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Old Jul 2, 04, 12:31 pm   #1
 
Join Date: Mar 2002
Location: Berlin, Berlin, Germany
Programs: Star Alliance Silver, Hilton Gold VIP, Mariott Silver Elite, Starwood Gold, AMEX Platinum
Posts: 21
AZ TXL > MXP > TXL Y Class

I flew from Berlin's Tegel airport on a tuesday morning on AZ to Milan's Malpensa 2000 airport. As there was only one person ahead of me, check-in was swift. My window seat was the one mentioned on my e-mail confirmation (which other airline assignes Y seats at reservation for a medium range fight?) Although (or because?) the aircraft left Berlin pretty early (06:50 a. m.), the line in front of security was rather long, but moved quickly. Boarding was a breeze, because you only had to climb down some stairs and to go a few meters to the aircraft.

The Embraer jet was about 60 percent booked. Italian, English and German newspapers were offered upon entering. Cabin had a 1-2 seat configuration, was clean and leather seats were comfy. Pre-recorded announcements were made in Italian, English and German, live annoucements in Italian and English. Lift-off was on time. Service was efficient and offered full bar and a snack box containing a ham roll, a sponge cake, and a small amount of water. My companion even got the special meal, he requested. Far more that other airlines will provide.

After landing in Malpensa 2000 (actually it looked like Malpensa 1978) and a short bus drive, baggage was delivered 16 minutes after touch-down, which was decent considering that at the same time several U. S. planes arrived.

Return flight on a sunday evening to TXL was as good as the flight to MXP. Even Martini Riesling Italico sparkling wine was offered (usually for C-class only, but there were no C passengers).

A little strange, though, was my internet booking at www.alitalia.de. You get a confirmation right away, but it states, that your ticket will be issued within the next 48 hours and until that point, the ticket price mentioned is not guaranteed (anyway, I got the price I hoped for - an unbelievably low 90 EUR, including 10 EUR online discount). Furthermore, AZ telephone reservations were not able to add my DL SkyMiles number to my reservation (when booking, you can only enter a AZ number) or change seats after the ticket was issued. This could only be done at check-in.

All in all: despite AZ's bad reputation, my flight experience was very pleasant. Only the booking process was a little unusual.
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Old Jul 2, 04, 9:57 pm   #2
 
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Wow 90 Euros roundtrip? And for that price they still give newspapers? And food too. How long will this last I wonder.
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Old Jul 2, 04, 10:40 pm   #3
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sounds quite good....I've never been on AZ...hadn't heard many great things about it , but it seems to be improving (or is it too late already? )... methinks a MR could be on the cards
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Old Jul 3, 04, 9:16 am   #4
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bretteee
Wow 90 Euros roundtrip? And for that price they still give newspapers? And food too. How long will this last I wonder.
As long as italian taxpayers pay the bill I assume...


Considering that you were on an Embraer, I assume that the flights were operated by "Alitalia Express"? They fly into ZRH too and I've always wondered if they're any good. Thanks for the report.
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Old Jul 3, 04, 10:26 am   #5
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just tried a dummy booking on www.alitalia.co.uk ...£82 for LHR-MXP-BRI return inclusive of taxes, which means the fare is less than £50!!!!
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Old Jul 4, 04, 3:27 am   #6
 
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Oh, I forgot to mention: my good review is for this non-stop flight only. When you have to transfer in MXP, your experience may be another story. When I arrived in the morning I saw a huge line forming in front of the additional transfer security check. So, expect delays - especially in the morning when all those transfer passengers from overseas arrive.
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Old Jul 4, 04, 4:01 am   #7
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AZ is in panic mode.

This is the high, high, season for flights from Israel to Europe. Generally, in July and August I can expect to shell out $600 TLV-MXP.

AZ is offering them now for $389. Moreover, if a family flies, the two adults pay that price and the first child pays $292 and the second $195.

If I want to fly to any other European country on AZ, the price is only $20 more.

AZ itineraries, for the past few years, from TLV-MXP-USA have been about $300 less than Delta fares -- even though in both cases I would be on AZ metal to Italy and Delta metal to the US.

AZ is trying to avoid bankruptcy but instead of improving service and keeping decent prices it is keeping its poor service and cutting prices. I don't think this formula is going to help it.
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Old Jul 4, 04, 5:23 am   #8
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bretteee
How long will this last I wonder.
Until Italian politicians are allowed to pour taxpayer's money into AZ and get away with it from EU regulators.

Edit: typo

Last edited by hilltopper; Jul 4, 04 at 5:39 am.
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