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Alitalia concerns

Hi, my husband and I are flying to Italy via Alitalia at the beginning of October. With all the unrest, I'm concerned about our flights being cancelled. Anyone else have the same concerns? I've also read all the posts about lost luggage and bad service but at this point, I'm more concerned about getting there!! Does anyone know how much it is to cancel a ticket with Alitalia? Or can I get credit to use on a partner airline, like Delta?

Posted by
486 posts

We're returning on Alitalia and I wouldn't be worried if you are just taking a direct flight from NYC. After all, you might rebook on one of their American partners and find out the plane is really the same Alitalia flight!

Posted by
127 posts

"concerns about the unrest"...as the nike slogan says: just do it.

Posted by
2 posts

Thanks John - looks like you're right. Just checked a few other flights and it appears many of the partner flights are with Alitalia.

Posted by
705 posts

I generally fly with Alitalia around Italy when I visit and they have never lost my luggage but have been late leaving a few times. As far as service of ground staff and air staff goes I have never had a problem. If you are really concerned talk to your travel agent (assuming you have used one). If the flight is a code share I'm sure you'll be OK.

Posted by
49 posts

We will be traveling at the beginning of Oct. as well. I have the same concerns as you, but I'm sure everything will be ok. We are not going to be checking anything however.

Posted by
5 posts

I hadn't heard a thing about 'all the unrest', so I just Googled news about the airline. I must be living under a rock, as I did not know Alitalia is in such bad shape. We leave next Sunday for our first ever trip to Italy and I hadn't given a second thought about our flights, (I've flown domestically 15+ years and had luggage lost just once, for a halfday), and we planned to check our 2 suitcases. How concerned should we be? Anyone have any good experiences w/Alitalia? (I also just read all the bad posts)
Thanks

Posted by
1 posts

I don't know, but I am going to find out because now I'm scared to fly ALITALIA. I am flying home in two weeks, with my 16 months old son (by myself), and now I am sooooooo scared of flights being cancelled. I fly to Milan and from there to Timisoara. Wow, I wish I did some research before I booked these tickets.

Posted by
49 posts

Wow... Denise, that is bad. I hope you were able to enjoy some of Italy.

Posted by
241 posts

Usually when a major airline goes under they don't stop flying. If they do other airlines step in to fill gaps, accept passengers, operate more flights, etc. But it is a concern. I'd be more worried about the chronic problems with lost lugguge...that is, luggage that has been checked, vs carryon.

Posted by
8954 posts

But that is exactly what happened to Swiss Air and Sabena several years ago. They ran out of cash, the fuel service operators at the airports refused to fuel up the planes, and they were out of business literally overnight. Under this scenario it's unlikely another airline would honor tickets since as they probably won't get reimbursed.

Posted by
34 posts

We just went with them last month. I was worried too. Found out at the last minute what was going on. We had non-stop flights and did NOT check luggage. Service was OK - not friendly but not 'bad' and I read enough about their rep with lost luggage and lack of services to deal with it when it happens (which seems a lot) like phone #'s that are never answered. I just didn't want to spend my "vacation" dealing with that so we did carry-on's. Bottom line - financial issues - wage issues - how happy and motivated as an employee (who maybe hasn't had a raise in a while and works like a dog) be to handle luggage and deal with complaints? I just doubt the attitude - 'I may lose my job but lets make everyone happy and give 110%'.
I don't think you can cancel, my ticket was non-refundable. I think you'll be fine getting there and home. It's up to you if you want to check luggage but I wouldn't risk it. Good luck.

Posted by
49 posts

I don't think Alitalia is going to just stop running... Right now the gov't of Italy owns half of the airline and it is trying to sell it. Sounds like they are going to try to have it sold by Christmas. They are losing 2M Euro a day and the tax payers of are Italy eating that.

Like the post above said... I'd be more concerned with lost bags. Which is why we will be carryon only.

Posted by
8954 posts

That's the exact scenario that doomed Swiss Air/Sabena. Both were national carriers, the governments sold-off their shares and without the government subsidies, they couldn't compete. On the flip side when British Airways went private they thrived.

Posted by
1 posts

We just flew Alitalia (Rome to Florence) two weeks ago and I still have not received my luggage. My vacation was ruined and I am faced with having to replace everything, because my luggage is either permanently lost or stolen. My husband received his luggage after a one week delay. Florence, Italy, Airport's Lost And Found said that there are over 400 lost bags just sitting in Rome and that Rome never answers Florence's inquiries! It was (and is) the most frustrating experience as we have received no answers about my missing luggage and, in fact, the online computer report says that the luggage has been delivered! I would never fly Alitalia again, but if you have to, do not check your luggage. My new motto is to use carry-on only but, if you have to check your luggage, only pack what you can afford to lose.

Posted by
21243 posts

Steve, do you ever have any original thoughts/advice or are you just good at quoting others?

Posted by
1149 posts

You asked for recent good Al Italia experience: I flew them twice in September. First time I was able to push the limit of their 11 pound carry on restriction with no one stopping me. Next flight I did check my 21" and carried on the lighter tote. I arrived in Rome and 50 minutes later was able to pick up my bag. No one was rude, but service was minimal at best-especially if your Italian isn't brilliant. These days I count this as a good flight experience!

Posted by
1170 posts

**This question was posted 9/7/07. Why is anyone still reponding to it??? They've already had their trip and probably had babies since then........LOL!*****