Alitalia is a full scheduled Italian airline that flies from cities in Italy to Europe, the Americas and Asia with a few destinations in North Africa. As a member of the Skyteam Alliance Alitalia codeshares with a number of major airlines
I booked the flight through Expedia.co.uk (£) a site I have often used so was familiar with how it works.
I was automatically assigned seats during booking and despite booking two passengers together was give seats in different rows. From past experience I knew I would be able to change our seats during online check-in so I was not overly concerned.
Check-in was online and opened 48 hours before flight. I have never experienced a check-in site so user unfriendly as the Alitalia website. I could not log in despite giving the information asked for – first name, surname and booking reference. It kept telling me no passenger matched the details. Eventually on the off chance and out of desperation I entered all the names on my passport. It worked. Rather than my first name it required my full name including all the bits in between and without the spaces.
That was not the end of the problem; it failed to issue my boarding pass despite selecting one of the options offered. Nothing appeared on screen, on my phone or in my email inbox. Eventually after downloading the Alitalia app it appeared and was deposited in my iPhone passbook. However my wife’s boarding pass was nowhere to be found. Eventually it appeared on her phone. Looking at the reviews of the Alitalia website and their app it would seem I am not the only one experiencing these problems.
Such an experience before even setting eyes on the aircraft did not bode well for my forthcoming trip with the airline.
However, things improved dramatically at the airport. Bag drop was a breeze with the small queue dealt with efficiently and quickly.
Although the flight was full boarding was done efficiently and on time. I was amazed how the cabin crew were able to find space where there didn’t seem to be any for the numerous cabin bags brought on to the aircraft.
The Airbus A320 was either a recent acquisition or had a recently refurbished interior. The dark blue and red seats were classy and comfortable with more legroom than I expected. Whether this was down to seat design or simply not putting in as many rows I am uncertain. It did however, make the flight to Rome just a touch more comfortable.
Breakfast was served soon after take-off and consisted of a brioche, coffee and orange juice; a typical Italian breakfast. Alitalia being an Italian airline meant that the coffee was better than most on airlines I have travelled. The brioche, although tasty, was on the dry side.
The cabin crew were very helpful and provided a good level of service with a genuine smile. There were no announcements beyond those for safety and information purposes. This something I always appreciate as you can work or relax uninterrupted once the meal has been served.
This Alitalia flight was nothing out of the ordinary (with the exception of the coffee) but pleasant nonetheless. However, the first impression during check-in was terrible. The whole process was very user unfriendly and had me wondering whether I had made a big mistake. Overall though the experience was satisfactory.
Score 6.5 out of 10
Link: Alitalia (£)