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Old Aug 2, 11, 9:15 am   #1
 
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Question Alitalia's reputation has this first time flyer to Italy worried.....

I am looking for both honest answers and some "hand holding". I've never flown to Italy before and booked a direct from JFK-Milan in slightly upgraded Classica Plus on the A330. There are so many terrible reviews about lost luggage that I have already decided to travel lightly with a carry on bag only. I will need to be creative in order to keep the bag under 17 pounds, but am determined to make it work. Any recent travellers, say in the last 12 months, fly the A330 and willing to offer their experiences with check in, food, service, cleanliness etc.? I'd like nothing better than to hear only wonderful things, and that would make me feel better, but I know I have got to take the good with the bad.
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Old Aug 2, 11, 10:00 am   #2
 
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Welcome to FT!
If you're worried about delays and checked bags are you sure you should be travelling to Italy?
Perhaps this is better suited in the AZ forum.
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Old Aug 2, 11, 10:47 am   #3
 
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Alitalia is perfectly fine and worlds better than any domestic airline.

Why should you worry about lost luggage on a direct flight? While it is certainly possible, it is far less likely than if you have a connection.
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Old Aug 2, 11, 11:00 am   #4
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Just came back and flew 3 alitalia flights. Just finishing up my trip report and happy to answer questions, but on iPhone! Will try and post tomorrow.
All in all, no problems. Luggage fairly quick, very clean planes and nice crew, however always delays in departing due to slow ground staff.
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Old Aug 2, 11, 11:16 am   #5
 
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Just trying to eliminate all sources of potential problems. Also, I thought it might speed up our travel through customs if we did not have to retrieve a checked bag prior to getting into line.
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Old Aug 2, 11, 11:29 am   #6
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Please continue to follow this discussion in the Alitalia Forum.
Thanks..
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Old Aug 2, 11, 11:37 am   #7
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I think every lost luggage story I've heard from Americans on Alitalia was for flights connecting through Rome. I haven't heard much for lost luggage through Milan.

Every time I fly Alitalia, the onboard experience is fine. Just don't expect anything should you ever need to call their customer "service" center prior to the flight. Italy's standards of customer service are far inferior to America's.
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Old Aug 2, 11, 11:38 am   #8
 
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I've never flown on the route the OP is talking about, but I've flown numerous times with Alitalia between London and various cities in Rome, and I've never had any significant problems with the airline: on this relatively short flight they have provide a basic but not unfriendly service in the economy section of the plane (rather better of course in the business class section), their check-in service has always been efficient, and my luggage has always been where it ought to be at the end of the flight.

As I say this is a different flight and a different sort of flight (short-haul rather than long-haul) and a different aircraft. But I suspect that the horror stories are probably a bit overstated...
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Old Aug 2, 11, 1:23 pm   #9
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by MSALZ View Post
I am looking for both honest answers and some "hand holding". I've never flown to Italy before and booked a direct from JFK-Milan in slightly upgraded Classica Plus on the A330. There are so many terrible reviews about lost luggage that I have already decided to travel lightly with a carry on bag only. I will need to be creative in order to keep the bag under 17 pounds, but am determined to make it work. Any recent travellers, say in the last 12 months, fly the A330 and willing to offer their experiences with check in, food, service, cleanliness etc.? I'd like nothing better than to hear only wonderful things, and that would make me feel better, but I know I have got to take the good with the bad.
I flew many times with AZ intercontinental. Sometimes they can be OK, trough never great. But often they can be really terrible. And when I say terrible - it really is. Think very frequent delays, strikes coming out of nowhere, broken seats, lost luggage and so on. Service on board again is never classy or caring. It can be at best "Italian Cool" style ( basically when the server thinks he is cool and expect you to laugh at his jokes ), at worst - downright rude. It's nearly impossible for an AZ employee to get fired, and in unlikely case when they are - they receive big part of they salary for years anyway, just for staying at home ( "cassa integrazione" ). So you imagine how this translates into good service. Still, there are some good people working for AZ, But it's 1 for 10, usually.

I stopped flying them some time ago, as many people who I know did. Despite very good fares and general convenience in my case. So honestly, I would not recommend AZ to anybody.

Regards,

El Puerco Volante.
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Old Aug 2, 11, 2:46 pm   #10
 
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The lost baggage, combined with poor ground customer service, has been a issue for a long while during the time of the 'hub' at MXP - a pain itself, with a number of problems generated by local external companies, BTW - and during the first year after the move back to Rome FCO.
Nowadays they're pretty good, and honestly for TATL flights they're very good.
Most of the comment you may read around are related to the 'old' AZ.
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Old Aug 2, 11, 2:53 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBD View Post
I think every lost luggage story I've heard from Americans on Alitalia was for flights connecting through Rome. I haven't heard much for lost luggage through Milan.
Hub in Milan but connections in Rome?
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Old Aug 2, 11, 9:48 pm   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice11 View Post
Hub in Milan but connections in Rome?
Of course. There are many connection possibilities in Rome.
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Old Aug 3, 11, 4:04 am   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TBD View Post
Of course. There are many connection possibilities in Rome.
There're, but there weren't. It was about the past, like many of the experiences reported around.
All the long haul operations, including those from NA, were at MXP, except for 1 daily JFK - FCO, on top of the JFK-MXP, and a non -daily NRT (or something like that). So almost all the connections from NA were through MXP.
Most of the issues have been experienced and reported during the MXP time and during the first year of the new AZ at FCO.
Nowadays, everything is absolutely aligned to market KPIs, if not better.
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Old Aug 3, 11, 8:13 am   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by El Puerco Volante View Post
I flew many times with AZ intercontinental. Sometimes they can be OK, trough never great. But often they can be really terrible. And when I say terrible - it really is. Think very frequent delays, strikes coming out of nowhere, broken seats, lost luggage and so on. Service on board again is never classy or caring. It can be at best "Italian Cool" style ( basically when the server thinks he is cool and expect you to laugh at his jokes ), at worst - downright rude. It's nearly impossible for an AZ employee to get fired, and in unlikely case when they are - they receive big part of they salary for years anyway, just for staying at home ( "cassa integrazione" ). So you imagine how this translates into good service. Still, there are some good people working for AZ, But it's 1 for 10, usually.

I stopped flying them some time ago, as many people who I know did. Despite very good fares and general convenience in my case. So honestly, I would not recommend AZ to anybody.

Regards,

El Puerco Volante.
I would underline that not a single strike affected Alitalia staff in the last 30 months.
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Old Aug 3, 11, 9:07 am   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alice11 View Post
There're, but there weren't. It was about the past, like many of the experiences reported around.
All the long haul operations, including those from NA, were at MXP, except for 1 daily JFK - FCO, on top of the JFK-MXP, and a non -daily NRT (or something like that). So almost all the connections from NA were through MXP.
Most of the issues have been experienced and reported during the MXP time and during the first year of the new AZ at FCO.
Nowadays, everything is absolutely aligned to market KPIs, if not better.
OK. My point remains - all the problems I'm aware of with lost luggage are for connections through Rome. Not Milan.
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