Alitalia: The Good, Bad, And Ugly Italian Airline

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How does an Italian airline make some of the worst pasta I’ve ever eaten? That’s a question that I have for Alitalia Airlines. To be fair the lasagna that I had on my return flight to New York was better, but Gordon Ramsey would still shut them down.

Most times I go on a press trip the airline is selected for me. If I don’t know much about the airline, I do a little research. I could only find a few good reviews about Alitalia. The rest were people were saying that their luggage was lost, the food was terrible, the planes were old, airline strikes, etc. This is when my imagination began to run away with me. This Alitalia Airline sounded like a nightmare in the air.

I was relieved to find out that the planes were not falling out of the air as I imagined.  Alitalia is actually pretty safe to fly, all that other drama aside. Is the airline as bad as they say, well no. That’s not to say that some of their bad reviews aren’t deserved. But you get what you pay for. The airline is an affordable airline. While it’s not those cheap bitch airlines like Ryanair or Wow air it will save you some cha ching. Alitalia is the flag carrier of Italy which means if you are going to country there is a big chance you will end up on one of their planes.

The food on the plane was indeed horrendous. There chef should be stoned, better yet burned at the stake. I didn’t even know what some of the inedible mess was. Eat a nice meal before you board the plane. Be sure to take snacks. The wine offered was okay. Their wine games needs some work. With all of the delicious wine being made in Italy there is no reason for the airline’s wine to be “meh”.  By the way, the white wine choice was a bit better than the red.

I found that the seats on the longer flight have less legroom and are on top of each other versus the seats on their shorter flights. Unless you fly first class or premium economy, be prepared to be a little uncomfortable if you are traveling on an international flight. I was surprised at how smooth the flights were. Some people complain about the planes being older. Those older planes do a pretty good job when in the air.  

My bag was not lost on either flight, which was what I most afraid of. The one big hiccup was on the return flight. The air conditioning was not working on the plane.  We sat on the plane for about 50 minutes as they tried to get it to work. After all of that waiting, we had to get off the plane. Our flight was the only one leaving for the US. Now you know people were pissed and beside themselves. About six hours later, Alitalia found us another plane and we were on our way to JFK.  At least we left on the same day. They could have had us sleep at the airport.

Alitalia could do better. Right now they are bankrupt and looking for a buyer. Time will tell what happens to the struggling airline. In the meantime, if you are looking for an affordable way to get to Italy, then it’s a budget friendly way to get there.

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