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“dreadful check-in”
Review of Air Malta


Reviewed 14 November 2018

My wife and I recently took a short break in Catania, the flight leaving Malta at 1.50. We arrived more than two hours before the flight which was a mistake, because perhaps it was lunch-time for the check-in staff. At any rate, we joined the middle of three lines. The problem was, none of these lines was moving. I started to crane my neck and move around and eventually saw that there was only one check-in lady, servicing three lines, but she had a problem customer, a lady with dreadlocks and a mountain of luggage. The conversation was extremely protracted. Eventually I saw the check-in lady gesticulating towards the Air Malta service desk, and dreadlocks departed. I said a silent hooray, but nothing happened and after another five minutes dreadlocks was back and the conversation continued. EVENTUALLY, the check-in lady shoveled dreadlocks off to the business-class check-in lady who had been sitting idle for the past half hour - definitely NOT taking up the slack - and almost simultaneously three or four check-in staff also arrived (back from their lunch-break?) and things finally got moving, but not quickly enough to prevent an extremely irate passenger from missing his flight to Milan. I don't blame him for losing his composure. This was ridiculous. We could afford to lose an hour standing in line, and it really was an hour, but others couldn't. Just a tweak here or there (the business class check-in girl taking responsibility, or staggered lunch-times?) could have avoided a great deal of frustration. All I had was a very sore back (I'm elderly) and a sour taste in the mouth, especially when the queuing was repeated at departure as we all waited for the buses. The flight itself was absolutely fine, and arrival was almost alarmingly easy, since there was no Immigration to go through! But by the way, anyone flying in or out of Malta needs to know that there are no "sky-ways" to enable you just to walk onto an aircraft, but buses out to the planes and stairs up to them, and you'd better hope for good weather.

Date of travel: November 2018
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    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
1  Thank Stay720364
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 13 November 2018

I'm extremely disappointed by the bad experience I had as a business passenger on my return trip from Malta to Lisbon on July 19, 2018.

First of all, it's stated on their website business passengers have priority boarding. At Malta Airport It's not the case. The employees never called the business passengers first so I had to stand in the queue like everybody else.

But the most disappointing is what happened with my hand luggage. I've been travelling with Air Malta before with the same regular sized (IATA standard) hand-luggage and never had problems. So I was in the queue, the plane was already 20 minutes late and one of the employees brings a metallic luggage measurement unit out of nowhere. I had managed to be amongst the first 20 passengers in the queue (as I said, they didn't even bother calling business passengers who are supposed to have priority boarding). When it's my time to show my boarding pass, a "manager" asks me to put my luggage in the metallic tray to check measurements. My luggage being all plastic, it didn't fit in (only 1-2 cm too large). Weight was not an issue.

So that "manager" says I can't keep my luggage and it has to go as checked luggage. I tell him I have traveled many times with that exact hand-luggage and never had issues, and also that I'm a business class passenger and it's my only luggage (no checked luggage), so having it as checked means wasting another 30 minutes waiting for it (my plane arrived late in the evening and I still had a two hours drive from the airport to my home in Portugal). He simply didn't care at all, and nobody tried to do anything to help me.

Also, since I didn’t expect this, I didn’t have a lock. I have a very expensive laptop that will all my work-related files as well as other items of value. So during the entire flight I was wondering if I would see that ever again.

And then in the plane, what do I see? Dozens of passengers coming in with luggage as big and even larger than mine! We were only three people in business class (the passenger on the opposite aisle had a hand luggage bigger than mine! I can show you a picture I took if needed). And listen to that: since I was the only business passenger on my aisle, my luggage compartment was empty! The result is that I will never flight in business with Air Malta again, which is a pity as the on-board service was ok. I think the way I was treated felt more like traveling with a low-cost airliner, which I always avoid.

Anyways, I had to share this story. I understand the plane was full as it's often the case in summer, but you should give priority to your business class passengers. The airport crew was rude and didn't even care.

Oh, and one more thing. I traveled in business this time but I already traveled in economy class, and they don't give anything for free, not even a sandwich or a beverage. As I said, this is a low cost company trying to pass as a regular company.

Date of travel: October 2018
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1  Thank pheal13
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2018

always travel to malta by air malta the only way to go good airline comfortable and reliable as scheduled airline

Date of travel: June 2018
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Thank valerie194764
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 November 2018

We booked AirMalta flights to the nearby Catania for a weekend trip but don't have a positive experience with them. The reason why we chose this airline because they had flights to the destination leaving Friday evening and returning Sunday evening that would be a perfect schedule for a weekend getaway. Although the flight time from Malta to Catania is only about 30 mins, on our 2 flights we had almost 5 hours delay together. Our Friday evening flight had a delay of 1 hour and arrived at the destination at 23:30 instead of 22:30. Good that we were able to catch the last bus to the city center since the buses were operating until midnight only. On the way back, on Sunday evening the experience was worse and our flight had a delay of 2 hours and 45 mins! So they still managed to do it with less than 3 hours delay so they don't need to give any compensation to the passengers who needed to spend the half night at the airport and arriving home in the middle of the night and not late evening as it was planned. From other reviews, it seems the delays are normal at AirMalta and they just operate like this... If you have a chance or short connection flights, be aware of this and use another airline of there is any!

Date of travel: October 2018
    • Seat comfort
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Thank an_v_sz
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 12 November 2018 via mobile

The company was somewhat slow in every aspect of the trip: check-in, boarding, departure and the seats weren’t exactly my sofa at home.
Nevertheless, a clean plane, smooth flight, nice onboard staff, acceptable price-to-quality ratio.

Date of travel: November 2018
    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
Thank asko_velociraptora
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC