luggage and getting to Italy on ALitalia

Sep 15th, 2006, 04:21 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 17
luggage and getting to Italy on ALitalia

The weight restrictions and size stated for luggage seem a bit "tight". DO they weigh the carryon and checked bags? I am concerned as we will be traveling for 3 weeks and all liquids now must be checked. Any suggestions from ALitalia customers would be appreciated.

THank You
wmandmj is offline  
Sep 15th, 2006, 05:21 PM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 130
I must say if your flying with that airline you have much more to worry about than liquids that must be checked. I flew with them last year,they cancelled the flight,then put us in a hotel nearly 2 hours away,the next morning rounded us up for 6 a.m. ,we sat on the runway until noon. They then told us when we got in Milan at 2 a.m. someone would be there to help us. NO ONE NO ONE and we tried to get help from airport personal they refused to help. I was told when they come to America if they did not speak english they would get no help, so seeing we couldn,t speak fluently they would not help.By the way on the flight going to Italy I don,t believe we saw the steward more than three times, they hide in the back.The managers lied about everthing.I in the future will spend a little extra money and travel with another company. By the way I had all types of insurance to cover these problems ,not one helped.Forget the cash I lost 2 days in Bellagio how can you put a dollar value on that.Afterwards I spoke to many who would never use that carrier after they had their personal nightmares .Good luck I hope you have none of these things go wrong.
miaspapa is offline  
Sep 15th, 2006, 05:49 PM
Join Date: Sep 2006
Posts: 12
I am flying on Alitalia next week. It will be my first time.....but I am reading lots of bad things about it. I am on a direct Newark to Rome flight.....
Any special tips and/or suggestions?
Catnip1 is offline  
Sep 15th, 2006, 05:51 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 17
I have NOT read lots of bad things but maybe we should be concerned. Where are you getting the Bad Info? HELP FOdorites and come to our aid!!
wmandmj is offline  
Sep 15th, 2006, 06:14 PM
Join Date: Aug 2006
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I am also flying Alitalia from JFK next month. I have heard quite a few bad things about them on this, and other forums. However, my husbands son flies Alitalia with his in laws every August without any problems and my cousin just came back last Saturday and had almost no complaints. She did say the food was awful (isn't all airline food?) and the flight attendants do indeed disappear after ther first food service. These are evening flights so I guess they want to rest just as the customers do. I would hope that if the call button was pressed they'd respond, no? I'll guess I'll learn first hand next month! I am taking a 22 inch carry on so lost luggage should not be an issue but you never know. They might make me check it. Someone suggested I pack half my clothes and half my husbands in one suitcase instead of us each packing our things individually in case a bag gets mis handled. I find this to be a great idea. Although, I would not have a hard time shopping for new clothes in Rome! Unfortunately, we have no control over the situation so we shouldn't make it ruin our vacation!

Hopefully, someone will post a GOOD story about Alitalia! Maybe that someone will be me.
mama924 is offline  
Sep 15th, 2006, 06:15 PM
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 288
If you look, you will find a horror story out there about every single airline out there! I have read them too!! And they have all scared me at one time or another!!

Nonetheless, I have flown Alitalia a total of four times, each without any major problems or difficulties.

Long-haul economy class flights are all hellish to me, for obvious reasons. But bad customer service, check-in nightmares, lost luggage, and the slew of problems that are all a part of of the wonderful (heh) world of air travel can happen at any airline.

Bottom line...pick the flight that works for your schedule and budget and go for it.
faredolce is offline  
Sep 15th, 2006, 06:40 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,336
I totally agree with faredolce. We've had bad flights, poor service, and missing luggage with British Airways, American, and Delta. However, our recent roundtrip flights on Alitalia ( JFK-Milan) were problem-free. Go with whichever airline best suits your budget and schedule, keep your fingers crossed, and hope for the best. Getting there is NOT half the fun.
Weadles is offline  
Sep 15th, 2006, 06:47 PM
Join Date: May 2003
Posts: 4,074
Good advice. All can be great or terrible....
Graziella5b is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 02:21 AM
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We have used Alitalia several times to travel to Italy. Past experiences (mainly attendants being very rude)were not so good. However, this past July we were pleasantly surprised with how helpful and pleasant the attendants were on our flight. Even the food was pretty good and one attendant sang Italian songs while serving!

They did weigh the checked bags but, even though we knew that one of us (there were 4 of us traveling together and it was not me!)had a slightly overweight bag, nothing was said to us. They did not weigh the carry-on bags.

The one thing you need to know about Alitalia is a reserved seat is not really reserved. Shortly before our departure date, we called to confirm and found out our seats were changed and we no longer had window/aisle seats but were instead in the center section of the plane. We were told that nothing could be done since the plane was full. However, when we arrived at Logan (we got there early), we were able to change the four seats to window/aisle so it all worked out for us.

We traveled before the new restrictions so I can't help you with that.

I made other comments about Alitalia in my trip report so you might want to check there also. All in all, we enjoyed our flights on Alitalia in July.

Have a great trip!
Marianna is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 02:54 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Hi all! Not to be discouraging but just to give a warning that on the Italian news website I read daily Alitalia employees (pilots and other airline workers) are threatening wildcat strikes this autumn. The article wasn't real clear. Italian law states that strikes must be declared in advance regarding the date and the time period of the strike so I am confused about the term "wildcat" as it wasn't clear whether that meant strikes without the required advanced announcement or not.
LoveItaly is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 07:35 AM
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Posts: 91,120
Not specific to Alitalia, but yes most airlines do weight both carry-on and checked luggage right as you check in. As far as what you need for 3 weeks, I suggest downsizing all cosmetics and toiletries (don't take full size anything) into smaller containers, taking only what you need for the trip, packed into ziplock bags works well.
suze is online now  
Sep 16th, 2006, 08:53 AM
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 130
I did not want to scare you I am sure there are many, many, nightmares when flying,I guess these mishaps are all too many,but I was very upset not only did we have to endure this nightmare ,but we did not even get an apology, in a written letter they basically said,these conditions are common and don't expect a red cent from us.I also had to pay the night lost at the Metropole which was already booked , the hotel in Milan was over 300 euros and 60 euros in taxis,I also gave 20 euros to a person at the milan airport to help me get a hotel at 2 a.m.I lost over 2 days in beautiful Bellagio which hurt the most and over 650 dollars in expenses ,and by the way we spent the night of our 37 th anniversary in an airport until 4 a.m. and we had three hours sleep in 2 days. We are not young kids and have some medical problems,it was nightmare for us,and not even once did I here "we are sorry"!!!That might have been nice.Is far as I am concerned they are a classless company.
miaspapa is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 09:14 AM
Join Date: Feb 2004
Posts: 4,129
All in all, I feel Alitalia is a good airline, and I would fly them again. Customer service in the front office is lacking if you should need assistance for lost luggage (ie-reimbursement), but otherwise, customer service throughout is excellent in my book.

They helped us keep our luggage light during our trip by holding most of it for us, and at the end, drove our luggage home from the airport 2 days after our return to ensure we were well rested, even taking our luggage on a tour of NYC so we wouldn't have to retrieve it from the airport! What a deal!

Seriously though, if you've already purchased your ticket on Alitalia, stop worrying. There's nothing you can do about it now, the people there are very nice, and you're only going to face the same fears that you'd have faced booking on another airline.

I even faced a strike on Alitalia once, and they did all they could to help me get home. If that's an airline to be worried about, then I have nothing more to say.
mcnyc is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 10:08 AM
Join Date: Jan 2004
Posts: 113
I flew Alitalia in August from Toronto to Venice, connecting in Rome, and returned from Rome to Toronto. My one checked bag to Italy was weighed as were my two checked bags (one filled with books and new clothes) returning. No problem with carry-ons, other than the now-common check for liquids. In fact, on the return trip, I had my purse, my totebag for my laptop computer and a large Ferrari shopping bag filled with items from the duty-free shops that I was able to carry on, including one bottle of limoncello and one bottle of Crown Royal. I was able to fit my purse and laptop/totebag under the seat in front of me and the shopping bag in the bin above me.

After reading the negative comments about the flight attendants and the conditions of the planes, I was concerned about what to expect. However I was pleasantly surprised, the flight attendants were professional, not overly friendly, but not rude either. I had ordered a special meal (low cholesterol) each way and received it first, steaming hot.

For sleeping, I had taken my own silk blanket and covered their pillow with my own silk pillowcase. I used their blanket as a back roll. There were two babies in the row in front of me and it seemed that the flight attendant was very accommodating with the parents to ensure the comfort of everyone. Thankfully I had my noise-reducing headphones and my Ipod to help me sleep through any crying.

When I checked in, in Toronto about two and a half hours early, I was able to walk right up to the desk. I had been assured that I would have a seat in Row 11, but when I received my boarding pass, I was near the back of the plane. I nicely told the check-in woman that I had called Alitalia when I had booked my ticket on Expedia and the customer service representative had assured me that I would have one of the window seats in Row 11. I wasn't rude, but I was firm that I really wanted the promised seat. Magically, my seat became available - I guess it's true that you can get more with honey than vinegar. I received the promised Row 11 window seat on the return flight to Toronto without any discussion.

The one problem I had with the condition of the airplane was that the sound system on the return flight didn't work at my seat. I just listened to my own music and tried to nap as much as possible.

I was also nervous about losing my checked luggage, but thankfully, I received everything on both ends of the trip. I would probably fly Alitalia again and would recommend it as much as any other airline that I have been on.

timsmom is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 10:33 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,655
Yikes, Alitalia does have a bad reputation. How could flight attendants from a country where everyone is so friendly be so rude?

I am booking a return flight from Rome to Newark TODAY so this scares me. My flight to Rome will be in Air france with a connection. At least if the French are rude, they will still give me good wine!
richardab is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 10:45 AM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 6,336
Air France is no better and in some cases worse ( impossibly tight connections) than Alitalia. Just hope for the best and have a glass of wine once you reach your destination!
Weadles is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 10:53 AM
Join Date: Sep 2004
Posts: 45,322
Alitalia use to be a fabulous airline. Beautiful personable FA's and counter/gate personell, fantastic food and wine etc. But due to all the economic woes Alitalia has had these past years the employees are not happy campers. But neither are Delta employees, at least in my experience. And I will never fly with Horizon again.

I don't fly Alitalia anymore but if they were still flying out of SFO I would probably fly with them if for no other reason than curiosity. Even when Alitalia was a wonderful airline the joke was Alitalia stood for "always late in takeoff and late in arriving"..and that was true, lol.

And one time when NW "lost" an Italian teen who had visited with us for a couple of months while he was flying back to Italy I finally out of desperation called Alitalia for help as all I got out of NW was "we have no idea where he is". His poor mother in Italy was ready for a nervous breakdown..Alitalia called me back within the hour to inform me that F had been "stuck" at Amsterdam for 12 plus hours..they had tracked him down there and had their people put in on an Alitalia flight to Italy. I was astonished and thanked and thanked them and was told "signora, we ALWAYS make sure our children get home to Italy!" Too sweet!
LoveItaly is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 12:10 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,655
I almost always fly United. If you want to see a disgruntled employee, try them!

My flight to Rome on Air France has a 3 hour connecting time. Thats enough to let me relax in the lounge or wander around!
richardab is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 12:10 PM
Join Date: Feb 2003
Posts: 4,204
They lost all of DD's luggage with her journal and copy of Billy Joel concert at the Collesium. Still hoping it will turn up.

But after two months in Israel, she was thrilled with the meal.
artlover is offline  
Sep 16th, 2006, 12:13 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 1,655
P.S. When I go to Europe, I almost always fly on Lufthansa with connections in Frankfurt (from Newark and Los Angeles). I have to say their attention and service has been nothing but excellent. On time departures, professional flight attendants, good entertainment, etc. Last year I flew in First Class to Frankfurt from Newark and although the service was exceptional, the seats weren't so cozy. I also prefer flying on a Boeing Jet rather than an Airbus.
richardab is offline  

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