Your Opinion on Alitalia

Discussion in 'General Discussion | Travel' started by UA191, Jan 12, 2012.  |  Print Topic

  1. UA191

    UA191 Silver Member

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    Hi MP Community!
    Next week, I'll be meeting with AZ's North America Brand/Sales Manager, because he's interested in getting some insite on how frequent flyers view Alitalia's brand.

    Since I don't often fly to Europe & don't have the best knowledge on the brands of other European airlines, I wanted to ask the experts for your input...

    How do you view Alitalia brand?
    Is there something in particular they could do to improve?

    Thanks in advance for any input!
     
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  2. MSPeconomist
    Original Member

    MSPeconomist Gold Member

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    As a USA based longterm NW and now DL top tier elite, I view AZ very negatively. Their strikes and other Italian labor problems make me reluctant to use this carrier or indeed to fly through Italy at all unless absolutely necessary. I have never had a good customer service experience involving AZ, going back at least to their doomed early partnership with KLM. Firing most of their employees would be a good start. They also need to improve their business class hard and soft product, including food and lounges. Having a real business class within Italy might make me consider flying instead of driving. I'm sorry to be so negative but you did ask for opinions.
     
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  3. Sweet Willie
    Original Member

    Sweet Willie Gold Member

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    calling Gargoyle !!
     
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  4. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    you really want to know? :eek: ask gargoyle for the masking tape pictures.......

    suggesting that firing most of their employees is ridiculous. Its easy for some to call for others to lose their livelihoods when they have tenure at some university. AZ just needs to refresh their cabins and repair their fleet. But knowing the economic woes their suffering, there is no easy solution to their North American image.

    One thing I notice is they do not advertise as aggressively as other euro carriers.

    Lastly, they could also work with FCO and other airports to help create a better environment there. I absolutely LOATHE transiting FCO. Not well organized, understaffed etc.
     
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  5. rwoman
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    rwoman Gold Member

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    I've only used them intra-Europe, but based on this I would not fly them TATL unless the alternative was bad. I do not care for their lounges, service inflight and on the ground is mediocre, and SkyPriority does not seem to exist. Their system also has never recognised my DL status.
     
  6. Lufthansa Flyer
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    Lufthansa Flyer Gold Member

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    Its about systems and consistency isn't it........ :)
     
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  7. rwoman
    Original Member

    rwoman Gold Member

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    While there are the seat assignment issues between DL and AF/KL, other things do work. I have received opup's twice, the DM line had made changes to tix booked on AF, etc.

    It is not seamless, but DL/AF/KL does function...AZ is kind of the ugly sister IME. It's better than it used to be, but has a long way to go.
     
  8. TRAVELSIG
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    TRAVELSIG Gold Member

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    The one new airplane they have is very nice.

    FCO is a very poor airport for connections, and is frequently disorganized. Re-emphasis on MXP would be a great first start and also consider possibilities using VCE. DL can support nonstops to both ATL and JFK to VCE- AZ should be able to support something. EK and QR are seeing fantastic growth at VCE. Where is AZ?

    Don't bump passengers because of political people asking for last minute access to flights- this is unfair.

    Add capacity to Asia- particularly PVG, PEK, and possibly CAN.

    Rennovate the lounge at FCO.

    Stop cancelling flights at the last minute.

    Reduce the refund time from its current 8 weeks to a more reasonable time frame (10 working days?)- particularly when the refund is do to an inoperative aircraft.

    Staff according to daily demands of business at checkin areas, or at least ensure that the kiosks work (they are out of service >50% of the time at VCE). Queues of more than 45 minutes to checkin really shouldn't be necessary.

    Eliminate the MD88 aircraft or at least fix the areas that are covered in duct tape including the interior windows.

    Eliminate the preference of hiring the children of politicians to work at the company. It is incredible this is still in place in 2012.
     
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  9. Gargoyle
    Original Member

    Gargoyle Milepoint Guide

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    I used to fly AZ a lot; I was Freccia Alata at one point (Skyteam Elite Plus, same as DL Platinum). I backed away during the period when they almost shut down, before the AirOne merger, so I don't have post merger experience.

    The equipment was shabby, but that was only on the customer facing visible side- broken toilets, broken armrests, etc. I was always confident that they did not skimp on the mechanical/safety side.

    I always got along great with AZ staff, I never ran into the bad attitudes that people talk about. This could be because I speak Italian and I always approach airline personnel with a smile, a patient attitude, and respect for their dignity, and their response reflects this.

    In perhaps a hundred (or probably way more, I'm not going to go back and count) AZ segments I only recall encountering one strike that impacted me, and that was an air traffic control strike. I've visited Italy maybe 70 or 80 times and it has been very very rare that I've been effected by a strike in any sector of society, maybe a half dozen times or so. I consider the strike fear a canard.

    I have encountered many instances of canceled flights and seriously delayed flights without any explanation. AZ is not good at informing passengers of what is going on. That is something they need to improve.

    The biz class product is very nice, Italians really know how to prepare and serve food. As to the hard product, since it's been what, three years? since the AirOne merger, I don't know what it is like now.

    They have a bad rep for baggage mishandling; I encountered three instances of delayed bags, and in each case they had a courier hand deliver the bag to my location 50 km from the airport within 12 hours.

    I really liked transiting at MXP, it was very easy and quick. The AZ lounges were like bus terminals; when I could I'd use the AF lounge instead. The lounges did need refurbishing, I don't know if that has happened yet. The Pisa lounge was spiffed up quite a bit last year, but that's a contract lounge.

    I've only transited FCO maybe a half dozen times, it is much more of a confusing maze, not a pleasant transit like MXP.
     
  10. stan
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    stan Silver Member

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    I stopped flying them a long time ago ,because of many of the same negatives mentioned , but- the food was very good --for airline food
     
  11. Rejuvenated
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    Rejuvenated Gold Member

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    Took FCO-NCE back in September which was our most recent experience with AZ. Suffice to say I was glad it was only a sector that lasted less than 90 minutes and being in coach, we had very very low expectations and turned out to be so. Dirty cabin staffed by grumpy crews who couldn't wait any longer to clock out of their jobs.
     

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