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We flew from San Antonio, Texas to Cairo and Alitalia was our last airline. Our luggage did not not arrive with us in Cairo. It arrived there day after but they did not deliver it right away to the hotel where we're at. Since we were in the Holy Land Pilgrimage we have to move on to another place so we advise the Airline to send it back to the original airport in San Antonio, Texas, USA. They had a message that the luggages will be sent back to Chicago O'Hare.
We arrived here in San Antonio, Texas, USA 5/26/2018 and our 2 original luggages were not here at the airport. Their world tracking doesn't have an update of the whereabouts of our bags and some of the people that answer the phone on their Lost and found are not very helpful and keep saying JUST WAIT. Until when are we going to wait. Our bags had both addresses, email and telephone numbers. Why can they use those too. VERY FRUSTRATING!!! THE CONTENTS OF OUR LUGGAGES ARE VERY VALUABLE TO US. All what we wanted is to return the bags **. We are pretty sure the bags are there in Chicago lost and found.
This airline absolutely sucks. This airline has the most deceptive baggage policy in the world. We booked our tickets through Kayak and *WERE NOT* informed of the baggage policies beyond the usual thing. When we traveled from Palermo to Naples, we were allowed to check one bag and carry on a bag with no additional fees. However, the problem began on our flight from Naples to Rome. We could have easily taken the train. However, we decided to take the plane. Unfortunately, when we went to check our bags, we were informed our checked bags were each over 8 kg. They charged us 53 Euros per bag to check them... Yes!!! 53 Euros per bag. This is for a 45 minute flight! In what universe is that a reasonable bag fee.
The ticket agent gave us a lot of crap and a lot of misleading information about what our options were. Very deceptive business practices. According to their company policies, we were charged the wrong excess baggage fee... but they won't even refund that and charge us the right fee. I won't even go into the long lines to check in, the constantly changing flight information, the barrage of useless emails, and a customer service department that is anything but... DO NOT FLY THIS AIRLINE. I repeat "DO NOT FLY THIS AIRLINE". They are scamming you with bags and trying to introduce all sorts of hidden fees. Take the train for much less money, no baggage restrictions, etc. This airline is the worst I have ever encountered.
I flew Alitalia airline and even the service on the plane from Milan to Brindisi service was poor. I had to discuss with the airline staff why I needed to wear specific headphones to block out the pressure. Then we got to Brindisi and they had lost my luggage. Since then trying to get the luggage back has proved to be a nightmare. Several phone call (phone numbers that aren’t answered) and emails that don’t seem to arrive to the company’s inbox. Having also since been patronised by their member of staff as I was explaining the need for the medication in the bag. Horrendous service. Reminded me why I would never fly using them again.
We all know these types of aircrafts are small seating. So first of all it was an extremely uncomfortable 10 hour flight. However, I will never fly this airline again for TWO ridiculous reasons: First, my purse fell out of my backpack onto the floor near my seat. I realized this as I was going to my next flight to Florence and notified Alitalia immediately (maybe 15 minutes after I got off the plane). No one took me seriously.
Finally, security told me someone found my purse (they explained it and confirmed my identification), and they would walk it down to me before my next flight. Well, that was a LIE. No one cared and no one came. I was without my government documents AND BANK CARDS for my ENTIRE TWO WEEK TRIP. On top of this, the ONLY reason why anyone would speak to me is because my cousin who lives in Bari explained the situation.
Then, it took me 10 days for them to even tell me where my purse was (when I flew back to Rome), went to the police station in the airport, went through HELL to get my purse and when I finally did, it was clear they rummaged through it. That would have been fine if they didn't take my things! Come to find out, one of the employees STOLE my bank cards, license and government documents. I have tried to speak to several people and have gotten nowhere. They JUST DO NOT CARE. It's been 6 MONTHS now... NO WORD, NO CALL, NO EMAIL NO CONSIDERATION.
Lastly, I informed the airline MONTHS in advance that my fiance is a type 1 diabetic. For those of you that don't know, type 1 is hereditary and he was born with it... No diet can help. I explained to them that he must eat a low carb/sugar meal. What did they give him ON ALL 3 FLIGHTS? BREAD, BREAD, BREAD AND MORE BREAD, AND HIGH SUGAR FRUIT. My meal was LESS sugar filled than his was. So his sugar was all over the place every time (because obviously he needed to eat regardless). There's NO EXCUSE for all of these issues, especially for the amount of money we paid for these flights. Just a total lack of consideration from Alitalia and its staff. Don't ever think anyone there will help you.
The worst airport service and airline that I have ever been to and I travel a lot so I have been to many airports. Our flight was at 10 am and we were standing in line to check in at 8 am. We were in the family line because of baby. There were just 2 families before us. The women at the counter literally took 1 hour to check them in. It was 9 am by the time we got to the counter, now it was a different lady helping us. She didn't know what she was doing. It was 9 30 and we were still waiting. I checked the screen and it showed the flight was boarding. I told her the flight was boarding and she said it wasn't and we didn't have to worry about it. Then the manager walks in and tells us, flight is closed and he especially has the flight waiting for us. We told him we have been standing here for hour and a half and these people are not able to check us in.
The lady at the counter lied to our faces and said we came late. So finally we check in, and he tells us that we need to run to the gate otherwise they will close the gate and if we miss the flight it is not their responsibility. We started arguing that it's their fault we are late but he rude, arrogant and ignorant and started yelling at us that we should come to the airport early. We had to go get our vats money back and he told us we have to choose, either catch the flight or get the vats back.
Just to add this is happening with us carrying a 1 yr old, stroller and 2 bags. We run to the security check, and to the gate. We were being rushed. When we got to the gate we realized we forgot the stroller at security check. We told the staff at the gate that we forgot our stroller and if we could run and get it. The staff at the counter started screaming that it's not their responsibility and either we go get the stroller or miss the flight, we had to choose one and if we miss the flight then it's not their responsibility. On top of all this we requested a vegetarian meal which we did not get. Also we requested a bassinet which they did not give us. I had to carry a 1 yr old on my lap in a 13-hour flight. Overall worst flight experience. I would recommend everyone to not waste your money on Alitalia.
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My brother flew in JFK on 1/7/2018 from Athens with a stop in Rome. Alitalia lost his bag and is not helping us recover it. Their lost and found phone is almost constantly "unavailable" and then they gave his bag to "Bex Delivery" who has not delivered it for 3 days and is also never picking up the phone. It is really hard to explain how angry I am with their level of incompetence and lack of care for their customers. I even resorted to complaining on social media and I was promptly ignored. I would encourage anyone reading this to choose another airline. Even if you spend a little bit extra money, your mental health definitely worth more than that.
If I could leave 0 stars on this review, I would. We had a delayed flight from Rome to Belgrade. It was delayed due to the weather. Understood. However, the staff was not only unorganized but also extremely rude for no reason. We were put on another flight which left a few hours later... staff sent us from desk to desk, all across the airport, just to find someone to provide us with a voucher for a sandwich!
I mean, no one, not a single staff member could direct us... we wasted a few hours at that airport when we could have stowed our things in a locker and went to see the city for a couple of hours. Instead, we were misinformed not once, not twice, not three times, but probably 5 or six times by different staff, unable to write us a simple voucher for food. Staff was extremely rude and incompetent. Complete waste of time and money. Never flying with them again.
I have traveled by Alitalia a few times. Today I accompanied my son to the airport, usually he has a small carry-on luggage and a personal bag but this time we were stopped by the staff who was weighting the carry-on luggage. Previously we (my husband, my son and me) have never had any problems about the carry-on bags and if there is a new rule I was not aware, even though last year and this year I travelled with Alitalia to London and New York. The staff (no name of staff shown on jacket) was very rude because my son had 1 kilo of excess. I tried to ask him about the solution but he was just rude sending us back twice while he was tapping on others shoulders saying "é un amico" and let them pass.
When I took out my iphone for my personal use, he yelled at me that he was going to call the police because I was taking his picture or making video. What nonsense! Then he called his supervisor to talk to me. I really don't understand what was all this show about. He also insulted me saying "mo parla inglese", really I'm not Italian. I just wanted to ask him about the solution of the excess carry-on luggage. I really did not expect this kind of customer service as frankly saying I enjoy traveling with Alitalia.
Paid for upgraded seats from economy to premium economy. On trip to Rome and return trip the upgrade wasn't recognized, they put us in regular seats. When I requested a refund for the upgraded seats they refused. They were rude like I have never heard in my life! Don't use this airline!
In January I booked a flight from Winnipeg, Manitoba to Rome, Italy through Travelocity (Never ever use these guys). In February I was printing my itinerary and other reservations. I found out that Alitalia changed the Toronto to Rome portion to leave Toronto the day BEFORE I arrived from Winnipeg. After 6 hours on the phone with Travelocity (never ever use these guys) I got an email saying the trip was canceled and I would get a full refund. This was February 18th. After months of messages back and forth and a flurry of lies from Travelocity (never ever use these guys) I have still not received my refund. $2000.00.
They finally gave me a contact for Alitalia so I could talk to them direct. After several emails and only automated response I have still not received the refund they promised. There is no way to talk to anyone there. I would like to see them lose their right to land in Canada if all they are going to do is rip Canadians off knowing there is little we can do. Come on Transport Canada. Do the right thing. Does anyone know of any legal steps I can take against these jerks?
I was attending my sister's wedding in Belgrade Serbia. My flight was from JFK to Rome, and then a final destination in Belgrade, all Alitalia flights. This was my first and last flight with them. The ride was subpar, but not the biggest issue. The big issue was that once I arrived in Belgrade my luggage was nowhere to be found. Apparently it got lost in Rome but no one can tell me where it is. It's since been over 48 hours and nothing. I called several different customer service numbers, all which were useless. The best they could do was give me a tracking number (PIR) that doesn't track anything!!! All it says is this: TRACING CONTINUES. PLEASE CHECK BACK LATER. What does that even mean. Now I have to buy an all new suit and everything for the incompetence of the airline. I would seriously avoid this airline.
Horrible airline. Check in at JFK was the worst due to chaos and unorganization. We printed boarding passes online, went to the checkpoint, waited in line for over 30 minutes only to be told that Alitalia requires their own boarding passes. Had to go back to Alitalia counter to be re-ticketed by a inattentive agent. This is BS. Upgraded to Business class, complete waste of money. Little to No service, no alcohol offered, no ice, warm soda, horrible food, attendants were RUDE, ABRASIVE, AND ARROGANT at best. One side of the plane was offered wine and water and the other side received NO SERVICE AT All.
To make matters worse our luggage was lost. Attendants should be retrained in service, and not spend so much time yelling at passengers for using the wrong BATHROOM. Heard they went on strike, for what? They don't do their job at all. If I was the corporation, I would let them all go and rehire people who have a passion for doing their job.
We had to wait for the supervisor from the Alitalia because we didn't have a special assistance for our son - 14 years old to fly from Malaga to Rome. The supervisor didn't want to help us and said he is not going to fly. She either didn't want to be cooperative with her colleague from the call service where we had to ask for help. She is rude and didn't want to introduce herself. Her name is Laura - Italian background, and we had to ask the police for help because the employee from Alitalia didn't want to help us... What a shame that people which are not able to work with customers are pretending that they are working! We decided to go public, because everybody has to know that the Supervisor from Alitalia in the airport of Malaga is extremely impolite and rude person!
In 16/12/2015 during a business trip to Milano, my bag didn't arrive to Malpensa airport. Several promises from the staff ended to none. They responded to me with refund reference after the stipulated period in Alitalia policy. I showed bills for expenses afforded, medicine needed and documents for important business meeting for 3 days in first class hotel in Milan. After 45 days Alitalia offered 600 Euros against true bills. I claimed less than 10 times their amount for the pain, sufferance and expenses. They never replied back despite my several calls and emails. I consider this as a kind of discrimination because if I were a European or American they would had been coming to refund or at least a compromise by reply to my calls & emails. I would advise all the third world people NOT TO USE THIS REALLY BAD AIRLINE.
On 3 different occasions I was not able to purchase tickets through Alitalia website. Not functioning. When called customer service, I was kept on hold for 30 mins, then call was dropped. I called again, on hold for 40 mins. charges occurred from calling customer service. Then customer service wasn't able to complete due to internet failure. Extremely poor service.
I booked tickets for family members with a return flight out of JFK on 3/14/17. As r airline it turns out a few days before the flight there was a blizzard warning announced for 3/14 in New York. I immediately called Alitalia requesting to change the flight to a sooner date but was notified that I will have to pay a $300 penalty plus the change in airfare. I tried again a day before the flight after every other airline had announced that they cancelled flights for 3/14 and they still didn't have it in their system! I was told that at this point even if I paid the penalty I most likely could not book 2 seats before the storm hit as everyone already switched off the flights from 3/14.
I believe Alitalia was fully aware of the flight cancellation days ago. They simply extorted money from passengers by not formally canceling the flight, thus requiring them to pay the penalty. To top it all off, after finally receiving an email notification from Alitalia that the flight was cancelled, I called to reschedule. When I spoke to the rep she told me that the cancellation was NOT YET IN THEIR SYSTEM!!! Can someone please explain to me how a major airline can function in 2017 without having entered the new millennium???
In many occasions I have struggles to purchase a ticket on the Alitalia website following the receipt of a promotion via email while it is practically impossible to purchase a ticket. Shouldn't Alitalia first repair all the malfunctions of their booking engine prior to send promotions that are impossible to book online? Do not expect a reply from Alitalia as unfortunately well known the infamous customer through past years. I have sent many messages of complaint or request for assistance but all remained unsolved and unanswered if not by an automatic no-reply message... It is a very annoying experience and what is worse is that the Airline keeps investing in the look and style of their website and staff uniforms while should seriously look into its functionality and training of their staff at customer service. Simply do not fly Alitalia if you can avoid to do so.
Updated on 03/31/2017: Purchased 3 tickets online which took me several days and I'm seriously not joking. I insisted until I could finally finish the purchase transaction online being this the only airline at the moment that flies into Pescara airport via Milan... Guess what? Part of the journey or the entire routing has been cancelled and at today's date I still do not know if and when I will be able to use the 3 tickets I have purchased for 1 trip in April and 2 in May.
Tomorrow is Saturday and while the local Alitalia office is closed I will have to call office in Rome from the Netherlands hoping to get a full refund or to be reprotected in another acceptable flight. This is no news and it's not happening to me now but it's an old story with an Airline that for decades has been saved from going bankrupt. The worse is the rudeness and arrogance of many of the flight attendants and the customer service receptionist that are covering the job thanks, most probably, to a favour received by a friend of a friend connected to some manager in the airline business. Another bad experience reason for me to stop flying Ah! L'Italia.
Terrible airline. Planes are old and seats are narrow. Worst-- staff is incredibly rude. I cannot imagine they will remain in business long given their apparent complete lack of focus on the customer experience.
Alitalia's Millemiglia program is a joke. You cannot book a ticket with award miles at all. I tried last year and again today. My dates are very flexible and they don't seem to have any available. I asked for any date in April, May, June, I even made him check September and the customer rep could not find one. He went thru each date one by one because their system only allows them to put in each date instead of looking at what's available within a range. The worst system and the biggest gimmick ever. Then I ask rep if I can speak to a manager and he tells me "for what?" The worst customer service and this is a ** program just to get people to fly with them.
This airline sucks. Their customer service was not helpful. I bought a ticket from them for overseas through CheapOair and got confirmation email and later text messages and emails alerting me to the flight and confirming it but when we went to airport they could not find the first reservation for the flight to NYC and I end up missing the flight from NYC to Rome. When I called back they said it was airport fault because in their system they could see everything was fine!!! Spent more than 2 hours on phone with no results. Do NOT use them.
I believe my review is slightly different than the rest. My problem with Alitalia started back in the end of October where I purchased online a ticket from FCO to CAI. Although I paid the amount advertised which was on a special offer, I NEVER received confirmation nor my flight ticket. From there on, my ordeal started and is still ongoing. It has been 2 months already that I cannot get my refund nor a clarification whether I am on the flight I booked or not. After NUMEROUS calls to the customer service and waiting time around 15' each call, the only answer I am getting is that the airlines system is down and the soonest it is fixed they will deal with my issue as I am on a queue of around 3000 passengers. Unbelievable and simply ridiculous!!!
Besides having to spent so much time on the phone and only receiving apologies for the inconvenience and NO SOLUTION, I had to contact the department via email too, and the only answer I have received is that there's nothing they can do for my problem and the only way to solve it is by phone. Well, this is not a workable solution either! I have spent around €300 for a flight which I don't even know if I am in, no information provided, nor explanation or confirmation that I will be refunded. I am beyond frustrated at the moment as there seems to not be a solution and for such an enterprise, someone would expect some kind of customer service to say the least!
I flew with Alitalia from TLV (Israel to Brasil). Once I arrived to Brasil I was told that my luggage is still in Rome and I will receive it the very next day. The next day I called several times to try to understand about my luggage and been transferred many times to other departments. Staff are totally unfriendly, service is awful. Nobody knows nothing about my luggage. I'm staying in Brasil for one month and I don't have anything to wear. My ticket number is **. File reference is **. Flight az807. I will never ever fly with Alitalia nor to Italy. This airlines is very, very bad. I will sue this airline. I will also cancel my returning ticket. People be aware of this awful airlines. They have no idea about customer service. Very awful. MY RATING TO THIS AIRLINES IS BELOW ZERO.
September 3rd, 2016. From Heathrow to Rome there was an hour delay. We missed our connection and had to stay overnight in a hotel in Rome. Next morning we had to re-arrange our taxi (that had been waiting for our arrival the night before). When we got to the airport my sister's case arrived but not mine. There followed 5 days of the worst stress. My sister then had to leave after having a horrible stay. The airport and couriers did not communicate, only when the italian owner of the apartment phoned did they inform him the case had been found in Rome.
I waited all day for it and no one came. Again the Italian owner phoned them, the courier had crashed on his journey. Why did they not phone us??? When my case did arrive, my camera was missing. My telephone charger was also in the case so I did not have a mobile phone until I went to the Police and they helped me. Since being back I have not got any help from Air Alitalia to resolve this issue. What shall I do next? NEVER EVER FLY WITH THEM AGAIN.
Over the past 40 years I had the opportunity to fly on Alitalia 4-5 times and was pleased with the food and service. Those days are long gone. Just did a R/T LAX to Rome to Casablanca. I must say that these were probably the worst flights I've ever been on. Why? Well let me tell you. I can't believe how narrow the aisles in coach were. I had to turn sideways so as not to bang every person I passed. The seats in my section (row 32 going and row 34 returning) were placed so closely together that I could not open my tray table.. It rested in my stomach. I looked around and saw that this was pretty common on the outer rows. The cup holder on my seat had been broken off. When I mentioned this to the steward, he said he'd report it.
The Food was close to inedible. I ate the fruit, buttered the bun, but the pasta going both ways was so overcooked that it crackled when you took a bite. I did take a bite and then spit out into my napkin. The snack was a dry bun, 2 pieces of ham and cheese and was the best thing they fed us... I was able to get it down by eating it open face. The flights were 11 hrs going and 12 hours coming back. After the crew rushed thru the drink/food service, they disappeared and only came thru the coach 1 time with water/cokes. Only Once in a long flight!!!!! Can you believe that?
My next door neighbor could not get any sound from the entertainment equipment. I was lucky as mine worked, however, it was a real pain to try and navigate the controller. The music was on the shortest loop I've ever experienced.... 8-10 selection only before it looped around. Talk about cheapo... No hard liquor was served in coach and when I asked for white wine, they served me about 4 oz... and they never came back for a refill. The flight left Casablanca at 0300. Who ever thought up a flight schedule like that? But some of the food service vendors were open once we cleared customs. Overall, these flights were so bad that we told our travel agent to NEVER book us on any Alitalia flight again. Please think twice about flying Alitalia.
My fiancee and I traveled on June 16th on Alitalia, flight AZ0631 from Miami to Rome, Italy (non-stop). When we arrived in Rome, we went directly to our hotel and opened our bags to unpack and were unpleasantly surprised when my suitcase appeared to be ransacked. As I further investigated, I noted that my wooden shoe trees were present, however, my two pairs of Salvatore Ferragamo shoes were missing (styles Diego and Magnifico Bit Loafers). We promptly called the airlines who told us we should report this issue ASAP to the Rome police department and get the proper documentation, which we did as instructed. On the 9th day (due to a 7 day cruise) we reported this incident by email (which is what we were instructed to do) along with pictures of my suitcase and police report from Rome. Not long after I reported this incidence, I was told that Alitalia is denying any compensation because we missed the 7 day reporting window.
My Alitalia flight #757 was supposed to depart from Tehran Iran for Rome at 3:45 AM on August 28. After several vague announcements about flight delay due to technical difficulties, we were finally informed at 6:00 AM that the airport ground crew had discovered a hole in one the aircraft's wings! The airplane was not permitted to take off until the necessary repairs were complete which would take several hours. Finally, we got on board and left Tehran airport at around 4:45 PM (13 hours later). By then, majority of the passengers, including myself had already missed our connecting flights to our final destinations.
When we arrived at Rome at 7:30 PM local time, we were taken to an Alitalia transferred desk so the airline staff can rebook our flights for the next day. The airline agent who handled my rebooking, changed my original flight from Rome to Baltimore via Atlanta to a flight from Rome to Baltimore with a two hour layover at JFK airport. He also told me that my luggage was checked in all the way to Baltimore where I could pick them up (which turned out to be wrong!)
In the meantime, we were told that we would be provided with overnight lodging at San Giorgio Hotel in the city of Civitavecchia (about an hour away from the airport) and every passenger would receive a travel kit including personal items such as toothbrush and toothpaste, and a change of shirt (again, wrong!). When we asked if there were any other hotels near the airport, they said no. Later, I googled hotels around Rome airport, and found several hotels right next to the airport, including Hilton and Hampton Inn.
We were told to wait in a passenger "lounge" for our hotel transportation. At 9:30 PM after a two hour wait, we finally got on the bus destined to San Giorgio Hotel where we thought was the hotel we would be staying for the night. We arrived at the hotel at 10:30 PM and were offered a late dinner consisting of what appeared to be leftovers from lunch. After dinner we returned to the front desk, where we were told by the front desk staff that the hotel was booked! They scattered all the passengers (about 50 men, women, and children) to various motels and inns throughout the city which all turned out to be substandard 3rd and 4th rate motels with unacceptable conditions.
For example, my hotel room had moldy walls, terribly worn out bath towels, and a crappy AC unit that took almost two hours to bring the room temperature down to a comfortable level. The flight from Rome to JFK was no picnic. Rude and inattentive flight attendants almost refusing to speak English to me (on a U.S. bound flight!) and malfunctioning entertainment system. I had to sit and watch other passengers enjoy watching movies on their consoles for 7 hours.
After arriving at JFK and going through U.S. Customs, I was told by the Customs agent that I must claim by bags at the baggage claim and recheck them at the American Airline check-in desk for my next flight to Baltimore, contrary to what the Alitalia agent had told me when he was rebooking my flight at Rome airport. Only one of my two checked bags showed up at the baggage claims carousel. Not wanting to miss my next flight, I grabbed my one bag and handed it in at the transfer desk. It turned out my next flight was in a different terminal at JFK, so I had to take the air-train to the AA check-in desk. By then I was already too late to catch my flight to Baltimore.I had to purchase a new ticket for another flight from JFK to Washington Reagan National airport because AA has only one daily flight from JFK to Baltimore. After arriving at Reagan National, I went straight to BWI airport to claim my one bag, only to find out that it didn't make the flight from JFK due to short layover.
My luggage was finally delivered to my house 4 days later. I would not fly with Alitalia again even if they paid me!
I had an hour long transit at Rome today as part of my flight and felt absolutely disgusted at the welcome I received as a Muslim woman who wears a hijab (headscarf). So I walk through security and the alarm does NOT go off, but I still get asked to do a check underneath my hijab (which I understand somehow).
However when I walked into the room for what I thought was a quick peek underneath my hijab, I got a full body check as well as a swab test for explosives. Which tested positive. The woman then did many more checks and asked me to follow her to various other stations for her to try again and again and again. Not only did she not explain to me what was going on, but she also wasted 30 minutes of my time, before the test magically appeared negative (which she then needed to check a few more times). This then lead to me rushing to my check in, which luckily was delayed. But seriously... never flying with Alitalia again. And I advice all other muslims to avoid them as well. So pathetic.
They added a charge of $833.99 to my credit card 5 months after I paid for my ticket. Day before my return trip home they fraudulently charged my credit card for a seat upgrade that wasn't mine. I called and emailed but no one could help me. Had to cancel my credit card. Check in over 1 HR in line. Everyone at airline rude and angry. Food terrible. No Wifi on plane. 90 minutes late takeoff, 2 hrs late landing. They just do what they please with no regard for customers, including stealing. DO NOT FLY ALITALIA. Even if it means staying out of Italy.
Our problems with Alitalia were rather small, compared with other war stories, but I report them as they seem to be quite typical for Alitalia. We went from Vienna to Palermo May 16, 2016. We were booked by a travel agent on a flight Vienna-Roma by Air Berlin and Roma to Palermo by Alitalia. The assignment of seats was changed in Roma because Alitalia probably used a larger airplane than expected. My wife’s seat number was changed at the gate without any comment. My seat number remained unchanged, but another passenger was already correctly sitting at the seat which had been assigned to me, so it took some time until they found a seat for me.
When we arrived in Palermo I recognized that my expensive Rimowa suitcase had only 3 wheels, thus one of the carriers damaged and lost a wheel of the bag. We were told to contact the “Lost & Found” counter where also other travelers appeared and a rather bureaucratic process started. After receiving a “documentation” I was told that I have to transmit this document to Alitalia within 7 days by FAX(!). Obviously, a very customer-unfriendly policy.
In Palermo it is almost impossible to find a mail drop for the regular post system, even more difficult to find a fax machine which is, of course, a totally outdated way of communication also in Italy. Our hotel in Palermo could not provide a fax machine. After traveling to the Lipari Islands, our hotel in Lipari sent a fax to Alitalia within the 7-day limit imposed by Alitalia, which they said it went through. However, the fax machine did not provide a confirmation. After missing any reaction from Alitalia for several weeks I found an email address, firstname.lastname@example.org, and sent them again the documents, referring to my earlier fax, and a few pictures describing the damage. Surprisingly a formally friendly reaction from Alitalia arrived a few days later:
“As an initial matter, we sincerely apologize for the inconvenience you experienced when traveling on Alitalia from FCO to PMO on flight AZ 1785 on May 16, 2016. We can fully understand your disappointment when your luggage did not arrive as expected. Please know Alitalia is committed to continuously work on improving our baggage handling procedures in order to minimize these occurrences. Alitalia settles baggage claims in accordance with the provisions and limitations set in Montreal Convention of 1999. Passengers seeking compensation for damages to their luggages must report the damage to the carrier within 7 days. This information is disclosed at our airport baggage offices and is published on our website www.alitalia.com.
"Our records indicate that your luggage was damaged on May 16, 2016 and you wrote to Alitalia on June 10, 2016 which is over the 7-day limit. Consequently we regret to advise that we must respectfully deny compensation. In the case you have sent the claim within 7 days to Alitalia, please provide within 5 days to our e-mail address customer.relationsAT@alitalia.it the following documentation: The original receipt you have received when you have faxed the claim (as we need the exact date on which you have sent the claim to our department).”
I did as suggested, described the situation, mentioned the date of the fax, named the hotel as witness but never obtained an answer from Alitalia. Finally I decided to contact my credit card company which offers some type of travel insurance. The credit company had outsourced the handling of claims to an insurance company. After requesting some additional information they paid compensation, based on the time value of the bag (which was about 1/3 of the original price).
I really hope that insurance companies stake out claims to the carriers in cases like this. As many other complaints on this site describe: Alitalia is unserious and tries to avoid liabilities with tricky rules and behavior. BTW, when returning from Catania to Milano the plane was late and we almost missed the connecting flight to Vienna. Thus, whenever possible I will try to avoid flying with Alitalia.
Flying from the UK to Japan isn't the easiest of trips however going via Rome with a 10 month old baby girl is very challenging and Alitalia were absolutely awful, leaving my child clearly distressed by the time we arrived. I am still extremely angry with Alitalia. The polite but not so helpful air steward said that never before has he seen a toddler not be allocated a seat with extra leg space, even though we requested this 7 months previously. He said that probably another passenger bought the seats. He then said someone will speak with us on arrival to ensure that we get better seats on return, but this did not happen. From a customer services/experience perspective having a passenger with a 10 month baby on their lap for 19 hour flight is absolutely unacceptable. And we did not even have an apology. I will never, ever fly with this company ever again and I vigorous encourage others (especially with children) to seek another operator.
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