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Time to finally discontinue the stinking Alitalia. :-(

Time to finally discontinue the stinking Alitalia. :-(

Old Aug 5, 06, 7:31 am
  #1  
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Time to finally discontinue the stinking Alitalia. :-(

Dear Sir/Madam:

This is to point out to you an Alitalia officer's violation of Article 14 of the Regulation (EC) No 261/2004 of the European Parliament and of the Council of 11 February 2004 establishing common rules on compensation and assistance to passengers in the event of denied boarding and of cancellation or long delay of flights, and repealing Regulation (EEC) No 295/91 (Text with EEA relevance) - Commission Statement.

I took a connecting flight from Shanghai Pudong to Belgrade via Milan on the **th July 2006. The flight from Shanghai to Milan was delayed by about 50 minutes. The flight from Milan to Belgrade was also delayed by about the same.

Seeing that the Milan-Belgrade delay meant that I was going to be late for the last inter-city bus to my final destination, so I had to take a hotel at midnight and continue very early in the morning, I wanted to check if this accumulated delay of roughly 2 hours perhaps qualified for some form of compensation. Upon enquiring with the gate agent (for the flight from Milan to Belgrade) if the text of EU Passengers Compensation Rights was available for perusal, I was told that she did not have them at the gate, and she instructed me to return two floors up and check with an Alitalia officer.

This I did. This was at gates B, and in one corner there were several Alitalia desks, but only one was manned, by a man in his 30s, with long curly black hair, who pronounced "r" gutturally (the French way) when speaking English.

While the gate agent had not been in a position to be helpful, she was at least courteous, the Alitalia clerk was very rude, offensive and totally incompetent.

He told me he did not have the text of the rights, and that I should not ask for them as "Canadians are not EU citizens" and I was "flying to the Balkans" where "they do not apply" (which is a lie), that he did not have the time for "this mockery", and that "if I did not have some serious question, I should leave". I tried reasoning with this man. I told him I wanted to talk to his boss. He said that he was "the boss for people like me".

He started talking to the next person in line and addressing their concerns -- not solving anything, just explaining that he cannot do anything (they were speaking in Italian, which I understand a little). I told him again to get me the list of Passengers' Rights or to call his boss and he told me to "fu.ck off". He then told me he was going to call the security/police. I told him to go ahead and do it.

He talked to someone on the phone who was obviously not the police. I waited. I asked him to act as an agent of an airline, but he just ignored me. The other passenger had left, there were no other passengers, and he ignored me, even started whistling some silly tune to himself. Of course, no police ever came.

There were other Alitalia clerks behind some screen. I could hear them talking to each other, I tried calling out someone else for assistance, but no one reacted. After 3-4 minutes one of them came out from behind the screen and out into the corridor. I tried talking to her, she looked at him inquisitively and he waived his hand dismissively so she went by without answering.

All this is in clear violation of the Article 14 which obliges the air companies from EU countries to display the Passengers Rights and give them to passengers for perusal upon request. Moreover, this is extremely offensive and absolutely unacceptable behaviour for service personnel. If this had happenned in China, this person would have lost his job on the spot.

Please note that on **th July I sent this same letter as an email to Alitalia Belgrade office who did not even confirm that they have received it.

They cannot be reached by phone either. When you call them, you get an automated message that leads you through, asking you to push several buttons, and after 3 minutes of this tells you that "all agents are still busy" and hangs up. This has happened the five times I phoned them -- all during their office hours.

Kindly address this issue and inform me of the outcome.

Regards,

Last edited by Master; Aug 5, 06 at 7:39 am
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Old Aug 5, 06, 9:41 am
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Thumbs down Sounds familiar

Unfortunately, what you experienced is not an unusual thing at Alitalia. That is what happens at a state-run airline, where no one can be fired, so some employees actually want to give the worst p;ossible "service" so there will be fewer passengers, and their pay remains the same, for less work.
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Old Aug 5, 06, 9:31 pm
  #3  
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Thumbs down

I agree, that's standard with such airlines like Alitalia and Iberia. It's really time to shut-down such airlines.
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Old Aug 5, 06, 11:36 pm
  #4  
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I learned a long time ago to give state-owned airlines a wide berth.
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Old Aug 5, 06, 11:52 pm
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Hmmmm.. under EU law, airlines cannot be owned by the state anymore. Alitalia is now 51% privately held. Unfortunately, they have bad management. BUT, things are getting better. I fly Alitalia often and have never encountered anything like you've just mentioned. I have, however, encountered that kinda of behaviour at the hospital, grocery stores, and restaurants throughout Italy. It is a cultural problem, not unique to Alitalia. There concept of customer service is completely unaccepted in this country and for ex-pats like myself, it is frustrating. I am sorry you were treated that way by that particular man. For future reference when flying within Europe, you should always carry a copy of the EU law with you. I have a copy of it inside my carry-on and if I ever need to refer to it, then I pull it out and have easy access to it. You can find the information online at http://ec.europa.eu/transport/air/ru...ts/info_en.htm
I am not an apologist for what the man did. He was completely wrong. And it might have done him good for you to have found the caribinieri or guarda finanza (as both are always present in the airport). I am positive, he would've given you the information on the spot if they were standing next to you.
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Old Aug 6, 06, 7:54 am
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Originally Posted by ContinentalFan
I learned a long time ago to give state-owned airlines a wide berth.
It's not a question of state-owned versus not, this is too simplistic. It's incentives that matter -which happen to be correlated with the ownership structure.

FWIW, Singapore Airlines is a state-owned airline. UA, US, DL, NW are not. Did you say something?
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Old Aug 6, 06, 1:19 pm
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Originally Posted by andre1970
It's not a question of state-owned versus not, this is too simplistic. It's incentives that matter -which happen to be correlated with the ownership structure.

FWIW, Singapore Airlines is a state-owned airline. UA, US, DL, NW are not. Did you say something?
For me, it is a question of state-owned. I have had the worst problems on BA, AF and EI all when they were state-owned. Singapore is definitely an exception; however, its reputation precedes it, which is great. My travel experiences have improved dramatically since I stopped flying state-owned airliners--in fact, any airline that has employees with a civil service mentality. Unless I know that the airline has a good rating, if it's state-owned (or influenced), I give it a wide berth.
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Old Aug 8, 06, 10:00 pm
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I agree with you , this is not acceptable but does AZ really cares about customers ?In order to get compensation you need to specify what was the reason of the delay ?where is your main residence? it is true that Belgrade does not belong to EU but any flight departing from any european airport in your case MXP is subject to the EU law no matter the destination . Shame on Alitalia staff , I live in Spain and must say that Iberia is not very different unfortunately !
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Old Aug 9, 06, 11:17 am
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Master, why does so much bad happen to you, and why are dissed so often?

(check Master's other posts)
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Old Aug 9, 06, 7:25 pm
  #10  
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Originally Posted by slawecki
Master, why does so much bad happen to you,
With Alitalia it happens to everybody. He was lucky, they didn't lose his luggage
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Old Aug 10, 06, 3:37 pm
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Originally Posted by slawecki
Master, why does so much bad happen to you, and why are dissed so often?

(check Master's other posts)
Indeed, anyone who checks my other posts can see for themselves that slawecki is either confabulating, or projecting his/her own experience (of bad things that happen to himself/herself).

I have just checked a half of my mere 80+ posts and they are about: who should get in/out of Sky Alliance, whether MyPoints transfers to Hilton and such.

As for satisfying slawecki's curiosity on "dissing" -- I cannot. I mostly do not even read replies to the posts where I express opinions which I know a priori and for sure to go against the grain.

So I haven't noticed if someone uses unfriendly tones to express disagreement. Nor do I care, honestly. This is a public forum, some people imagine it is anonymous and they get as rude as they genuinely are under the veneer of professional manners.

Many people are not rude, however -- quite to the contrary, and they give opinion related to problems.

This specific issue was a problem, and I have addressed it and communicated it for other people to know -- and I appreciate the fact that several people expressed sympathy and understanding.

Otherwise:

Originally Posted by europe-direct.ec.europa.eu

On Thu, 10 Aug 2006 15:59:45 UT, [email protected] <[email protected]> wrote:
> Reference Number: ********
>
> Dear Master,
>
> We acknowledge receipt of your message and in response to your enquiry we would like to inform you that the national enforcement body of Italy on Air passengers rights is:
>
> L’Ente Nazionale per l’Aviazione Civile
> Viale del Castro Pretorio, 118
> IT - 00185 ROME
> Tel.: +39 06 44596-1
> E-mail: [email protected]
>
>
> You will find further information on air passengers’ rights in the European Union, as well as a link to the list of National Enforcement Bodies for Regulation 261/2004 in each member state on the website of the Directorate-General (DG) for Transport and Energy at: http://europa.eu.int/comm/transport/...ts/info_en.htm
>
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Old Aug 10, 06, 4:44 pm
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Originally Posted by andre1970
It's not a question of state-owned versus not, this is too simplistic. It's incentives that matter -which happen to be correlated with the ownership structure.

FWIW, Singapore Airlines is a state-owned airline. UA, US, DL, NW are not. Did you say something?
completely agree.
I'm italian and i can confirm that the main problem is our way of thinking....
Not happy to say this, but i'ts true. I don't love italian menthality, even if i'm italian.
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Old Aug 10, 06, 4:46 pm
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Ente Nazionale per l'Aviazione Civile....

Best wishes!!! I hope they answer to you
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Old Aug 16, 06, 2:25 am
  #14  
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Originally Posted by dg4255
it might have done him good for you to have found the caribinieri or guardia di finanza (as both are always present in the airport). I am positive, he would've given you the information on the spot if they were standing next to you.
I agree on this advice, often the vision of an uniformed officer does wonder for the behaviour of some uncouth moron that thinks he's allowed the universe because he's employed by an "impresa di stato". Threatening to sue for "interruzione di pubblico servizio" (public service disruption) at the airport's police post is another effective way to make stubborn individuals suddenly regain the intellective faculties
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