Alitalia Complaint - Better to Walk Than Fly This Airline
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 problem's 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 'no where 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.