Don't fly Alitalia

Old Dec 10th, 2000, 12:57 PM
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Helen, that's interesting. Do they do that even if you're on a connecting flight--i.e., you're already in the terminal and your luggage is checked through?
Old Dec 10th, 2000, 10:06 PM
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Phew, I'm so relieved to hear that I'm not the only one that thought they were kind of lame. I had called them for information and other things, and their customer service on the PHONE was so bad it left me angry. I was going to write a letter, but decided it wasn't worth my time.

...And yet, Alitalia is still in business. What up with that??
Old Dec 11th, 2000, 04:08 AM
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I have flown Alitalia on several flights within Italy. Each time the service got progressively worse. The flight attendants were rude, the flights were delayed, sometimes smoking was permitted in the cabin, and the food wasn't that good (if you got any at all). Also, the people working the Alitalia gates and ticket counters were no better. One time, we were in Rome, waiting for a connecting flight to Palermo. We were on the boarding line for about 1/2 hour with our boarding passes when we were told that we first go to a counter labelled "Milano." We went to the "Milano" counter (while we were going to Palermo) and the counter person told us that we would not be sitting together anymore. They gave away our seats because we got there less than 1/2 hour prior to boarding! We were livid - especially since we had gotten there early. Of course, our complaining did not help us - we given separate seats in the back of the plane.
Another time (in addition to flying on a paid ticket) I had the privilege of flying stand-by with Alitalia. On this one particular flight, we were bumped from one flight to the next for an entire day, forcing us to stay over in Rome. The next day we were told that the flights were full once again. We asked to speak to a manager and he told us that if we paid for the tickets, seats would be available! Well, we started to raise our voices and were finally given tickets on the next flight. When we got on the plane (which supposedly had no seats available), there were at least 20 seats available!!!
I acknowledge that there are people who have had positive experiences with Alitalia. I have flown with them about 6 times and my flight in 1998 was my last flight with them. Forgive me for this post but a goal of mine is to try to warn anyone thinking about flying Alitalia. I now prefer to take non-direct flights into Italy. One poster asked why Alitalia is still in business. The answer is simply corruption and monopoly. Alitalia is the only major airline in Italy and it is backed by one of the most corrupt governments in the world.
Old Dec 11th, 2000, 04:16 AM
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so, we as non-Europeans have to be more tolerant towards smokers? Will they tolerate me urinating in the a South African non-smoker I demand my piece of disregard towards others as well.
Old Dec 11th, 2000, 04:43 AM
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Gina, Don't know whether you wait outside with the hoi polloi if you're on a connecting flight (or 1st class, though I didn't see them letting anyone through until the doors for, say, the 4 PM to Rome were opened). Everyone seemed to be crowding the sidewalks with huge piles of luggage, so maybe those on connecting flights were exempt (I was originating there).
Old Dec 11th, 2000, 09:46 AM
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just 2 more cents regarding Alitalia.
My brothers were booked on a non-stop from Rome to JFK. They made a stop in Milan. Waited on the ground for 4 hours in the plane. Very irate passengers. Very rude personnel. No explanation except no getting off the plane. A 16 hour nightmare!
Old Dec 11th, 2000, 10:14 AM
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If flying to Rome or Milan from New York, Alitalia code shares flights with Continental out of Newark-- it is a Continental plane and crew and the flights are excellent. If you check Expedia or similar site you will usually find that Alitalia sells tickets on the same flight for much less than Coninental does -- apparently, they sell their quota of seats much more slowly.
Old Dec 11th, 2000, 10:23 AM
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I must've had the luck of the draw...

Just returned on Saturday from Italy.
Our flight from JFK to Milan was fine and the flight home from Rome was OK.
No BIG complaints - no delays but the food does SUCK - so either eat BIG beforehand or bring snacks or something!!

Hopefully you'll get good movies like I did - I was able to block out the rest of the plane for at least 3 hours of the flight!!

Old Dec 11th, 2000, 02:11 PM
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I returned from Rome yesterday. Flew US Air and it was a very enjoyable experience. The new airbuses are terrific, the flight crew was professional and curteous. Both flights left and arrives on time. The seats are comfortable. (Although I do believe the seats are smaller if that can be believed. The planes come equipped with personal entertainment centers (lack of a better term) where you have a choice of movies, tv, or listen to several CDs. It really helps to pass the time.
Old Dec 11th, 2000, 06:42 PM
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Amy - since you just returned can you tell us if you experienced any people smoking on the planes?

Old Dec 14th, 2000, 10:14 AM
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Jo - I didn't notice any smoking or smell anything on the flights - and I HATE smoke!!! But once you get into the Italian Airports (Milan/Florence) -
Watch Out - Smoke is EVERYWHERE!!!
Old Dec 14th, 2000, 10:26 AM
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I agree with the post. Alitalia is the worst. We (family of four) tool AI from SFO to Rome two years ago and dubbed it "the flying cigarette". The "no smoking" section was simply a row of seats amongst all the other smokers. My kids bet me that I could shove this one smoker's yorkie all the way....if she dropped her ashes on my husband's pant leg as she dangled her smoke while waiving her hands.....I can just see the headline.....Oncologists Wife Sets New Record for Yorkie-Toss on Way To Eternal.....Uck.
Old Dec 14th, 2000, 10:43 AM
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You people are a bunch of spoiled, whining yuppies. Last poster, anytime someone reminds me they are a MD wife I cringe. Go live in your little perfect world of $40.00 a plate euro-dinners and hope nobody blows in your faces.
Old Dec 15th, 2000, 09:46 AM
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The important thing was ONCOLOGIST if you were literate enough to understand the humor....they treat cancer patients. I could care less about being a doctors wife...except for idiots who find it important to impune, it would have no impact.
Old Dec 15th, 2000, 12:23 PM
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Clearly I'm in the minority here but:
I flew Alitalia to Rome in 12/98 and had a great experience. Flight left on-time from Chicago O'Hare, landed on-time at Malpensa, connecting flight to Rome was on-time. Had the same experience on the return flight. The food was fine, the wine was abundant and the service was good. I'm not kidding. Maybe the Gods were smiling on us on that journey, but I have absolutely no complaints about Alitalia.
Old Dec 15th, 2000, 12:52 PM
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Many people don't ever get the chance to fly overseas. Be grateful.
Old Dec 15th, 2000, 11:21 PM
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WHY do you even go to Europe if you cannot stand smoke? Why don't you
just stay home in your little protected modules (townhouses, apartments, whatever you call them) and vacation at Disneyworld (or wherever)?
Old Dec 19th, 2000, 09:08 AM
nameless in Podunk
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Why have flights at certain times if you aren't going to fly on time?

Why have a no smoking section if you are going to have smokers all around it?

Why have certain professions so unfavored on this board? Must we all be travel agents? Oh-Oh I sense a click here.....
Old Dec 23rd, 2000, 05:35 PM
Jim Tardio
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We flew nonstop from Los Angeles to Milan in September of 1999 on Alitalia and had no problems. We did leave about an hour late, but in all honesty, that seems to be the norm now for international flights. The food was decent...I don't expect gourmet meals on airlines when I fly coach. And no one smoked. When the movies started, the FAs left the drink cart available for anyone to help themselves, as well as the snack cart.

It's a long boring flight anyway you cut it. If you want to spend hundreds more just to get some better food go ahead.

As far as smoking goes, it's a serious offense now. I doubt that even Alitalia would risk the penalties.

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