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Avoid Alitalia airline

Madison, Wisconsin
posts: 2
Avoid Alitalia airline

If possible, I suggest you avoid Alitalia. Here are few of my experiences. We were kept waiting for our flight for 1:20 , no reason given. Kept standing entire time, not allowed into seating area. Then delayed again for 20 more. Crabby gate attendants. Flight was to Chicago from Rome. Gate attendant spoke poor english. When lady with baby finally boarded the passengers cheered. Toilets on plane were dirty. My seat arm soiled underneath. Pretzels and drink handed out after 2 hours into flight, then 20 minutes later a meal came. Drinks were long gone. One flight movie at a time, in italian. No english dubbing. Attendants closed off an area and went to sleep. (not all of them). Passengers ringing for attendant, none available. Much more... just a gloss over of the circus of clowns. So you know.

50 replies to this topic
Salisbury, United...
posts: 2,786
reviews: 65
1. Re: Avoid Alitalia airline

My only comment is that it is an Italian airline and you were in Rome. Not everything will be in English, that's the way it is. If you want to guarantee English speaking films you will need to fly on a airline from an English speaking country.

I really don't think this is someting to complain about.

Sadly delays are inevitable, yes it would be nice to know what is happening but not the end of the world. This delay might have been nothing to do with Alitalia. Delays at airports happen for many reasons. This wouldn't make me not fly with them.

Even flight attendants have rest periods, they can not be expected to work non stop on a long transatlantic flight.

New York City, New...
Destination Expert
for Air Travel
posts: 7,945
reviews: 53
2. Re: Avoid Alitalia airline

It's a shame because until now Alitalia were the only airline the other TripAdvisor members would let me fly.

Shanks' pony here we come.

uk
posts: 2,673
reviews: 73
3. Re: Avoid Alitalia airline

Who would have thought it; Italians; in Italy; working for an Italian company don't speak good English!

Next time I fly Continental direct from Newark to Copenhagen I'll have to remember to complain about the lack of Danish spoken by the gate staff and the fact that all the movies are in English and not dubbed into Danish!

Illinois
posts: 10,053
reviews: 16
4. Re: Avoid Alitalia airline

Maybe the reason for the delay was announced in Italian? Being as OP was in Rome, Italy? That's what they did with my train from Naples to Pompeii. (Announced the delay in Italian, I mean.)

Leeds, United...
Destination Expert
for Leeds
posts: 7,533
reviews: 130
5. Re: Avoid Alitalia airline

Thanks for the heads up but forgive me for not following your advice. Delays happen on all airlines - does this mean avoid those as well? As for the IFE, why rely on the airline? Provide your own then you can have no compaints.

Dunfermline, United...
posts: 11,756
reviews: 40
6. Re: Avoid Alitalia airline

As I was delayed 4 hours last Friday by British Airways between Gatwick and Edinburgh, should I moan as well? We didn't get many announcements but they were all in English which might have caused a problem for the Italian passengers that were waiting to board. Flight delays happen. Often.

As for your complaint that the film was in Italian and the gate staff spoke Italian, well as others have said, you were in Italy flying on an Italian airline. What did you expect?

You obviously don't fly that often. Better choose an American airline next time pal.

Bangkok
Destination Expert
for Bangkok, Air Travel, Thailand
posts: 13,833
reviews: 71
7. Re: Avoid Alitalia airline

Hi,

A laundry-list of issues here...

1) "We were kept waiting for our flight for 1:20 , no reason given. Kept standing entire time, not allowed into seating area. Then delayed again for 20 more."

>> If you weren't made aware of the reason-- or more beneficial-- some form of a reasonable best-guess departure time, then I think you have a legitimate issue.. As others have noted, it's a fair question to ask 'was the announcement made in Italian, therefore not understandable by you?"

2) "Crabby gate attendants."

>> This is one is like many of the "was rude.." comments.. Without the benefit of seeing the whole series of events, it's fair to note that a sizable percentage of such reports are in fact more accurately titled "I didn't get my way/my choice/my outcome, so s/he was rude".. Again, it's possible they were in fact rude, but barring some better clarification I *suspect* given the totality of the case you write that perhaps this was a partial case of "they didn't tell me so they're rude"

3) "Toilets on plane were dirty"

>> If they were dirty when you first boarded, then absolutely, that's an issue for Alitialia to address and I'd say that's their fault.. but.. if they were clean at the beginning, then became 'dirty' due to other passenger use, then I think it's perhaps a little unfair to blame the carrier for what is essentially other passengers lavatory practices.. Some airlines do allow/mandate crews do basic tidying, but it varies from carrier to carrier as there can be a health risk anytime you come into contact with bodily fluids like fecal matter, urine and other fluids/materials.

4) "My seat arm soiled underneath"

>> Fair complaint.. I do think you have the reasonable expectation that your seat area be clean.. I do know that carriers do basic cleaning between long-haul flights, but the area you speak of is easy to access, so I'd expect it to be wiped or otherwise cleaned before passenger boarding.

5) "Pretzels and drink handed out after 2 hours into flight, then 20 minutes later a meal came."

>> A little long on the delivery side, but I suspect that the crew started the beverage service at about the :90 mark (not unheard of) and by the time they got to you it was now :120.. So the general time-line fits.. the same would apply to the meal delivery..

6) "One flight movie at a time, in italian. No english dubbing"

>> As noted by the others, while English is the official language for aviation, when it comes to IFE and the like, I do understand and largely expect that a large percentage of what's offered will presented in the language of the carrier, the origin/destination, or their principle passenger demographic.

7) "Attendants closed off an area and went to sleep"

>> As I recall, their A332's are equipped with crew bunks located below the main deck.. and that's were all formal "off -duty" time is supposed to be taken.. but I do know that it's not uncommon for the galley area curtains to be closed when service is not being deployed and this is where crews eat as well. I'd say that if this was not their officially designated rest area-- and they were in fact sleeping, then this needs to be addressed as it's not right and detracts from the service and availability.. I suspect that there was an attendant on duty in your cabin as safety rules don't permit an entire cabin to be left unattended.. but once main meal service is over, crews do start to rotate thru their break periods..

Sounds like there were some issues that perhaps should have been better handled by Alitalia, (boarding gate announcements, seat cleanliness) and some issues that are just "as a matter of fact' (the movie selection) and few that are highly situational, subjective and usually have a passenger component involved (crabby gate agents, dirty lavatories)

Travel Safe,

Madison, Wisconsin
posts: 2
8. Re: Avoid Alitalia airline

The filight was going to Chicago. High possiblity that 'most' passengers would be english speaking. (they were) Delays happen,, just nice to know Why? I have flown over the pond 14 times and never before saw attendants hang a blanket to create a wall for sleep privacy .. what they did with the folks that were in those seats was a mystery? I urge you to fly with them and experience the sevice they provide. I have had my fill.

Oregon Coast
Destination Expert
for Crescent City, Oregon Coast, Oregon, Redwood National Park
posts: 36,728
reviews: 784
9. Re: Avoid Alitalia airline

>>Gate attendant spoke poor english<<

The nerve of him or her! How dare they not speak excellent English!

I would expect that everyone I came in contact with in Rome, Italy should be required to speak proper English . . .

*

This is yet again another excellent example of why TA does not accept reviews for airlines. A person gets mad about an airplane flight, then joins TA as soon as they get home just to post and complain about it.

Perhaps you did not have the most enjoyable flight, DenB B, but you arrived home safely didn't you?

Edited: 8:03 pm, October 06, 2011
Dallas, Texas
Destination Expert
for Boston
posts: 16,302
reviews: 60
10. Re: Avoid Alitalia airline

And the rants just keep coming.

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