that night. That night, no luggage, no call from Alitalia. Our hotel was great in their frequent attempts to find out where our luggage was. Now Alitalia says they will arrive in the morning. Of course, we wait a bit because I really wanted my sweater, but again no luggage and no call. Alitalia tells us now that the luggage has been located and will be delivered to the hotel that night. I ask about some compensation..$$ for a sweater perhaps...no, because the luggage has been located. Now that night we decide to hold off on dinner so that we can wear some clean clothes to dinner, and we wait, of course it is getting late, no luggage. Our hotel again calls Alitalia and they assure us that the luggage was delivered. Now our found luggage is lost..again. Long story short, it was delivered by mistake to a private home in Antibe. It finally arrived the next day, late afternoon. No apologies. On our return flight, I inquire as to a possible upgrade due to our inconvenience with the missing luggage etc and I am told that they can't, the flight is booked, no 1st class seats available. OK. Get on the plane..many empty seats, a few in first and many in coach. Plus, they sat my husband in a window seat, with me sitting in an aisle seat, with a woman in the middle seat. There were empty seats, empty rows and they had to seat us like this. I inquire again about 1st class and am told no, they can't. This woman between my husband and I did not want to change her seat, so I did and sat in a bulkhead seat shared with a very nice gent and we both enjoyed trashing Alitalia all the way home. Oh, did I forget to mention that our flight was one hour late in departing?? I have written to Alitalia, this was the beginning of May, and have not received a reply. I do travel with a change of clothing in my carry on, so I at least had one change of clothing..but after 3 days, I was a bit stale. Food was not bad going over, pasta with no sauce on return. Will I fly Alitalia again, maybe if I had a free ticket...would I ever buy a ticket again..no. I am very open minded and always one to go with the flow, but I am not stupid more than two times. Good luck! Ps, our plane was an old 747-200, with a 3-5-3 seating, I have heard that these planes will be deleted soon, prime cattle car. Thanks for letting me vent, I feel so much better!!
 
Old Jul 13th, 2001, 10:46 PM
  #7  
Holly
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Good argument for taking carry-on, don't you think?

P.S. Did you enjoy the other part of your trip?
 
Old Jul 14th, 2001, 07:02 AM
  #8  
Nancy
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Holly, we had a wonderful time despite our air travel. I don't know if I could manage a few weeks travel with just a carry on..I will attempt it next time. What I did realize though after having no luggage for 3 days was that we certainly did not need 2 bags. Our hotel in Nice was kind enough to let me leave a suitcase there to pick up 2 weeks later for our flight home. Best life lessons learned the hard way! I still love to travel!!! Can't wait till next time!!
 
Old Jul 14th, 2001, 08:27 AM
  #9  
xxx
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Alitalia only allows a 12 pound carry on. By bag weighs 6 pounds empty. Can't carry on much.
When you read reviews, Alitalia gets bad or OK. Never seem to see a "great flight, great food" etc. review. I
think they would be one of my last choices. The price would have to be very good or no other flight.
 
Old Jul 14th, 2001, 11:28 AM
  #10  
mary
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We just flew from Boston to Milan and onto Venice in June. Since we had two free frequent fliers --I should not complain, however-- the plane was not very clean-- the attendants going over were not terribly nice ( they were very nice on the way back since their was a flight attendant strike and the management was staffing)- the movies broke going over. Last year we flew BA and it was great--more room also! The flight to Venice was great however! The service and the plane was very nice!
I was so glad to go to Italy that I didn't even care for the minor inconveniences.
 
Old Jul 15th, 2001, 12:25 PM
  #11  
Zane
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Wow, some scary comments from Mary & Nancy are giving me second thoughts! I am leary of untried (by me) airlines, although my experience with Aerlingus was terrific!! So, now I'm forced to ask: flying from the west coast, which airline would you choose? I've had variable luck with TWA, who else flys to Italy? Especially Northern Italy? Thanks to all for the input!!
 
Old Jul 15th, 2001, 01:56 PM
  #12  
Santa Chiara
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Zane, I live in Italy, and in the last two years have never taken an Alitalia flight. I know that KLM, Lufthansa, Air France and Sabena fly into Northern Italy. None of these are direct. Also, Continental, I believe, code shares with Alitalia, and it does fly direct into Rome from Newark and, I think, now Milan. If you are flying into Northern Italy, look also at Bologna (BLQ) and Venice. Plug into Expedia or Travelocity and you will be surprised at how many airlines you have to choose from. However, let me emphasize, none of these I suggested are direct from the U.S.
 
Old Jul 18th, 2001, 05:06 AM
  #13  
D.
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They have the worst food, have not yet lost my luggage, but my luggage has had to take later flights than me, it's not so much that they are rude..the idea of customer service to them is a half-grin/smirk thing...but it's a small sacrifice when you look at the big picture..
 
Old Jul 18th, 2001, 08:44 AM
  #14  
carol
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Anyone who says Alitalia has the worst food has never eaten a meal on Continental! I've flown Alitalia (economy seats)from NYC 4-5 times in the last few years and have no complaints.
 
Old Jul 18th, 2001, 09:19 AM
  #15  
mari
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Zane, we just returned from a trip to Italy and flew Alitalia. Don't think we'll use Alitalia again. Don't expect your confirmed assigned seats to be the ones you get upon check in. Don't ask any questions about the seats or any departure info. Our check in person in Boston told me I had asked enough questions and that she wasn't going to try at all to give us seats together which is what we had confirmed. She informed me that there is no such thing as confirmed assigned seats on Alitalia. She softened up a bit when she realized that we had our 80 year old mothers with us. Attendants on the flight were rude. They yelled at eachother and at passengers. The one who picked up my tray after lunch did not like how I had arranged the tray so she proceeded to reprimand me and tell me how hard she has to work in a loud attention getting voice and actually pulled out someone else's lunch remains to show me how to do it! Needless to say I told her I didn't appreciate what she had done at all and asked to speak to the head attendant who apologized. On our return trip from Milan to Boston, the whole thing was so disorganized. They didn't call rows for seating so everyone just mobbed the gate to get on the plane. It was awful. Soon after departing Milan I discovered that two out of the four toilets at the back of the plane were out of order. The food was mediocre-eat before you get on the plane. Italy, yes - it was wonderful. But, Alitalia - NO!
 
Old Jul 18th, 2001, 09:51 AM
  #16  
Gerry
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Zane:
We flew to Lufthansa from SF to Rome via Munich in March. It was one on the best flights I have ever had. For my next flight, Lufthansa will be my first choice and I will feel disappointed if I can't get it. I've also heard good things about Swiss Air. Alitalia would be my last choice. It would have to be a very good deal for me to consider them.

Gerry

 
Old Jul 19th, 2001, 07:27 AM
  #17  
Andy
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I've flown many times in the last few years on Continental to europe in economy class. The food was always perfectly acceptable (typical offerings as served on US airlines'international flights) and the attentiveness of the flight attendents was excellent.
Of couse I wish I could have enjoyed the gourmet fare in Business First Class!
 
Old Jul 19th, 2001, 05:13 PM
  #18  
kathy
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we have flown alitalia frequently from Boston to Rome or Milan and also to Sicily and Egypt. For some reason alitalia gets a bad rap on this board. We've never had a problem. Food is decent and so is the service.
 
Old Jul 20th, 2001, 06:26 AM
  #19  
George
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It is amazing that Alitalia is still in business!! Just home from flight NYC to Rome and then Milan to NYC. Flight over 3 hours late leaving; reason was given as strike in Rome. Complete mayhem at boarding--they don't board per seat assignment. I slept the entire way so I cannot comment on food service. Return trip was 2 hours late leaving; no reason given. Again boarding mayhem. All attendants were rude and short with the English speaking travelers and attentive to the Italians. Plane was filthy. Food was awful--except the gelato (prepackaged). The worst thing is that each Alitalia person you speak to gives out different information re: checking baggage, changing tickets, etc.

THE ONE NICE THING HAPPENDED WITH A VERY NICE ITALIAN LADY AT THE MAGNIFICA CHECK IN DESK AT JFK. SHE INVITED MY PARTY OF 3 COACH PASSENGERS TO ACCOMPANY OUR 1 MAGNIFICA CLASS PASSENGER INTO THE 1ST CLASS LOUNGE. AND YOU CAN BE SURE WE TOOK ADVANTAGE OF THE FREE DRINKS AND SNACKS DURING OUR 4 HOUR WAIT TO LEAVE NYC!!
 
Old Jul 23rd, 2001, 07:01 PM
  #20  
Gary Rose
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We flew Alitalia from Rome to Newark two weeks ago. We had never flown Alitalia before, and will probably never again. The plane was older, the food was the worst we've had on an airplane, and the cabin attendants were missing in action during most of the flight.
 

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