Alitalia Reviews


Alitalia onboard in flight experience

Many passengers complain about the on-board experience with Alitalia.

Alitalia priority boarding
Alitalia Boarding from the tarmac

In reality it isn't that bad, however it is important to fly with relatively low expectations, and then be surprised.

Alitalia Long haul Business Class Experience

Many Business Class Alitalia reviews are surprised at the way the crew 'hang back', and don't walk through the cabin regular between meal services: in part this can be simply down to cultural differences: just as you would expect in a good Italian restaurant, the staff don't hang around your table asking if you want something: instead they wait until you have obviously finished, and then quietly tidy away, to not be seen again for the next six hours.

Indeed, this 'don't see / don't speak to' a person philosophy extends to check in, where (particularly short haul) Alitalia prefer you to check in at machines. The sole exception to this is the strange Alitalia landside lounge where you can check in, the Alitalia Dolce Vita Lounge in Rome, where you can check in in the lounge with a real person.

Boarding at the gate is generally an undignified scrum, however Alitalia do have business class and SkyPriority boarding access which allows you to leapfrog the queues; in Rome and the US these queues are actually policed as well.

Alitalia automated checkin machines at Rome
Rome Checkin Alitalia automated checkin machines at Rome

Longhaul in Altialia Business Class you'll be greeted at the door, and shown to your seat. The The purser generally walks through the cabin too, to say hello in either English or Italian and I was happy to receive Italian. At this time they also hand out the amenity kits and Bulgari sets (make sure you get a male or female: sometime Alitalia are a bit random in this respect). There is an offer of a choice of newspapers too, however all are in Italian, even from US destinations.

Menus are handed out at the cruise, and service begins shortly afterwards, front to back. There is an 'at cart' service, whereby all the food is on the trolley and the flight attendants work together to prepare your plate in front of you. There is a second trolley with deserts, and a third with coffee and liqueurs. Midflight snacks are set up in the galley, with a 'pour yourself' spirit selection, however you have to ask the crew for beer.

Alas Alitalia isn't particularly go-ahead with their IFE. The seatback TV system is only turned on when the flight is in the cruise, and turned off an hour before landing.

Alitalia inflight food
Alitalia Business Class inflight food

Alitalia Short Haul Business Class Experience (trans-Europe)

Alitalia short haul business class Alitalia still hold their own, with a full meal and bar service, even on short hour-long hops.

The crew manage to both seem rushed, and hide away from the passengers, mainly because everything is prepared in the galley, which means the crew have to come out, ask you what you want to drink, go back and prepare it, then ask you if you want to eat, prepare that, and then bring it to your seat. And then the process starts again with the next passenger.

On an hour long flight, if you are at the back of the cabin, you'll be hard pressed to get anything before the plane lands.

Alitalia Amenity Kit

The Alitalia business class Salvatore Ferragamo amenity kit is good - very good.

It comes in a big red pouch, and has four tubes of moisturiser, lip balm, and toothpaste. There is a toothbrush too, plus socks, a razor and oddly, a hair brush!

There is also a separate pack with four Bulgari samples.

Alitalia baggage allowance
Alitalia Baggage check at the gate

Alitalia Baggage Allowance

News: Alitalia is now restricting the free baggage allowance for business class, with only one cabin bag allowed.

Alitalia has a pretty standard luggage allowance, although in Business Class there is a tight restriction of just one cabin bag, and unusually it can only be 35cm wide, not the usual 40cm.

Cabin Bags: The carry-on Baggage Allowance is the same for Economy and Business Class of one bag, to a maximum of 8kg. The maximum size of each bag is 25x35x55 cm (ensure that you include the bag's handles and wheels) and it should not exceed 8kg in weight. However in all classes you can also bring on board a laptop.

Check in luggage: Economy class (to most destinations) get one bag to 23kg, Premium Economy can check in two bags to 23kg, and Business class gets two bags but to 32kg.

However some flights - such as Japan to North America - have different and very complex rules, which can see you take on two bags in economy.

As always, these rules can change. Alitalia's website has details of exactly what you can take onto a flight.

Next Page: Alitalia Frequent Flyer scheme
All reviews and opinions on Alitalia food, service, seats, planes, upgrades, lounges, and the Frequent Flyer scheme are given as a personal opinion. No legal liability is accepted if you take my advice.
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