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Err...A Bit Scared about Alitalia...

London, United...
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Err...A Bit Scared about Alitalia...

So, having spent all my time so far planning my trip to Italy, I only recently got around to checking up on my flight carrier, Alitalia.

And what I found is very discouraging.

Very.

So my question to the fine people on this forum is, Have you had a recent experience with Alitalia, and if so how was it?

My flight is arranged to go from Boston to Venice with a 2:15 hour layover in Rome. The return flight is directly from Rome to Boston. In that regard, I'm particularly interested in people who flew Alitalia to Venice across the ocean, with a Rome layover. Did you have your baggage lost or late? Were the flights on time or did you miss your layover? Did the plane feel like it was falling apart?

I'm particularly interested if I should force my bag to be a carry-on for the Boston-Rome-Venice flight so that I won't lose it. That would mean having to buy all the toiletries in Italy, given the no-liquids rules on carry-ons, but at least I'd have a change of clothes guaranteed...

Please inspire some confidence in me.

Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Err...A Bit Scared about Alitalia...

Alitalia has quite recently been taken over by Air One. Any postings earlier than January will relate to the previous management.

I travelled four times with the "old" Alitalia, and had no problems of any kind.

Ravenna, Italy
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2. Re: Err...A Bit Scared about Alitalia...

I have used Alitlia from Rome to Boston and from Milan to Boston. You get what you pay for.

The planes were on time and they didnt mis place my luggage.

The ground people and the air crew were "only doing their jobs". They were not helpful, friendly or did they really care about the comfort of the passengers.

After serving you food they disappear into their own area (back of the plane) or the kitchen units never to be seen again.

The planes are not new ..but they stayed up in the sky.

I now use other carriers and avoid Alitalia.

Rome
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3. Re: Err...A Bit Scared about Alitalia...

Only flying Rome - Palermo this friday.. will let you know!

PS. After all the economic/service probs they've had, they are now picking up...

PS2. My dad worked for Alitalia for 30yrs... needless to say, I've always flown with them (31yrs) and never had lost luggage..

London, United...
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4. Re: Err...A Bit Scared about Alitalia...

Doris77, thank you, that's reassuring.

Agatha, were those direct flights or with layovers? My biggest concern is precisely with the possibility that my bag will get stuck in Rome somewhere while I fly off to Venice...

Sydneynick, yeah, I've learned of their privatization over the course of my perusing, but the latest reviews seem to indicate the same old. Some sites I relied on: http://www.airlinequality.com/Forum/alit.htm and michaeltotten.com/archives/2009/03/the-worst… (the last one is just plain nightmarish).

What's worse, according to the "Official anti-Alitalia Watch Dog Site" (the fact that one exists is worrisome) says there's a four-hour strike planned in Rome for April 8. Wouldn't know you it, that's exactly the same day I'm to fly into Rome for a layover to Venice.

I'm not picky when it comes to airlines, at that. My experience to date has been limited to the economy compartments of Aeroflot, clickAir, Lufthansa, Aer Lingus, United, Iberia, airBaltic, and EasyJet. Only United offered anything resembling a private entertainment system, all of them offered food that my body refused to process, and every trans-Atlantic flight I've taken could be made tolerable only with sleeping aids. So all in all, I don't have any expectations for in-flight service anymore. What concerns me the most is not missing lay-overs and not missing my baggage.

And on that last count, Alitalia doesn't bode well...

San Diego
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5. Re: Err...A Bit Scared about Alitalia...

sadseh, Alitalia only allows a very small bag(by USA standards) as carryon so it is not a real possibility.

My sister flew from JFK to Venice on Alitalia last year before the change and was OK.

Make sure you have your meds/and a change of clothes with you on board and then just HOPE (pray) it will be OK.

Ravenna, Italy
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6. Re: Err...A Bit Scared about Alitalia...

sadseh is it written in stone you must fly Alitalia? I always fly to Heathrow and then catch a BA flight to Milan or Rome or where/ever I am going.

Alitalia has dire service as to any concern for the comfort of their passengers. I suppose we would all be the same if we lived under a cloud of the company going belly up sometime in the future.

to answer your question the last time I used them was a direct flight from Boston to Milan..and believe me it was the last time!!!!! The ground crew in Boston were nasty and rude ...the air crew were disinterested and in my opinion just lazy.

My luggage arrived when I did ,but the plane just flew from Boston to Milan....

there is a Delta flight from JFK direct to Venice.

Ravenna, Italy
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7. Re: Err...A Bit Scared about Alitalia...

That strike has been cancelled for April 8th.

Island of Hawaii...
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8. Re: Err...A Bit Scared about Alitalia...

I, from personal exprience would avoid Alitalia.

Two cancelations/delays, due to strikes.

And another cancelation, not due to strike, nor bad weather. It was a flight from Pisa to Rome. We were all put in a bus who took about 4-5 hours. And of course, I missed my connecting flights!

But just because it happened to me, doesn't mean that it will happen to you!

St Paul, MN
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9. Re: Err...A Bit Scared about Alitalia...

I myself have been successful in my many trips to italy in not flying on alitalia not once. My best experience was recently with Air France.

I have flown on Delta, Lufthansa, Swiss Air, American Airlines, KLM.

London, United...
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10. Re: Err...A Bit Scared about Alitalia...

Yeah, it sort of is set in stone, since I booked the tickets in late January, and am flying out in a week. Canceling the flight would only give me credit for another flight from the same provider, which is quite useless.

What's worst is that I booked early because I figured doing so would save me money. Alitalia was the cheapest, with Swiss air costing roughly $100 more and with what looked like shaky layover times in Zurich (less than an hour).

I checked again last night, and Delta Air offers flights from Boston to Venice via Paris for $150 less! And for the same price that I paid in January, Lufthansa and Air France now offer their own services!

Ugh!

Damn recession, making people who plan ahead get the worst alternatives!!