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.
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.
OREGON -- This is the absolute worst experience that I have had with any airline. Alitalia lost our luggage on flight from Rome to JFK. They have no idea where our luggage is. Their computer system is never updated. We located one bag through Delta airlines. It was supposed to be on a Delta flight from Rome to JFK on August 4. It is now 24 hours later and we still don't have any idea if this bag made it to the destination. Delta cannot confirm its arrival. Alitalia does not answer the phone. The other bag ended up in Boston. The claim check tags were ripped off.
An alert Alitalia employee (an oxymoron) happened to see a tag with a phone number and contacted us. She is going to Fedex the bag to us. She was afraid that it would get lost again. Another employee stated that the Alitalia computers are never updated, so the website is useless. It has been four days and we still do not have our luggage. Every flight we took with this company was delayed. It took 16 hours for us to go from Florence, Rome and then to JFK. I pray that this airline goes out of business soon.
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY -- I wish I had been to this website before buying my whole family tickets for a vacation in Italy. The lack of customer service for all the personnel in this airline is out of this world. When traveling back from Italy to USA we found a lack of professionalism, customer service and basic organizational skills an all of their staff. The flight attendants were all in a bad mood, like if you were asking for a favor and not paying for a service. Even asking them for ice for a Coke seems to bother them. We lost one bag and the lady even told us not to call anymore and just look on the internet.