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Old Sep 28, 11, 12:05 pm   #1
 
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Alitalia new business class on medium haul

I have just received a newsletter from Alitalia saying that they are now introducing a new business class (Ottima) service on medium haul international flights. Amongst the main features: tableware by Culti, new menus and a selection of Italian wines. I have recently booked a FCO-WAW for December and it goes without saying that I really hope to see the above improvements, mainly considering that [apparently] this route is often operated by the new A320s. What do you reckon, guys? Do you think that, in this day and age where people are constantly looking to save money, such enhancement really make sense?
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Old Sep 28, 11, 1:26 pm   #2
 
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Well up to today the difference between C and Y was quite low, and many of the ex-LIN flights for example were leaving with an empty business class due to the fares being high. Perhaps this improvement will create some market, although really they have to bring the prices down a little as well - for now they are often above 1k on short haul.
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Old Sep 28, 11, 1:55 pm   #3
 
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Originally Posted by bungler View Post
although really they have to bring the prices down a little as well - for now they are often above 1k € on short haul.
Totally agree. The only [European] routes where C fares are quite reasonable are mainly LHR-LIN/FCO, this as far as I know (by experience).
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Old Sep 28, 11, 3:11 pm   #4
 
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Originally Posted by AlicorporateUK View Post
Totally agree. The only [European] routes where C fares are quite reasonable are mainly LHR-LIN/FCO, this as far as I know (by experience).
And the reason for that is the competition (BA and LHI on MXP - LHR having low J fares so AZ has to be competitive...)

Recently as low as 300 rtn in J which really is good value
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Old Oct 1, 11, 8:03 am   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by AlicorporateUK View Post
FCO-WAW
Are you sure WAW is a medium-haul destination? I would rather think they meant BEY, TLV, DAM (if still served), CAI, MOW etc.
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Old Oct 4, 11, 6:59 am   #6
 
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Are you sure WAW is a medium-haul destination? I would rather think they meant BEY, TLV, DAM (if still served), CAI, MOW etc.
You may be right...
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Old Oct 6, 11, 5:25 am   #7
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The English version of the AZ website defines medium-haul as flights with a sector length > 3hrs 10 mins when describing availability of inflight entertainment in business:
Quote:
Originally Posted by AZ Website
In addition, starting July 1, a selection of Italian and international movies from the latest season will be shown on medium haul flights (lasting more than 3h10min).
If the same definition is used for catering purposes, this would rule out all European destinations other than SVO and LED as well as all North African destinations other than CAI. Put differently, this would mean Middle East and Russia only.
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Old Oct 6, 11, 6:25 am   #8
 
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The English version of the AZ website defines medium-haul as flights with a sector length > 3hrs 10 mins when describing availability of inflight entertainment in business
Thanks - I must have missed it.
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Old Oct 23, 11, 12:11 am   #9
 
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On the Moscow-Rome flights, it's not the cutlery that's the problem.

It's broken and uncomfortable seats, surly staff, always being bussed from plane to terminal at Rome so no gain for 'business boarding' (which they ignore at each end anyway); staff refusing to let you sit in the rear rows of seats (even if you've been checked in to one) so that THEY can sleep during the flight; miserable food (honestly, a cheese sandwich accompanied by a bread roll and, um, a slice of cheese!?).
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Old Oct 23, 11, 1:28 am   #10
 
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Originally Posted by ColinBray View Post
It's broken and uncomfortable seats
? That sounds extremely unlikely/exaggerated, all the short haul aircraft used on international routes have very recent interiors and I never found any problems with the new seats.

Unless, of course, you are one of those people that are talking about some flight five and a half years ago - in the meantime the company has received a major overhaul (although the short haul business is still lacking in parts, it has to be agreed).

To counter your other points, the crew always have rest seats which you can't sit in, that is not limited to AZ; always being bussed could be for a variety of reasons including that the plane may be coming from a schengen destination and therefore can't be attatched by finger because the SVO passengers have to have gone through passport control.
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Old Oct 23, 11, 8:14 pm   #11
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bungler View Post

Unless, of course, you are one of those people that are talking about some flight five and a half years ago - in the meantime the company has received a major overhaul (although the short haul business is still lacking in parts, it has to be agreed).
control.

I think you now have to stop making this assumption that anything negative about AZ is about flights taken five years ago I've never seen any post of that nature in 2011. And I have seen enough posts to indicate that my own experience - that the difference between old and new Az is not all that great-- is not isolated.

I've seen crew rest in rear seats (albeit never on such a short sector, but this is Alitalia where staff comfort is top priority so it's possibke. ). But never seen pax allotted seats being thrown out of them, which was the point Colinbray was making. The food also sounds appalling. And while there may be reasons for busing ( when I came from CAI I get a gate, how come?) this is still a negative, if it detracts from the business class priority, other airlines provide separate buses for j pax and board J pax separately .
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Old Oct 24, 11, 6:33 am   #12
 
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Originally Posted by rathin100 View Post
And I have seen enough posts to indicate that my own experience - that the difference between old and new Az is not all that great-- is not isolated.
Are we talking of the same experience were you were handed out food on a tray in an intercontinental Magnifica flight on the new A330? Just for my understanding.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rathin100 View Post
I've seen crew rest in rear seats (albeit never on such a short sector, but this is Alitalia where staff comfort is top priority so it's possibke. )
There is no crew rest on such short flights, obviously. It's an A321. Also, such aircraft have usually rather new and well maintained seating.

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Originally Posted by rathin100 View Post
But never seen pax allotted seats being thrown out of them, which was the point Colinbray was making.
Which is what I - and bungler, it seems - doubt highly.

Quote:
Originally Posted by rathin100 View Post
other airlines provide separate buses for j pax and board J pax separately .
At FCO? Such as? Because it sounds like a service which needs to be contracted with the ground handling. I don't remember seeing separate buses for classes at any Italian airport, but I may be mistaken, so help me with an example.
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Old Oct 24, 11, 8:34 pm   #13
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by raistlin View Post
Are we talking of the same experience were you were handed out food on a tray in an intercontinental Magnifica flight on the new A330? Just for my understanding


There is no crew rest on such short flights, obviously. It's an A321. Also, such aircraft have usually rather new and well maintained seating.


Which is what I - and bungler, it seems - doubt highly.


At FCO? Such as? Because it sounds like a service which needs to be contracted with the ground handling. I don't remember seeing separate buses for classes at any Italian airport,
but I may be mistaken, so help me with an example.
You seem to disbelieve anything anyone experiences that is contrary to your perception of Alitalia hence your repeated petulant point about my food experience or your refusal to believe ColinBrays experience wirth seats. I don't do this. Hence, I believe the OP as I find bad service on Alitalia quite common. The hard product has selectively improved but not much else .

On buses, I was referring to worldwide experience --best practice, actually, perhaps not something I should expect from Alitalia -- but I don't get your point. What is preventing Alitalia from contracting this service with
ground handling? The fact that it is separate is a matter of
bureaucracy/contracting. The fact that something dies not happen in any Italian airport should not pose an insuperable barrier to an airline with global pretensions

Last edited by rathin100; Oct 24, 11 at 11:41 pm.
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Old Oct 24, 11, 10:53 pm   #14
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by rathin100 View Post
I was referring to worldwide experience --best practice, actually, perhaps not something I should expect from Alitalia -- but I don't get your point. What is preventing Alitalia from contracting this service with
ground handling? The fact that it is separate is a matter of
bureaucracy/contracting. The fact that something dies not happen in any Italian airport should not pose an insuperable barrier to an airline with global pretensions
I don't really see the benefit of bussing J class passengers separately anyway to be honest. You're supposed to be able to board and unboard at any time you want, and it's a waste of a bus which could slow down boarding.
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Old Oct 24, 11, 11:33 pm   #15
 
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Originally Posted by bungler View Post
I don't really see the benefit of bussing J class passengers separately anyway to be honest. You're supposed to be able to board and unboard at any time you want, and it's a waste of a bus which could slow down boarding.
Ok fair point. I think the benefit comes in boarding separately and no stair wait. Also deplaning first and getting to the terminal early. That's been my experience, most recently in Beijing last week
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