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Old Feb 19, 17, 4:34 pm   #1
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Lounge access flying with AB from Italy (LIN/FCO)

I have two return flights with AB to LIN and FCO coming up in the next few weeks and was wondering about lounge access. I'm oneworld Sapphire (through BAEC Silver), so according to oneworld's lounge access page (and AB's lounge finder), I can use the Alitalia Manzoni Lounge in Linate and the Dolce Vita Lounge in Fiumicino.

The trouble is that neither of those seem to exist any more now that Alitalia has refurbished their lounges and renamed them to Casa Alitalia. Alitalia's website isn't very encouraging; their rules don't even mention non-Skyteam boarding passes.

Does anyone have any recent experiences flying with AB from an Italian airport?

I assume that I could always use BA's lounges there, but they'll be in the non-Schengen part and probably not worth the hassle.
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Old Feb 19, 17, 6:27 pm   #2
  
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Originally Posted by waffle View Post
I have two return flights with AB to LIN and FCO coming up in the next few weeks and was wondering about lounge access. I'm oneworld Sapphire (through BAEC Silver), so according to oneworld's lounge access page (and AB's lounge finder), I can use the Alitalia Manzoni Lounge in Linate and the Dolce Vita Lounge in Fiumicino.

The trouble is that neither of those seem to exist any more now that Alitalia has refurbished their lounges and renamed them to Casa Alitalia. Alitalia's website isn't very encouraging; their rules don't even mention non-Skyteam boarding passes.

Does anyone have any recent experiences flying with AB from an Italian airport?

I assume that I could always use BA's lounges there, but they'll be in the non-Schengen part and probably not worth the hassle.
i'm not even sure you can use the AB premium waiting areas which seem to be for AB elites only, in my experience. i would look up the airport and see what schengen lounges are available. do you have priority pass?
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Old Feb 20, 17, 1:27 am   #3
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i'm not even sure you can use the AB premium waiting areas which seem to be for AB elites only, in my experience.
Right, but I don't seem to be missing much there and they only exist at German airports anyway, don't they?

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i would look up the airport and see what schengen lounges are available. do you have priority pass?
No Priority Pass. I'm keen to try the Casa Alitalia, but if I don't get in, I think I'd rather spend the time in town instead of some crummy lounge.
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Old Feb 20, 17, 1:31 am   #4
  
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airberlin lists oneworld Sapphire as eligible for both lounges (with old names). I wouldn't think renaming the lounges makes a difference in terms of access criteria.

https://www.airberlin.com/en/site/la......_lounge.php

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Applies to travellers in airberlin Business Class and holders of the following status cards:
- topbonus Platinum and Gold Card
- Guests with oneworld Emerald and Sapphire status
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Old Feb 20, 17, 1:37 am   #5
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I wouldn't think renaming the lounges makes a difference in terms of access criteria.
I'm not sure if it counts as a renaming or if they've technically closed the old lounge and opened a new one in the same spot. In the latter case, I wouldn't put it past AB to have forgotten to renew their contract with AZ. But maybe I'm putting too much thought into this.
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Old Mar 12, 17, 3:16 pm   #6
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So, I just came back from LIN, and it does indeed seem that the renaming/refurbishing didn't make a difference: the lady at the Alitalia lounge reception desk told me that Oneworld Emerald and Sapphire flying on Air Berlin have access.

In theory, anyway. Upon showing my BAEC Silver card, she told me that I needed Gold or Platinum. She was obviously referring to Topbonus, and even though she agreed that Oneworld Sapphire should get me in, she didn't accept my BA card. She then asked a colleague on the phone who agreed that I needed Gold or Platinum.

I didn't want to make more of a fuss than I already had, especially as there was a perfectly adequate BA lounge downstairs, so I left it at that. (She kindly told me that I should come back in case the BA lounge didn't let me in either and then she'd sort it out with a supervisor.)

The Alitalia lounge did look a bit nicer (it has windows and almost certainly better coffee) and I'd have liked to try it, but I can't really blame their staff for not knowing the intricacies of Oneworld's frequent flyer tiers.

I'll see how it goes in FCO in a few weeks where the BA lounge isn't quite as easily accessible for Schengen flights.
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Old Apr 10, 17, 1:00 am   #7
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And here's another data point. I just got back from FCO and, after consulting her manual, the lady at the Alitalia lounge initially told me the same thing: that I needed a Gold or Platinum card to get in. Rather helpfully though, her manual had the Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald symbols printed below the pictures of AB's gold and platinum cards, and when I pointed out that the Sapphire symbol on my BA card matched the one in her manual, she checked with her colleague and then let me in.
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Old Apr 13, 17, 1:34 pm   #8
  
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Originally Posted by waffle View Post
And here's another data point. I just got back from FCO and, after consulting her manual, the lady at the Alitalia lounge initially told me the same thing: that I needed a Gold or Platinum card to get in. Rather helpfully though, her manual had the Oneworld Sapphire and Emerald symbols printed below the pictures of AB's gold and platinum cards, and when I pointed out that the Sapphire symbol on my BA card matched the one in her manual, she checked with her colleague and then let me in.
The AZ / AB coorporation fits under the Ethihad Partner Group and not Skyteam or Oneworld...

Therefore it's good possible, that lounge access will only be granted with AB Topbonus Status (Etihad Partner Group) but not with BA (Oneworld...
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Old Apr 13, 17, 7:30 pm   #9
  
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BA Gold? That's like scrub-level tier like AA Gold right?

On a serious note, it is kind of a dumb system pushed down from Etihad. AUH also goes by a "Platinum card only" policy for lounge access to the First Class lounge. What's a Frecia Alata Plus?? Definitely not Platinum!
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