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Alitalia good or bad?

pms
Wernersville, Pa
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145 posts
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Alitalia good or bad?

I'd appreciate hearing anyone's experiences either good or bad with Alitalia. We usually like to fly the airline of the country we are going to, but we have heard some bad things about Alitalia.

Baltimore
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126 posts
1 review
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1. Re: Alitalia good or bad?

Alitalia is usually average - tend to have not enough stewards/staff, which leads to delays with getting beverages and meals and the video screens are shared (not in the headrest in front of you).

United and Lufthansa offer more leg room, better service, individual video screens but the food is not as good as Alitalia (it is airline food, so it only is so good anyway).

Hope this helps

Here
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531 posts
3 reviews
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2. Re: Alitalia good or bad?

I agree with the first post. If you fly Alitalia you also run the risk, albeit slim, that a strike by one of the airline's union will cause your flight to be cancelled. This just happened last week in Italy and over 300 flights were cancelled.

Seal Beach...
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2,505 posts
6 reviews
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3. Re: Alitalia good or bad?

Alitalia is just fine - flown them many times before. Nothing special but if you get a good deal on the rate it is just fine.

As to the strikes mentioned above, this can actually happen with nearly any airline. Our holiday last year was nearly preempted by a strike on Northwest, Delta and some other US carriers, so it's not something limited to Alitalia.

That said, there's no reason to only search for Alitalia fares. I have gotten some excellent recent prices and flight connections through Delta/Air France and Northwest/KLM that saved me both time and money and allowed me to fly a more modern, better appointed plane. Decide what's most important to you and check several websites for fares. There are good comparison webisites out there now like Kayak.com You can check for all fares on all websites by using this one. You can also see what the fare trend has been for the last 90 days to major locations and therefore you can decide if it's a good time to buy or if the fare might go down or is at a very low point and will shortly go up. Best feature: you can ask it to search for best fares with departures and returns 1,2, or3 day days before and after your search dates. Sometimes by adjusting just a day on either end can save hundreds of dollars. This makes finding this out easy.

Check the major consolidators for specials - Orbitz, Cheaptickets, 1800 Cheapseats, Expedia and Travelocity among others. (that's the order I like them, by the way...)

Then when you have a gist as to who seems to have the best rates and routes for you, check their individual company websites OR their American counterparts. If you want Air France, check Delta - sometimes better fares but more importantly you generally pay LESS in taxes (pay domestic taxes instead of international.) I fly to Scandinavia often, taking KLM, but I book on Northwest, the US parnter and I save up to $200 in taxes. Sometimes the international website will have such a deal on the fare that the extra taxes don't matter, but you should check both to be sure.

Last, know if you fly on certain airlines you will have to transfer through cities that maybe don't have the most easy to negotiate airports (Paris Charles de Gaulle) or that have more stringent rules making travel through them difficult (Heathrow.) Other airlines fly through excellent airports and I would choose them for better transfer times and more comfortable airports if I have a wait. The best airport to fly through hands down is Amsterdam. Large, plenty to do and see, everything in English, easy to negotiate, good food, spotlessly clean - everything good you can think of. I fly Northwest/KLM more for this reason than anything. Munich is also excellent - small and tidy. Brussels, Milan and Dublin are close runners up.

So if you end up on Alitalia you will do fine, but don't limit yourself to just checking them alone. Do your homework and see what's out there as far as rates, service, seat size and comfort and amenities (like independent video on seatback.) See website below to find out if that airline or plane you are thinking of booking has the amenities you want.

www.seatguru.com

Other websites:

www.kayak.com

www.orbitz.com

www.cheaptickets.com

www.1800cheapseats.com

www.expedia.com

www.travelocity.com

Ciao! LL

Brooklyn, NY
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65 posts
1 review
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4. Re: Alitalia good or bad?

Be VERY careful with booking via a connecting flight. I just got back from a trip with the following itinerary:

NY to Heathrow on Virgin

Heathrow to Rome on Alitalia

Rome to NY direct on Alitalia

When the tickets were issued, all three tickets were Virgin Atlantic. There was a problem with my flight home (we missed the conecting flight and when we were rebooked, our subsequent reservations were accidentally canceled.) We were in the airport in Rome, Alitalia couldn't help us becasue it was a Virgin ticket, so I had to call Virgin in London and they told me it would take 48 hours to rebook something. It was a nightmare.

My advice? Whatever it costs, fly direct.

rockville centre, ny
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1,499 posts
29 reviews
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5. Re: Alitalia good or bad?

Typeface,

Flew the same flights as you last month.

Took an earlier VA flight just to be made connection at Heathrow going to Rome.

Luckily everything went smoothly both ways.

PMS,

I've flown Alitalia direct many times with no incident.

Kathy

California USA
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81 posts
6 reviews
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6. Re: Alitalia good or bad?

Flew Alitalia from Heathrow to Rome. Flight was late boarding by a half hour, which put us into Rome late. The service was fine and the food was okay.

Flying from Rome to Newark was another matter. The flight started out okay, but after serving beverages, and then lunch, the fight attendants just disappeared for several hours only to reappear an hour or so before landing in N.J. with the beverage trolley. By that time we were so dehydrated that the small cup of water we got was hardly satisfying, and then it was time to land.

los angeles
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39 posts
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7. Re: Alitalia good or bad?

I would agree with Typeface, the most important thing is to fly direct whenever possible. No connections means no chance of missing your connections and gives the airline fewer opportunities to lose your luggage. If you must connect, avoid London and Paris, try Northwest/KLM through Amsterdam or United/Lufthansa through Frankfurt.

I realize that your question is regarding Alitalia, and I have flown them several times (usually in combination with Delta who codeshares with them) -- the flight attendants can be indifferent and my luggage hasn't always arrived with me (both times on return flights where I started on an Alitalia flight and had two more legs of Delta flights to get back to California, so I don't know where to assign blame). Alitalia has a beautiful in-flight magazine, which I always keep.

If you are researching airfares, two sites that I have found totally additctive and helpful are SideStep and Mobissimo.

http://www.sidestep.com/

http://www.mobissimo.com/search_airfare.php

Melbourne, Australia
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273 posts
4 reviews
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8. Re: Alitalia good or bad?

I've flown Alitialia Rome/Milan and I found it a really bizarre experience. Someone actually had a dog on the plane (in a little dog carrier) but still in the cabin. This made me nervous - what was next? chickens? goats?

Is this normal? No-one seem fazed and the plane was predominantly full of flight staff (probably going back home or something). There was absolutely no legroom - I know the flight is quite short - around an hour but was glad when it was over.

Ravenna, Italy
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9,377 posts
26 reviews
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9. Re: Alitalia good or bad?

Inter National they are OK. Inner- Italy they are the pitts. Last time I flew with then from Milan to Rome they waited for all the crews from their other flights to arrive. They then gave the crew the best seats. i had told thm when I got on that I didnot want to sit next to the emergency door. I was told too bad..that was all that was remaining.

When the crews arrived from other Alitalia flights they were given the winndow seats. Why? I dont know they all went to sleep.

The flight I took was staffed with brats!

rome
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2,803 posts
2 reviews
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10. Re: Alitalia good or bad?

I had troubles with Delta and Iberia, Flew very very well with Air France (but CDG airport is quite confusing). Thanks to Delta messing up our return trip from Florida we ended up flying Alitalia direct to Rome from NY. One of the best flights we had, the plane was very new and had seat screens. This said by an Italian that too often complains about Italy and fellow countrymen/women.