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loisp Mar 7th, 2002 04:58 PM

Alitalia - still making enemies of its customers?
Have read some postings from last summer about the terrible flights, service and attitude people experienced on alitalia. Because of USAir's partnership with them, we are booked on Alitalia for an Oct, 2002 trip. Any positives from anyone? Have you heard of improvements since 9/11?

Vita Mar 7th, 2002 07:17 PM

I flew Alitalia in October. Other than the audiovisual set-up, I thought the flight was fine.

Jane Mar 7th, 2002 07:35 PM

I have flown Alitalia several times, most recently in 2001. While I have never had a really bad experience with the airline, I've never had a really great one either. It's a typical airline. Ok service, rotten food, smelly bathrooms. The flights I've had have been fine, no real problems. They've never lost my luggage, but never gone out of their way to be helpful either. Basically, I would not hesitate to fly Alitalia-it's fine, but don't expect too many extras like some of the other airlines offer.

sarah Mar 7th, 2002 08:16 PM

Alitalia....This is ancient history by now, I guess, but 3 years ago, my mom, sister and I were on an Alitalia flight together from Chicago to Rome. An elderly woman nearly passed out and they asked if there was a doctor on the plane. My mother quickly volunteered my sister, who is a doctor, to tend this woman. My sister was told that it was up to her - on to Rome or back to Boston. After going through several translators to communicate with the woman, who spoke Greek, my sister ascertained what she thought the problem was, and said she felt it was safe to go on. So, they did. The rest of the flight, my sister sweated it out, realizing that, if she were mistaken, the outcome could be disastrous. But, she was right and the woman was fine. And the thanks from Alitalia? Did they move my sister to one of the empty first class seats? Did they offer her a free ticket? Did they bring her a glass of wine? No, they asked my sister to fill out a report, just in case...Weird. So, I wouldn't say Alitalia is fine. I'd just say it's flyable, and suggest you take your own water bottle, because noone will bother to serve you once the flight is underway.

Mrs. Doc Mar 8th, 2002 04:53 AM

Re:Alitalia -- I have one inlaw who said he had a "great" flight on Alitalia and one friend who said it was the pits. I think that's the answer -- it's variable.<BR><BR>Re: the incident with on-board medical help. All airlines are very cavalier about relying on passenger-doctors without any compensation or even thanks. They claim that if they tried to give the docs something, the docs wouldn't be covered under the Good-Samaritan exemption from malpractice claims, but that's nonsense. Usually, it's the cabin crew that expresses their gratitude by giving the helpful doc extra drinks or those little First-Class goodie bags with earplugs, etc. Nice, but if you don't drink, or don't want to carry the wine bottle on your travels, or have 34 sets of earplugs already, eh! <BR><BR>There was a thread about this very thing on one of the non-regional forums a while ago. You wouldn't believe what some docs have been asked to do and how ungrateful the airlines -- all airlines, not just Alitalia -- are. My husband spent 4 hrs. on his knees over a patient in the aisle during our first trip to Europe in 30 yrs. and American Airlines didn't even say "good-bye and thanks" when we disembarked. (On the contrary, the Paris personnel almost made us miss our flight home by extraordinary hassling at security when a baggage-handler strike made us late for a connection.) I wish something could be done to recognize the service that airlines assume will be provided by passenger-medical personnel volunteers (it's not really optional, though -- you don't sit there and decide not to help).

GAC Mar 8th, 2002 07:55 AM

Read my report on Alitalia in the airlines forum of this website. Basically, it's hit and miss with Alitalia: sometimes good, sometimes awful, usually only fair.

Marj Mar 8th, 2002 08:02 AM

We used them last March. After booking I read these awful comments and were a bit nervous. All worked out just fine for us. No delays, the staff seemed fine. The food was barely edible but i don't expect much from plane food anyway. We eat right before boarding the plane and bring some snacks. I will say we did know someone booked on the flight right after ours (rome to jfk) and they were delayed for several hours. I wouldn;t worry. I think similar problems could happen on most any airline.

top Mar 8th, 2002 11:16 AM


Janice Mar 8th, 2002 11:45 AM

I've got to vote in the enemy camp. Two really big issues: Flying back from Rome, they let everybody in the emergency exit rows pile all of their carry-on luggage (and it was a pile!) in front of the exit door - during take off, landing, the whole time. I was astonished - lost a bet with my travel companion that they would have to stow the stuff somewhere.<BR>And, the no-smoking policy fell apart about halfway through the flight. The flight attendants started smoking, passengers started smoking - and since it was a no-smoking flight, there was no "smoking" section, so the whole plane became a smoking section. Their observation of rules and policies was the most lax/nonexistant I've ever seen on an airline...

topping Mar 22nd, 2002 01:33 PM

any recent experiences?

Linda Mar 22nd, 2002 01:56 PM

Is one week recent enough?! We came home from Rome (Rome-Milan-Boston) one week ago and the flight was the worst I've ever experienced--but I'm not a frequent flier. One poster was correct in saying that you're on your own after dinner service. Both going and coming home there was a free-for-all in the galley. On the way over I had my light on for nearly one hour to get some water. Finally my boyfriend got up and got me some as we'd sat and watched others help themselves. On the way home I counted six lights on around us that never were responded to.<BR><BR>The food and wine were absolutely horrid. I traveled via Air Canada a year ago to London and their food (and wine)was very good.<BR><BR>But the flight home was the pits! The seatbelt light was frequently turned on during the flight but no one paid any attention. People were up schmoozing all over the plane. If you were traveling as a heterosexual couple, forget any attention whatsoever. The male flight attendants were talking up the single (flying) females and the female crew were chatting up the males. <BR><BR>We had a medical situation on our flight also. Several responded and the nurse practitioner who stayed with the patient throughout the flight was given a bottle of wine and a scarf from the crew from the onboard duty free goods shop. The NP had been thrown up on by the baby behind her just before the medical emergency and had vomit in her shoe. Hours after the medical emergency they decided to move the patient to first class. The NP accompanied her and the husband finally joined them on his own, the crew didn't suggest it.<BR><BR>Evidently something somewhere really ticked the crew off because as we approached Logan NO ONE did the landing procedure. We could have all been reclining in our chairs with tray tables on our laps and probably talking on the cellphones, they didn't care. We had to wait 30 minutes at the gate while they tended to the patient and when we departed only the pilot and co-pilot and maybe the head crew person were there to say, "bye-bye." <BR><BR>BUT, that all said, the ground people were very helpful and courteous. When we checked in in Rome the agent did some seat manipulation, without being asked, to find more leg room for my 6'9" boyfriend who had originally been seated in the center section.<BR><BR>When (not if) I return to Italy, I will not fly Alitalia. It's too long a flight and there are plenty of other companies who do it better. Please find out for me who they are to make my next booking easier!

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