NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- We confused the date of departure from NYC with the date of arrival in Rome on our round the world ticket. As soon as we realized our mistake we went straight to the JFK airport 6 hours before the flight the next day. We were confronted with very unhelpful Alitalia staff who told us the rest of our flights on our itinerary were cancelled. All they could offer us were seats on the flight to Rome for $2500 each but the rest of our flights were still cancelled which would leave us stranded in Rome.
We were prepared to pay a penalty (up to $1000 each) for our mistake but not to be ripped off. It would have better for them to fill their seats with passengers prepared to pay and spend tourist dollars in Rome than fly with empty seats. They would have to be the rudest, arrogant and unhelpful airline staff we have ever met. We were fortunate enough to have cash on hand to buy new flights with another airline to Budapest and back home to Sydney. Many travelers may not be in this position and would be stranded have a world away from home. $4500 later and with a very bad opinion of Alitalia, back home safe and sound. Avoid this airline. Never again will we fly with Alitalia.
NEW YORK, NEW YORK -- My luggage was lost by Alitalia in Dec and they still owe me $1465.00. After landing in Milan in December 2009, after waiting hours for luggage that never arrived, after I realized that my luggage was lost, after waiting hours at the lost luggage desk, I was told to repurchase everything I would need for my week long vacation because Alitalia informed me that they could not get my luggage to me until one week later (the day before I was departing to return home.)
I was very accommodating but they refused to have my luggage delivered to any of the cities that we were going to be in during the week (multitude of excuses: holidays, wouldn't pay for courier, etc…) and so we had to return to the first city at the end of our trip to retrieve it. Because we were changing cities everyday on this “vacation,”and the luggage they lost was my ONLY piece of luggage, I not only had to buy all of my clothing, shoes, boots (it was snowing), makeup, toiletries, but I also had to buy luggage!
Alitalia assured me that I would be reimbursed as long as I kept all of my (itemized) receipts and submitted a claim when I returned to the states. (Which, of course, I did.) But after almost 4 months I didn't hear from them, and when I followed up, they lied and told me that my luggage was returned to me the following day, and then they denied my claim.
Naturally, I had proof that they were lying, (I received my luggage one week later, not one day later], and so then they made up a new fake nonexistent reimbursement policy, (there is no such policy, I have all the paperwork from Italy, and there is no such policy on their website), and so then they offered me $225*, instead of the $1465* they owe me. (However, I have not received a penny).
*Just purchasing toothpaste, a toothbrush, comb, hand cream, makeup, deodorant, sneakers and a tote bag, which I bought and used as LUGGAGE because it was cheaper, cost me $270.00! They offered me $225 as a “settlement” (which I never received), but WHAT ABOUT THE COST OF MY CLOTHES, BOOTS, UNDERWEAR?? WHAT ABOUT THE COST OF MY CABS, BUSES (to find these stores), AND PHONE CALLS (to track down my lost luggage)?? Should I be expected to pay for replacing my clothes—I packed themTHEY LOST THEM.
They broke their contract: See page 2 of THEIR document: “…..provide the passenger with the agreed carriage according to the defined itinerary and schedule, carrying the passenger and his/her baggage from the place of departure to the place of destination…”
A simple search online will show you that Alitalia does not ever pay for lost luggage. I have written to, emailed and called Alitalia 23 times. I have contacted Eyewitness News/7 On Your Side, The New York State Consumer Board, The Better Business Bureau, and Andrew Cuomo, Attorney General…..and various travel troubleshooters online……..I am still waiting for my check for $1465.00.
The other very frightening thing is that their prices are very CHEAP, and so students planning to study abroad find this very appealing…Students beware! DO YOUR HOMEWORK. RESEARCH THIS AIRLINE BEFORE YOU BUY A TICKET! UNLESS YOU ARE PLANNING TO CARRY ON YOUR LUGGAGE CASES, DO NOT FLY ALITALIA!
NYC, NEW YORK -- Besides the airline staff acting like they didn't know what was going on and having difficulty getting the proper info out, there is a strike going on in Rome and we are still waiting for our luggage 3 days later. Thank God it was on our way home. We will never fly this airline again. Ciao forever.
We have recently flown on Alitalia from London to Rome with a 45 mins connecting flight to Chicago. The flight was delayed in Rome by nearly 1 hour. Yet when we arrived in Chicago, to our horror our luggages never arrive. So we thought, well, it must be just shoddy service, and Alitalia does have that kind of reputation after all. The person who handled the complaint gave us a reference number, and a sour face. There were at least 20 other people, some with children, in the same lousy boat.
Everyone is given a piece of photocopied paper with a phone number to ring for luggage lost, and a New York customer relation number. So we rang. And rang. And rang. But there was never anyone to receive the call. All we hear was a recorded message. It said 'we are open closed on Tuesdays, etc etc' yet we called on Saturday, Sunday, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday. We couldn't get through to speak to any human being with the numbers we have. Finally when someone rang back, it was already day 5. The lady reassured us that our luggage was on its way, within 24hrs. We were forced to alter our holiday plans for this, but we never receive our bag.
We tried to ring the numbers, but nothing. Stress. The website baggage tracking was not working. Judging by people's experiences, we were wondering if we would even get compensation for our lost luggage. So in summary,
1. Customer service is extremely poor. You can't get anyone to answer their numbers. If you want to ring them for anything, you've been warned. 2. Alitalia seriously need to rethink how it is handling lost luggages - from customer relations, baggage tracking, to simply just answering their phone.
NY- TO ROME, NEW YORK -- I booked our airline travel 6 mos. ahead to get the best price & seat availability. We were traveling to Italy to take a cruise. The cruise company called us 3 mos. before scheduled cruise to advise they chartered our reserved ship and we needed to re-schedule. Alitalia charged us $1800, to re-book scheduled flights. Then one month before our trip Alitalia called to say they were no longer offering flights from Newark on our Departure date. We had to change flights again. To leave & return to JFK.
We were in no way compensated for this inconvenience of driving to a further airport. When we arrived at the airport on day of departure --they had overbooked our trans-Atlantic flight. When I insisted that we had to go-- they put us on the flight- but not seated together-- a few other passengers agreed to move so that my husband and I could sit with our daughter who is a toddler.
My son was on his own across the aisle sitting between two women who did not speak the same language. We were then bumped on the connecting flight from Milan to Rome. We were awake all night on the flight and then had to spend 5 hours in the Milan airport with exhausted children, attempting to sleep on chairs-- they did not offer us access to the Alitalia lounge. When we arrived in Rome-- we were also missing 2 pieces of luggage. My daughter's baby carrier and also her suitcase. We arrived late at our hotel because of the flight problems-- which had also overbooked-- and found we had no room there either!!
We were transferred to another hotel in a questionable neighborhood with lots of graffiti on the outskirts of Rome-- then had to transfer back the next day-- we lost a day and a half of vacation time, school time & work time. We started our vacation very unpleasantly and exhausted!! We were not compensated at all- and when we tried to discuss these problems we were yelled at and treated very rudely by Alitalia staff. I was so exhausted-- I ended up in tears. We had saved for this vacation for a year-- and I was extremely disappointed.
After two days in Rome our lost baggage finally arrived at our hotel. On the way home, they seated us in the mid-section of the plane. Near the toilets. The stench was so bad it made us sick. Airline attendants did not deal with the problem and would not allow us to change seats. I used my blanket to cover my nose and mouth because the odor was so bad. Made me sick to my stomach. Overall this was a terrible experience. We were very disappointed with Alitalia. I understand-- that with travel things happen-- but so many bad things happened at one time and the staff refused to do anything to improve the situation. I believe we deserve a refund.
I have been traveling for 50 years, including to Third World countries, during heavy holiday travel days and New England winters. The incompetence, lying and rudeness of Alitalia staff is unparalleled in the airline industry. While trying to resolve problems created by them we had six different experiences of staff and supervisors refusing to speak to us, walking away while we were talking to them and refusing to give us their names.
At check-in in Rome Alitalia 'lost' one of our passports. After looking everywhere for it they eventually denied ever having it. Four of our party were checked in, had checked bags and boarding passes. While we followed Alitalia's instructions regarding a police report they gave all of our seats to other passengers (they had overbooked the flight). When four of us attempted to board 50 minutes before the flight they announced that 'none of you can board', 'the flight is closed'.
We were sent to the ticket counter where we waited over an hour, were told that we would have to wait three days for a flight (Saturday 7/7/07 to to Tuesday 7/10/07) and sent to a none existent counter to resolve a 'problem' with payment for our tickets. We were also told that this was all our problem, not Alitalia's and they refused to even talk to us about a hotel voucher or expenses. We were told by a manager (who was polite) that we could stand by for the Boston flight on Monday; only to arrive at the airport that day to find the 'there is no Boston flight on Mondays'.
I sent my Complaint and Claim 'Certified Mail' with 'Return Receipt' to Alitalia Customer Service in New York. Four days later I attempted to call to confirm its receipt, only to find that the phone number for Alitalia Customer Service in New York is a series of recordings and has no option to leave a message or speak to anyone.
I researched for an alternate number which I then called. I was told that although my letter 'may have' been signed for on Monday 8/20/07 it was 'nowhere to be found' the day I called, Wednesday 8/22/07. I was assured that 'if we signed for it it is here somewhere' and that it probably had not been opened yet, therefore was not 'logged into the computer'. I was only allowed to speak to 'receptionists' and was hung up on twice. After that they failed to answer the phone at all.
BOSTON, MASSACHUSETTS -- I have traveled internationally for over 30 years and have never haver experienced an airline as poor as Alitalia. They should be avoided at all costs. Their flights are perpetually late for no reason, the flight attendants are surly and rude, and they lose your baggage even if you check in THREE hours prior to the scheduled take off. The staff is unapologetic and arrogant.
Our last flight on July 15, 2007 from Rome to Boston included sitting for no given reason on the runway in Rome for nearly one hour making us nearly miss our connecting flight in Boston. One stewardess repeatedly slammed in to flyers whose seats were on the aisle (including mine) and did not apologize once. By the time the meals were being served (halfway through the economy cabin), they only had fish to offer. It was inedible (my family likes fish) and when passengers were complaining, the flight attendants snarled back and said that is all that they had (no contrition or customer service).
Similarly, a week and a half earlier when we flew from London to Rome, my wife asked an attendant for water for our two young children when the beverage cart was coming down the aisle. I could see the attendant's face as I was separated and sitting several rows back. She rolled her eyes and snarled and did this with several passengers. It was not unique to Americans, but aimed at passengers of all nationalities.
Upon arriving in Boston minus one suitcase, there was not one Alitalia representative at the gate to direct passengers to connecting flights. It was mayhem and a see of humanity running frantically with luggage, children, etc to re-check bags after customs to catch connecting flights. Six families (including us) were filing lost baggage claims and barely made their respective connections.
To sum it up, we found Alitalia: Planes that are dirty and worn and look as though they have not been updated in the past two to three decades. To have flight attendants who are snarky, rude, and must hate their jobs and people in general. Perpetually late in taking off without offering any reasons. To be at best, a "third world" airline that does not value their customers or trying to improve or even have a good reputation.
Other passengers in Rome who flew on our plane said that their flights from Milan to Venice with Alitalia were arbitrarily cancelled without excuse. My wife, from the former Soviet Union, said Alitalia's quality of service reminded her of Aeroflot which we would NEVER fly as well. I will never fly this airline again and would advise anyone to avoid them at all costs unless they want to arrive at their destination feeling violated, berated, and nearly half sick from the conditions of the airplanes and food.
ROME -- When checking in for our return flight from Rome to NY, Alitalia's online checkin service showed a seating chart and offered extra legroom upgrades for the bulkhead seats with no one in front. We paid a $150 upgrade fee for the 2 seats.
When we got on the plane, the seating was completely different than the seating chart on the online check in, and the upgrades seats were not the bulkhead seats, did not have extra legroom. The extra legroom seats were one row in front of us, and never showed up on the online checkin screen. Simply put, Alitalia misrepresented what they were offering. The flight staff on the plane acknowledged the mistake but said there was nothing they could do, and provided a complaint form to be emailed to Alitalia.
It's now almost 2 months-- we emailed the complaint form, sent numerous follow up emails, but no response from the airline, no refund for the upgrade that wasn't provided, even though they took the money. Last time we fly with Alitalia - they just don't care about their customers and don't even try to make good on their screw ups.
I booked a ticket online. When the ticket printed it was not the info I selected. I called within 2 minutes and the US office said "too bad so sad", what you were trying to book was the Italian site and system defaulted me to US changing my entire itinerary and there was nothing they could do b/c they in the US did not have available my Italian itinerary. So I then had to pay a penalty to change my flight with Italy. It took me 3 days to try to book the Italian flight b/c each day they would take my info and never sent me a confirmation. I finally had to go personally to the airport to ensure I was booked on the flight I wanted. It was ridiculous.
Booking Alitalia to Rome was a mistake as even our Italian friends now tell us. It is Western Europe's version of Aeroflot. We had only allowed six and a half hours until our cruise left. The plane was three late in landing. The first bag off the belt appeared 45 minutes later. After an hour and forty five minutes, we received two of our three bags. During the delay, we had tried several times to file a missing luggage report with Alitalia; they had always refused-- "just wait five more minutes.” Now, we had no alternative but to head for the cruise terminal (the shuttle cost E125, so much for our plan to take the train) without filing a report.
No, Alitalia has yet to return or reimburse us for our luggage; we've tried contacting the phone numbers and email addresses on their website, but all are out of service. P.S. Our departure flight, Alitalia to Paris left an hour late.