Alitalia states that it will start flying from San Francisco to Rome non-stop starting June 2020. What has been your experience flying with this air carrier?
Hard to tell. Alitalia has a poor reputation in part because it has been in bankruptcy forever. However, one of our best flights was on Alitalia from New York to Rome a couple of years ago. We had booked with Delta but they code share so we had some major concerns when we showed up at the gate with an Alitalia plane sitting there. But the equipment was new, food was good, flight on time, and a very pleasant staff. At this point I would be willing to fly them again. Personally all the airlines are kind of a dice roll as to service. We always go with price and schedule with little concern for the name on the plane.
I’ve seen mixed reviews on this site. For me personally, I traveled with them regularly 10 years ago when I lived in Italy. It seemed like there were issues on every flight and the flight attendants were not very accommodating or friendly, which is a big deal for me as a nervous flyer. Even now, years later, I will choose to pay more and fly with another airline. The last straw for me was a flight from Milan to Dublin where we were put on a shuttle, driven to the plane, sat on the shuttle in 100° weather for 30 minutes, were driven back to the airport with no explanation, waited an hour, went back on the shuttle again and repeated the entire thing. No explanation in spite of many people questioning. I was at the breaking point by then with sky high anxiety and all of my attempts to ask were met with rude responses. At that moment, I decided never again.
I'm pretty low maintenance but have seen them not give a hoot customer service wise
We flew Alitalia within Italy this summer. We checked in, boarded, sat down. The plane flew. Had a snack. We landed and got off. Exactly as I expect on any flight. Let’s face it, unless you are in first class a flight is a flight. Every major carrier has folks that like it, folks that hate it. I’m not sure why people continually post questioning about experience with different carriers. They are all just a conveyance and you can expect very little other than that and, if you get more, like a smile, a good meal, a comfortable seat, well then, happy day!
Thanks for your reply, Alan. However, I posted my question since I know that some air carriers perform poorly as "a conveyance." It sounds like you are unaware that some carriers are less than reliable, don't provide refunds in a timely manner, have poor customer service, etc.
Oh I’m aware of reputations and some bargain airlines, like Ryanair, are well documented and well deserved. But I think many airlines get slammed on sites based on anecdote rather than substance. I look at on time performance, safety rating, ease of booking, associated fees-in other words things that can be documented and are widely available on line, rather than Trip Advisor and the like. I’m not an Alitalia fan boy, but if they have competitive fares (and maybe even a bargain when they begin service from SFO) I would not hesitate to fly them. Too bad we will be back from Italy by then, on United next year, Delta this year. Lots of folks who have had a less than stellar experience with those two as well. But, get me there safely, on time in a relatively comfortable airplane for a competitive price and that day you are my favorite airline! We fly a lot and I’ve had good bad and even ugly experiences on the same carrier.
Although your opinion about my question is invaluable, Alan...I am interested in hearing about experience from fellow RSE travelers regarding Alitalia. I've never flown on this air carrier, and it's currently my only option for non-stop service from SF to Rome, which I prefer.
Every airline has mixed reviews unless you are flying first class, where it seems you will enjoy the experience pretty much all the time. I have flown Alitalia and enjoyed it. My experience, since you asked, was favorable. Other airlines, not so much. My personal choice is Air France, but since they don't offer a non-stop flight to Rome, you will need to fly on another carrier.
Alitalia has a history of losing luggage, although with a nonstop flight that shouldn't be an issue.
We have flown Alitalia several times a year within Europe for several years. No problems, on time.
We had one international flight with them and service was great.
They do have good coffee ;-)
Mark you can now fly Norwegian from sfo to Rome direct also.
Thank you all for your comments.