which airline to Italy

I am somewhat confused as to what airline to fly from Pittsburgh,Pa. to Rome. I have found a fare of $1000.00 for Iberia and British Air. However, the reviews are terrible for both. Looking to go May 2014 if there are any suggestions on choosing these or any airline. Also, is this right time to book? Thanks for any suggestions!........Frank

Posted by Joel
Tempe, AZ, USA
1046 posts

Frank - If you can find a fare from Pittsburg/Rome for $1000 May 2014, buy it.

Posted by Frank
Tresana, Highlands Ranch, CO, USA
14153 posts

Truthfully I don't think there is much difference between airlines in economy class. All pretty bad. So just grab the price. If you can upgrade to some type of economy plus or comfort - do it. But a $1000 fare in May looks great.

Posted by Lee
Lakewood, Colorado
14177 posts

"However, the reviews are terrible for both." I find it difficult to believe the reviews for British Air are that bad. It's generally a "star" (4 vs 3) better than any US airline. Iberia, on the other hand, is only 3-star rated. The worst flight to Europe I've ever been on was on USAir (also 3-star). You can read the SKYTRAX ratings and comments on www.airlinequality.com.

Posted by Kim
1612 posts

I'm sure the reviews are terrible for ALL the airlines! It makes little difference. If you found the price and connection you want, buy the ticket.

Posted by Ken
Vernon, Canada
24212 posts

Frank, Another option you could consider would be to take a regional flight from Pittsburgh to either Toronto or Montreal. Air Canada has frequent flights to Rome (some direct), but unfortunately they will likely cost more than $1000. Good luck!

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
6740 posts

forget the reviews you read online. you can find good and bad reviews on any airline. just find a convenient flight (i.e. as few stops along the way as possible) at the right price and go for it.

Posted by Lola
Seattle, WA
6824 posts

I am curious where you saw such "terrible" reviews for British airways. As Lee pointed out, it is one of the higher-regarded airlines. One thing people don't like about British is that you have to pay if you want to choose your seats in advance of the 24-hour check-in time. It is $30 for a seat in Economy. But you can choose not to do that and just pick your seats at check-in. I see from that website that Asiana is rated 5 stars. I wonder if that will change after that crash landing at SFO.

Posted by Patty
Steilacoom, WA, USA
721 posts

Is your British Air flight direct or do you change planes? We've done the leg from London to/from Italy and it was fine. It was a pretty standard economy ride.

Posted by Frank
Morgantown, West Virgi, United States
12 posts

Thank you so much for help on airline choice. Might go with British Air even though I do not like fee for seats. The ticket is $50.00 more but seems like BA does not have quite as many scathing reviews. Patty, Iberia has nonstop both ways and BA has a change only on return. Rather go nonstop, but maybe better off with BA. Even though not sure, I feel better about just making a choice and moving forward.

Posted by Roberto
Fremont, CA, USA
6740 posts

AFter the 2011 merger, Iberia and British are part of the same one company, called IAG (International Airline Group). Iberia and British are therefore just brands of that company. To me the perfect airline is the one that gets me to the destination with as few stops as possible. I am ready to pay extra to avoid extra layovers. If you have the option of a non stop to your destination, even better.

Posted by David
Florence, AL, USA
3399 posts

There are really not as many direct flights into Rome from the Northeast as you would expect. Direct flights from your region are: U.S. Air with Philly connections United Airlines with Washington Dulles connections Alitalia with JFK connections American flies seasonally thru JFK connections.
You just need to go onto the following website and work the options for Pittsburg to Rome: http://matrix.itasoftware.com/

Posted by Paul
Weston, MA, USA
67 posts

However, the reviews are terrible for both. Frank, keep in mind that most people only write a review when they have a bad (real or imagined) experience. The other 99% who had a good or neutral experience usually don't bother. I've flown both BA and Iberia numerous times without a problem ................. and I never posted a positive review. ;)

Posted by Frank
Morgantown, West Virgi, United States
12 posts

Thank you Roberto, David and Paul. All that information makes it much easier to now book a flight..................Frank

Posted by craig
3 posts

I have flown British Air and the service and aircraft were excellent; I flew economy.

Posted by Brad
Gainesville, VA
8198 posts

I'd only actively avoid Alitalia, they are the worst. BA isn't bad, but they are far less comfortable than they were even ten years ago - nearly as bad as a U.S. carrier. I think the service remains good, though. I've never flown Iberia, so can't give you an opinion.