Alitalia A321 Economy (short haul)

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  • Anonymous


    This was a flight that was part of a package deal at the end of a cruise so I had no choice with the airline, but was interested to experience my first Alitalia flight. We were dropped at FCO by bus from our ship and headed to the LHR check-in. Once there we were advised that check-in for this flight opened in one hour – I didn’t fancy standing in the queue for over an hour so asked if they had any self-service check-in machines and bag drop desks because I didn’t see any whilst walking through the airport. I was sent to the other end of the terminal and indeed found 2 machines and 2 bag drop desks. I found it incredible that a terminal of this size where Alitalia is obviously the largest carrier only had 2 each of these? However, there was only one person in front of us in the queue and our bags were dropped off really quickly.
    I had checked-in online and we were numbers 119 and 120 to check-in, however we were allocated 14B and 36B, the only seats available together were the emergency exit rows which cost 20 Euros each.
    I stumped up, I had no choice, but was happy enough that we did have seats together.
    Security took about 10 minutes and passport control was a scrum. Our booth closed unexpectedly and everyone had to scramble and push into the next line – much to the annoyance of other passengers, however, in our original queue many people had pushed past us anyway so it seems that is quite acceptable at FCO. That area was not pleasant at all – no air-conditioning, so it took me all my time to remain cool, in both senses of the word.
    I have no status with Alitalia/Skyteam so headed for Le Anfore Lounge with my Priority Pass. This lounge is down in a basement with no windows – although it was bright enough and had a mural on the wall.
    I soon discovered that there was no food and only a dozen empty trays where some food had obviously been available earlier. They served drinks at a bar and although only 3 of us were in the queue looking for a coffee, again I was jostled out of the way and had to try and make myself heard. It really is a way of life at FCO it seems- I hate it.
    The men at the bar were very slow and told me that they had problems with the caterers so there would be no food that day. I thought about leaving the lounge because there wa no point being there, but I had my coffee and strangely sandwiches and some dessert appeared.
    We were lucky at boarding because we happened to be near the front of the “queue”. Again, people were pushing in with no thought for anyone else around them.
    We did notice on board that there were many other parties of people who had been split up because they were saying farewell to their loved-ones at seats near the front of the cabin and the partners/children etc had to trek to the rear.
    Our seats 9A and 9B had great legroom and were comfortable enough – a bit on the hard side but aren’t all airline seats like that these days?
    No entertainment on this 2 hour flight, but I wouldn’t expect any.
    Food and drinks were circulated about 30 minutes into the flight. I had cold coffee and a biscuit. The offering was roughly the same as BA short flights…crisps, nut/chocolate combo, cookie selection – poor, but on a 2 hour flight I don’t expect a 4 course gourmet meal.
    Flight departed right on time much to my surprise – it just looked like complete chaos – and we landed at LHR early.
    The crew were cold, unsmiling and just did the basics to get by. In fact they did not do a security check for bags/seatbelts etc, that was ignored. We didn’t get any instructions despite the fact we were at an emergency exit – I’m sure BA have a chat before push-back to explain the door opening instructions etc.
    I won’t choose Alitalia again – they didn’t make me feel welcome and in fact seemed to find passengers a bit of an inconvenience to them.

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