Flights from Boston to Italy

Jul 13th, 2014, 05:22 PM
  #1  
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Flights from Boston to Italy

Hi folks-
Planning a trip for my husband and two little boys for next year. We will be leaving out of Boston, heading to Italy. We're in Italy a while, with stops in Venice, Garda, Lucca and Volterra. We've yet to plan where we will head first. This is our first trip to Italy, so some flight related questions:
1. In your experience, which airline is most comfortable in coach, BOS to Italy?
2. Will I be able to select seats in advance (I have a three year old and a five year old)?
3. Are there any direct flights into airports that would be appropriate for the above itinerary?

Many thanks for the help!
-franchesca
franchescainri is offline  
Jul 14th, 2014, 12:32 AM
  #2  
 
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Unless you are planning to travel with carry-on luggage only, which is understandably difficult with children too small to carry their own luggage, I recommend that you make it your priority to find a non-stop flight to Italy, preferably directly into Venice or Milan. Lost luggage is a real risk changing planes in Europe.

If you cannot find an affordable non-stop flight from Boston to Italy, then look for a routing where you switch planes in either the US or in Canada before boarding a non-stop to Italy, with a sufficiently long layover in between to increase your odds of your luggage making it onto your Italy-bound flight. If you end up flying from other points in the US and Canada, you might be able to find a non-stop into Pisa in addition to those flying into Milan or Venice.
sandralist is offline  
Jul 14th, 2014, 04:39 AM
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The comfort level would somewhat depend on the seating configuration, don't you think? Do you know which airlines fly from BOS N/S to Milan? You can find that out simply by going to Kayak.com and inputting either dummy dates on your own provided they are within 330 days from now.

Certainly on any US-flagged carrier I would assume you could do advance seat selection but which is most important to you? That or overall seat comfort?
Dukey1 is offline  
Jul 14th, 2014, 04:49 AM
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I think ALITALIA flies non-stop BOS-Milan, but rather than doing that, I'd highly recommend flying DELTA non-stop out of New York into Venice, then leave from Pisa. ALITALIA is hit or miss these days. On Delta, I'd also recommend opting for Economy Comfort, if you can swing it. It'll make a world of difference on a long flight, and you'll be able to choose your seats.
WWK is offline  
Jul 14th, 2014, 05:04 AM
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There are not many non-stop flights from Boston to Italy. A quick check on kayak.com for random dates found one nonstop to Rome and none to Milan. I would choose schedule over comfort in coach, since a nonstop flight is much more convenient than connecting ones. However, it might be more important to fly directly to one of the cities you are visiting, in which case I would fly nonstop from Boston to a European city and change there for a flight to Venice or Milan.

I would also arrange to fly open jaw, meaning into one city and back from the last one you visit, so you don't have to double back to catch your flight.

The reason I try to schedule connections in Europe rather than the US is that if you enter the US at a different airport than your final destination, you have to claim your bags at the first airport and go through customs, then check them again on the domestic connecting flight. If you connect at a European airport, you don't have to claim your bags until you arrive in Boston.

You can look at seating plans for specific flights at www.seatguru.com This can help you choose the best available seats on any flight.
Nikki is online now  
Jul 14th, 2014, 05:57 AM
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>>ALITALIA is hit or miss these days<<

I fly Alitalia all the time and have no problems whatsoever. Many Alitalia flights codeshare with Delta anyway.

You can read report after report from people who fly Alitalia and have no problems and even like the airline. If you find a better routing, by all means take it, but there is no quality problems with Alitalia flights transatlantic.

WWK -- what personal exprience do you have of Alitalia that makes you say that?
sandralist is offline  
Jul 14th, 2014, 06:08 AM
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1. The comfort depends on type of the plane, where you are sitting, departure/arrival timing, and your seat reclining neighbors in front of you which you don't have a control. www.seatguru.com is a tool to probe what other people think about the particular seats.

2. Selecting seats? It depends on the type of seats you purchased and the airline. Some airlines are very stingy with seats assignments and try to make you cough up additional fees to get a known seat assignment. Delta's Economy Comfort and United's Economy Plus is one way to get known seats with more leg rooms -- off course, with additional fees. Later you book flights, more likely you will be tossed into "seats assigned at check-in" bucket even for the airlines that let you select seats.

While you are focusing on airline only, I recommend you look at key components as a whole and compare ensemble of options.

Look at different sets of flight + ground connections + accommodations. If you cannot sleep on the plane, late day departure might not be the one for you. For example Alitalia #615 10:40pm Boston, 12:40pm Rome is a direct flight. But this flight means you stay up whole day in Boston, then 8 hours flight, then 8 hours staying up in Rome to sync your body to the local time. You will also need to travel north to your real destinations if Rome is not part of your itinerary.

Different flights give you different departure time, travel duration, arrival time, seat availability, types of planes, etc. Using different arrival airports give you different ground transportation options and different sequences of visit which in turn affects which accommodations with the relevant type of rooms are available for booking.
greg is offline  
Jul 14th, 2014, 08:20 AM
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In coach, none of the options are going to be terribly comfortable. To my mind, however, the best option would probably be Delta, connecting in Amsterdam to KLM. You would be on the A330, which has a section of 4-abreast seats in the middle that would suit your party. They have AVOD at all of the seats, along with power ports at some in the front part of the cabin. If you wanted to spend a little extra, you could buy up to Economy Comfort, which would give a bit more legroom and recline. Amsterdam will generally be the easiest connection in Europe, though the walks can be long-ish.

I think ALITALIA flies non-stop BOS-Milan

They fly to Rome, not Milan from Boston. Personally, I would rather transfer at Amsterdam, London, or even Paris than to transfer at Rome.
travelgourmet is offline  
Jul 14th, 2014, 09:17 AM
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I think that Delta had flights to Rome when I was looking for my flights for our trip in May. If you can fly Delta, definitely pay for the extra leg room seats as you will likely have loads of baby/kid stuff to keep them entertained and as has been mentioned Delta does have seat back TVs full of all kinds of movies and tv shows.
jscarbary is offline  
Jul 14th, 2014, 09:18 AM
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Flights from Boston to Rome is what I meant to say.
jscarbary is offline  
Jul 14th, 2014, 09:29 AM
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I think that Delta had flights to Rome when I was looking for my flights for our trip in May.

Those are codeshares on the Alitalia-operated flights.
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Jul 14th, 2014, 10:15 AM
  #12  
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sandralist,

I have flown ALITALIA many times over the years and stand by what I said. However, I'd forgotten that they are a codeshare with Delta, so it's a moot point in this case.
WWK is offline  
Jul 14th, 2014, 01:53 PM
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However, I'd forgotten that they are a codeshare with Delta, so it's a moot point in this case.

I think you have that backwards. It is Alitalia that operates the BOS-Rome flight, so your point would remain valid assuming it reflects current service levels.

FWIW, I have heard good things about Alitalia's business class seats and service. I have not, however, taken Alitalia in ages and their limited network probably means I won't take them anytime soon.
travelgourmet is offline  
Jul 14th, 2014, 04:30 PM
  #14  
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We've had trouble with customer service, no notification last year of a 5-hour delay, bags sent to the wrong destination, and a broken business class seat on a flight from FCO-JFK. I realize these things can happen on any airline, but we've had more instances of it on Alitalia. Maybe we're just unlucky.

Anyway, getting back to the OP's original questions: IF I were traveling with two little kids from Bos-Venice, I'd take the shuttle to JFK, then the non-stop on Delta. I think it would be much less exhausting than having to connect on a second flight with two kids after landing in Rome.
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