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from Rome to Madrid

We are reluctant to fly with Iberia or Alitalia airlines.
We will be flying from nyc on Air France to Paris.
We want to visit Paris , Rome and Madrid.
It seems we would have to fly back to Paris between each flight unless we fly Iberai and Alitlia and I do not think they are a first rate airlines.
Any suggestions on the best itinerary? Even if we use Swiss or Lufthansa within Europe.

Posted by
2284 posts

Iberia or Alitalia are fine, honestly. Especially for the short flight between European cities. If you refuse to use them then I assume budget airlines like easy jet or Ryanair are also out. If not, those are options.

Perhaps one leg would be better on train - these cities are spread out so the trains will take a long time but so will a layover. Paris to Madrid is like 10 hours...but factor in getting to the airport early, flight, layover, flight, and getting into town...it might be similar time spent. Especially if you are cautious on short layovers for fear of missing your flight, like I am.

Posted by
13 posts

Yes we do not fly the low cost airlines and Iberia and Alitalia we have flown and they are very inconvenient and unreliable. We had to pick up our luggage at one counter and take it to another Iberia counters to be weighed. They are not decades behind .

I guess the only way as like you say the train duration would be over 10 hours. I guess the only way is to go back to Paris or another major city for a flight to Rome and then back again to a major city for a flight to Madrid.

Posted by
1514 posts

Then go with Swiss air to Madrid and become a less frustrated traveler

Posted by
593 posts

Flew Iberia from Barcelona to Rome. Very good airline. Much simpler and faster direct.

Posted by
5624 posts

We fly Alitalia several times a year and have for many years, never had any problems. I don’t understand your reluctance to fly with them at all. Frustration would be taking a train all that way.

Posted by
13 posts

We would not be taking a train but perhaps fly into another major city with the top rated airlines.
The check in , the Alitalia bus to the plane and deplane are like low cost airlines

Posted by
13 posts

Alitalia is often bankrupt; often on strike and many cancellations. That is a concern when we have an itinerary to connect

Posted by
2284 posts

I get that there are frustrations with low cost airlines but is trading those frustrations for longer flights and layovers worth it? I would rather put up with uncomfortable flights for an hour or two vs spending 8 hours in transit on “better” flights. But that’s a judgement call, just be sure to think it through.

Also almost all flights at some airports do the bus to plane transfer. I did it on Air Canada last year from Rome, for example.

Finally, have you been to Rome or Spain before? These are two of my favorite places but they do come with a bit more...chaos or logistical frustration than say, Switzerland! Rome moreso than Madrid.

Posted by
13 posts

No we would not do 8 hour layovers intentionally. . I have been to Rome and other Italian cities many times. I have been to MadridSpain traveling there in 1969 when it was quite non Western and to Barcelona, Valencia, Murcia, Granada, Palma Majorca.

We now in our señior years require luxury flights, trains and hotels which we worked for all of our lives and perhaps the best thing regarding this itinerary is to add Rome or Madrid to another trip and just visit one of these cities since travel between them would not be to our satisfaction.
Train travel on the luxe bullit trains as in China is the best between cities.

Posted by
5 posts

How about chartering a small private jet for at least one or two of the legs? I don't suggest that to make fun, I'm quite serious. You want luxury air travel, without delays, inconvenience or layovers, and it sounds like you can afford it. It's expensive, yes, but you don't need to be a billionaire to hire one for a short flight -- owning it yourself is another matter!

Posted by
13 posts

yes it is a possibility and always concerning in Europe as they have specific Time slots. We would use our uSA charter to make the arrangements to check out planes and safety.
Thank you for that suggestion.

Posted by
13 posts

With reading reviews about Alitalia delayed or canceled flights, it may actually be. more efficient to fly on Air France through Paris to go to Rome and Madrid. According to the reviews on Consumer affairs the delays were often 6 hours or l longer. It is just a shame that wonderful countries such as Italy and Spain do not have a first rate airline/

Posted by
6118 posts

Paris to Madrid is not 10 hours. it is 2.5 hour flight.

The reference to 10 hrs was by train, not air.

but perhaps fly into another major city with the top rated airlines

Please advise what you consider top rate airlines

Posted by
13 posts

none of the low cost carriers except Jet blue. We do feel comfortable flying Jet blue. They are efficient and rated safe.
Iberia air has terrible safety rates according to Consumer affairs
Alitalia has frequent bankruptcy, delayed or canceled flights.
We prefer Luthansa, Air France, Swiss, Turkish, Emirates, BA, and several of the Asian airlines
We love to visit Spain and wish they had a better high speed train service within Spain between Bilbao and Madrid or Madrid to many other cities within the country.

Posted by
593 posts

Avoid the frustration. Call a travel agent, give them your conditions and let them do the work.

Posted by
13 posts

We are frequent travelers and we have used travel agents and often we have more information than they do.
And recently our travel agents will not book with air miles. They claim it is too time consuming checking dates a year in advance and being told they are unavailable.
Our disappointment after accruing many air miles with United when we try to redeem them on a partner airlines group, United refused to allow first class on their partner airlines who have first class wide open and only allow business class.