What if Alitalia goes under?


Feb 19th, 2014, 07:31 AM
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What if Alitalia goes under?

First time poster but long-time lurker. I'd appreciate some advice from this impressive group of experts.

I must choose between a Delta/Alitalia nonstop or an American nonstop JFK--> FCO in July. The American nonstop is about $50 more, and I'm buying four tickets. Do you think it's more prudent to spend extra on American in case Alitalia goes under? Will Delta have to honor that flight? Is it best to avoid Alitalia altogether? Thanks!
CakeNYC is offline  
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Feb 19th, 2014, 07:36 AM
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I assume you would be booking the Delta flight number and your booking is with may be operated by Alitalia. Why not just take a Delta operated flight??? I can guarantee you a DL flight is going to be run better than an AZ flight. Also I assume you collect book with the airline where you accrue miles. If you book the Delta flight that is opearted by AZ yes they will put you on another flight but I think they have a flight with their own aircraft from JFK to FCO.
Lois2 is offline  
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Feb 19th, 2014, 07:53 AM
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We've been hearing from the "experts" here and everywhere else that Alitalia is going to go under for YEARS!
Dukey1 is offline  
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Feb 19th, 2014, 08:19 AM
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Alitalia has gone under before If you bought the Alitalia flights as Delta flights with Delta flight number (usually in the 9000's), Delta has to put you on an alternate flight and get you to the destination ... eventually. I think your flight would be impacted more by mundane events, weather, equipment, strikes, etc.
greg is offline  
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Feb 19th, 2014, 08:28 AM
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Alitalia is a bit of a phoenix. Keeps rising from the ashes . . . but remains a bit dusty. Ultimately, the Italian government is essentially a guarantor so Alitalia's demise is always signalled prematurely.

And it's not like the US airlines haven't all gone under at least once.

If you're that concerned, take the AA flight.

Delta should have its own flights to FCO from JFK, it certainly has a large enough hub.

Other key points: (1) AA still runs some crappy planes internationally - 30" pitch, no personal A/V system. So does Delta. If you're down to a Delta and an AA flight or even the AA/Alitalia choice you now have, check the plane types on It could be worth the $50 to go on AA.

(2) Where's your mileage reward program? If you have none, get SOMEthing. If it's a points program, big deal - the $200 difference is 200-400 points, which is $2-$4 in travel rewards. If it's with either Delta or AA but not both, then your choice is made for you even with the $50 price difference (seriously, $50 is going to make up your mind for you when you can afford international travel?). If you have both, figure out with which one you're closer to a freebie.
BigRuss is offline  
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Feb 19th, 2014, 08:47 AM
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Last May we flew NY to Rome on Alitalia to Rome and home on Delta. The service on Alitalia was far better than I expect and notch or two better than most US service. I would have no reservations booking Alitalia.
fmpden is offline  
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Feb 19th, 2014, 08:50 AM
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Today for most people it is all about the miles...prices usually are similar...but if one is really concerned about AZ going down..just book a Delta operated flight or the American. Going to Europe is too many miles not to be on a program accruing miles.
Lois2 is offline  
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Feb 19th, 2014, 08:53 AM
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I believe that all Alitalia flights between Italy and the US are code shared with Delta, so, as someone else said, Delta would get you on another flight.

Anyway, here in Italy, the word is that a Middle Eastern airline, whose name I forget, is going to invest in Alitalia, in exchange for some cost cutting. Alitalia has very intransigent unions, though, and far more employees than comparable airlines, so good luck with the cost cutting.
bvlenci is offline  
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Feb 19th, 2014, 09:18 AM
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We've been hearing from the "experts" here and everywhere else that Alitalia is going to go under for YEARS!

Indeed, it's pretty much "dog bites man".

But if you are booking via Delta, it becomes Delta's problem to get you to Italy or home if Alitalia does by some miracle go under
alanRow is offline  
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Feb 19th, 2014, 06:55 PM
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American itself is just emerging from bankruptcy protection. These airlines are getting too big to fail, at least in the sense of suddenly stopping operations with passengers stranded abroad, which has happened to small charter and budget airlines in the past.
Southam is offline  
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Feb 19th, 2014, 07:12 PM
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I honestly don't think Delta flies to FCO from JFK. It's Alitalia planes, on that route with Delta. I won't bet my life on it, but I've been checking all day for myself, and checked again just now.

Honestly, I would not worry about Alitalia. I used to but it's been years and all the going under hasn't happened yet.

But since American and US Airways have merged, they are going to be huge and to cover a lot of the world. I would sign up for AA miles, and go with them. Get their credit card and get double miles for every AA flight you buy and you are on your way to someplace else.
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