Review of Alitalia flight Toronto Rome in Business

Airline Alitalia
Flight AZ651
Class Business
Seat 1A
Aircraft Airbus A330-200
Flight time 08:45
Take-off 04 Aug 15, 22:20
Arrival at 05 Aug 15, 13:05
AZ   #131 out of 139 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 275 reviews
giancarlo330
Published on 14th August 2015
Hello everyone! Back again on a very rare report following a trip from Toronto to Rome on the tacky old ex AirOne Airbus 330 (EI-DIR) on Skyteam livery operating for Alitalia.

I booked this ticket as a Flying Blue award a couple of months ago and of course it showed the new AZ 330 configuration so I had the ''luck'' to choose 3A , a solo seat by the window…everything happy and joyful for spending 62,500miles towards this Skyteam award. As Alitalia has got used to us they just changed the aircraft a couple of weeks before departure to one of the two tacky charter configuration A-330's that are still in the fleet…sadly by transit times coming from Lima on United I had to keep this booking and just planned to send a complain to KL about redeeming such amount of miles for a more like Premium Economy product instead of a real Business that I hope everyone will agree is just unacceptable to be offered on 2015 for a transatlantic route.

Check in opened 4 hours before departure, no one care to inform me that the airplane was delayed for 2 hours because of a late arrival from Rome. KLM lounge was assigned as it is usual for a Skyteam partner and after many times having visited this lounge I knew perfectly what I was expecting.

photo IMG_5844photo IMG_5845

I have to say this is one of my favorite lounges on the KL network…food was adequate and everything was fresh and of decent quality…

photo IMG_5843

Someone said airline lounges are all about class? :P

photo IMG_5848

After 1:30hrs of delay we were called for boarding. Flight was completely full. I was feeling a bit sorry for all the regular passengers that were not aware of the kind of airplane they were going to fly with. Alitalia keeps advertising on how good is their Business Class, Economy with new seats and IFE…and then you come into this??? I was trying hard not to cry when I finally saw the Business Class from the 767's AZ 90's era in person…here and now in 2015!



A very nice canadian/italian lady was seated next to me and we talked in italian about the airplane. Everyone was terrified from the seats in Magnifica. She was traveling with her two kids and her mother…she told me she spent 3000EUR for each for a return ticket to Italy… I was like…well I am very sorry for this, feeling totally ashamed as an italian for the product offered specially to Toronto and Boston.

Take off was quick and finally airborne. My aisle was served by a very senior flight attendant. He was efficient but not over friendly… that is Alitalia once again…service and dedication is not part of their job and it doesn't come on the contract of the long haul crews. This has been widely discussed here with other fellow reporters so this is not new to anyone.

The IFE for Business Class…what is this? Not even AA on their 767…they give you a fully loaded IPAD. What is this? VHS from the 90's? You pay 3000EUR for this???

photo IMG_5855


Dinner service started after 1 hour from take off. The menu looked just OK, it was supposed to be dine anytime protocol service following the merge with Etihad. This was not clearly offered and it almost was a regular dinner service with the lame and uninterested service of Alitalia as we know it.

Appetizer was a salmon/toast/mozzarella and tomato…not tasty at all…

photo IMG_5854

Prosciutto and melon…literally two thin slices of prosciutto…shame!

photo IMG_5856 (1)

Main course was a plate of pasta with tomato sauce…again quality and quantity was mediocre. I prefer the cart service to your seat as you could decide what you wanted and how much you wanted instead of a pre served dish from the galley.

Wine refills were not offered. Scandal for J class.

photo IMG_5857 (1)

Dessert came quick…torta di ricotta

I think it was not very fresh and made me a bit sick after some hoursphoto IMG_5858 (1)

Espresso and limoncello

photo IMG_5859 (1)

So sleeping time! Now this seat reclines aprox 150 degrees…virtually a NEV3 seat of AF. It had the slide effect the whole night, temperature was too hot and too cold, horrible sleep and after many nightmares we woke up for breakfast.

I asked for an orange juice (fake from a box again in J and even after EY merge) and espresso.

photo IMG_5860 (1)photo IMG_5861 (1)

Landed in Rome about 1 hour after schedule and had to go through all the chaos of Rome Airport. I just can say it is a disgusting old and third world terminal. We deplaned via bus, terminal 3 immigration then another bus which we had to wait 15 minutes under the hot weather on the tarmac to finally get into the Schengen terminal…what a mess! Alitalia and Rome Fiumicino play very well together that is for sure!




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Verdict

Alitalia

2.3/10
Cabin0.5
Cabin crew3.0
Entertainment/wifi0.5
Meal/catering5.0

Air France KLM Lounge

7.2/10
Comfort7.0
Meal/catering7.0
Entertainment/wifi8.0
Services7.0

Toronto - YYZ

6.9/10
Efficiency5.5
Access5.0
Services8.5
Cleanliness8.5

Rome - FCO

1.0/10
Efficiency1.0
Access1.0
Services1.0
Cleanliness1.0

Conclusion

Once again Alitalia still delivers poor service and an underwhelming product across the Atlantic. Crew was polite but without any sense of service or trying to be friendly. It is a shame that they can try to invest money into an airline that what it needs to be done is to lay off most of the crew and hire real fresh new people with real commitment to serve and not persons that believe they own the airline and they are just there for 'safety' or because they need to in order to operate the flight. Of course after the meal the crew vanished and never came back again only before breakfast for arrival. A new snack on demand service was offered (Spuntino) on the menu but it was not really offered by the cabin crew or seen at the galley by chance during the night.

I have a clear idea that EY got into Alitalia just to be a feeder for their flights towards ME,Asia and Australia and increase their presence in Europe hence no interest whatsoever for a real change or improvement of services. AZ is a mess and will always be , I've had 3 flights this year with them and the issue is always the same...horrible and lazy crew, a terrible hub like FCO and seems that the new ''on demand'' dine anytime service is just a cost cutting measure for the pockets of the management.

It is criminal to offer a product like this and then feature the new Magnifica Class which has been around for many years now...this is a scandal!

This was and will be the last flight I will ever take on AZ. Promise!

Thanks for reading everyone!

Giancarlo.

Information on the route Toronto (YYZ) Rome (FCO)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 4 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Toronto (YYZ) → Rome (FCO).


Useful

The airline with the best average rating is Alitalia with 6.3/10.

The average flight time is 8 hours and 37 minutes.

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11 Comments

  • Comment 143872 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5138 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this new report! I was fully expecting a report on AZ's new(ish) Business class...what in the world is this? I had no Idea Alitalia still had Longhaul aircraft in this old configuration!? You always hear about how great their hard product is...what a disappointment if you end up in this cabin after spending thousands for a ticket.

    it was supposed to be dine anytime protocol service following the merge with Etihad. This was not clearly offered - And I am not in the least bit surprised. AZ had a difficult enough time following their own protocol, much less the elaborate EY Protocol.

    Wine refills were not offered. - I would hunt someone down and scream bloody murder...wow, what lazy service!

    Now this seat reclines aprox 150 degrees...virtually a NEV3 seat of AF. More like NEV2...worse than NEV2.

    This product and service is an embarrassment for Alitalia. No wonder they keep the fact that they still have these seats on some planes under wraps...it's just embarassing

    Your overall grade of 2.2 seems very fair under these circumstances. It's really a sad day when you can say you've had a better Business class experience on United...wow

    Thanks for sharing!

    • Comment 322899 by
      giancarlo330 AUTHOR 60 Comments

      Dear Kevin, indeed it was a terrible surprise but I was already mentally prepared for it. There are little to no pictures on the internet or reports about this horrible product of Alitalia so I hope people can be prepared for this and avoid buying a ticket on the routes that are normally served by these two birds (registrations EI-DIR / EI-DIP) or where simply Premium Economy is not offered. Even though this might not guarantee as in my case the airplanes were changed two weeks before departure to these charter configuration. Routes served by these airplanes are normally Toronto,Chicago,Boston and Venece-Abu Dhabi. Hope this helps and make a change at least on the hard product as we all know the soft product in AZ will never change.

      All the best, GC.

  • Comment 143908 by
    pititom GOLD 10459 Comments

    My two experiences with Magnifica were both excellent. Of course, they were not in this seat...

    It's quite terrible to still offer this product and I don't see how difficult it is to refurbish the last two planes. But it's not one of a kind in the world as KLM is also notorious for offering 90's product in 2015.

    This is defintely not an high-end product but it's not the criminal offering you're scandalized about. Pictures show a great pitch, an a-la-table service and...well...a sort of IFE. Not that I'm impressed at all by this, but it doesn't look like a complete forfeiture from AZ.

    So, no...it's not good. But saying we all know the soft product in AZ will never change is a bit excessive. (new) Magnifica is a nice product and an evolution that surprised everybody. So I wouldn't be so strict !

    Sure, this is no Ferrari. Merely a Fiat. But Ferrari is Fiat after all, right ;) ?

    • Comment 322929 by
      giancarlo330 AUTHOR 60 Comments

      Hello Pititom, I have flown with AZ for many years and there are things that have never or will change. If you had two great experiences with them that might be a very personal opinion if you compare to other carriers. KLM offers now very limited old WBC seats like this but even though the 777's that still have the old configuration have IFE , in the case of AZ they don't even have IFE. Food was a big disappointment and I see clearly a cost cutting measure regarding catering at least on this route. I can guarantee that service wise and catering wise AZ is far behind from AF,QR,LH,LX,BA or even IB.
      I would (with my hundreds of thousands of miles flown and 3 programs with status level) say with no doubt that AZ is the one if not the worse airline in Europe for service on the air and facilities on ground.

      I don't like FIAT ;)

      Have a good one!

  • Comment 143938 by
    Reifel 39 Comments

    Well this is really a horrible product indeed. I flew AZ short haul and found it just ok, and longhaul in regular Economy to Osaka and Abu Dhabi and found it actually pretty fine, but each time I got their regular A330s.

    I agree FCO is pretty run down but normally it's a bit better. The bus transfer to Schengen gates does usually not happen, but is due to the fire, I guess this can excuse this... Other airports used tents after some major damages (Santiago after an Earthquake, DUS after the fire etc), so given this situation it's acceptable I believe

  • Comment 143942 by
    giancarlo330 AUTHOR 60 Comments

    Hello Reifel, AZ short haul is nothing terrible or great...is just short haul with their boring cookies and normally fresher younger crews with will to work and make some effort. Intercontinental crew have attitude, are lazy and can be very very limited on their tasks aboard the airplane. Having said that, I am a strong believer that AZ long haul crew should be fired and the regional short haul crew passed to the intercontinental routes. Or switch them...you want to guess how long it will take to have them announcing a strike? ;)

    FCO has been always a mess, poor A/C on summer, unorganized gates, terrible lounges among other facilities that are a disgrace. Anyway, I respect points of view but for my standards AZ and FCO are just a big NO!

    Thanks for your feedback, GC.

  • Comment 143972 by
    airtraveladdict 119 Comments

    Hello Giancarlo, thanks for the report.
    How is it that a country like Italy, known for its fashion, creativity, glamour and style have an airline that is TOTAL opposite.
    I flew in AZ economy long time ago and i remember the cold hard bread roll, frozen butter and 1 can of 95grams tuna in Italian olive oil they gave to each passenger with a slice of lemon, they call that lunch.
    The fare was super cheap, but still.
    If Etihad is smart about it, they should offer AZ staff retirement package, and refresh the crew with new young crew who love their job, because its clear the dinosaurs currently working on AZ need to retire.
    Its unacceptable that AZ charges $3000 per person, the meal, seat, beverages, entertainment and service don't match the price. Even Premium Economy on Virgin Australia is 100x better service then AZ.
    The food on your flight looked very ordinary, doesn't say business class at all. Again Italy has delicious food but somehow AZ forget it is Italian and just serve crap food.
    I don't think I will ever travel on AZ.
    Also I hope when you file a complaint, the compensate you with some points returned. I know Singapore airlines and other airlines do that. but im not sure if flyingblue does.

    • Comment 322980 by
      giancarlo330 AUTHOR 60 Comments

      Hello! I totally agree with you, but we won't see EY retire the crew of AZ just because it will take a lot of money and because the laws in Italy protect the employee more than the company and specially if they have seniority even if the company is making a profit or not. AZ will never change, I am tired of trying so I will stop flying with them and giving them my business in the future. Concerning a compensation yes, I got compensated for this horrible product by FlyingBlue with some miles back into my account (I am a Platinum member maybe they do it because of that?)...not many but worse than nothing. Food indeed was very ordinary and wine selection was mediocre. My advise to all my fellow readers is to stay away from AZ and spend your money on a decent airline that is happy to have you onboard and not as a pain to have to serve another mouth on the flight :)

      Have a good day, GC.

    • Comment 323004 by
      airtraveladdict 119 Comments

      Unfortunately my view is AZ's business class, even the new Magnifica seats, is just okay. The staggered seats is big improvement, but if the staff attitude and food is still the same, then its not really worth the extra money.
      I think if I fly to Italy one day, I will try different airlines in business class.

  • Comment 144012 by
    Joch 3 Comments

    Hi Giancarlo...
    thanks for the report, I was expecting some new reports after the EY take over and unfortunately nothing has change at AZ.
    I wonder what EY would say to such trip report?

    • Comment 323007 by
      giancarlo330 AUTHOR 60 Comments

      Hi Joch! Trust me EY knows what is going in AZ. Is just a game, they need the presence in Europe and also feed EY flights from EUR-AUH-Asia/ME/Australia etc...is just a money interest. AZ will not change with EY, AF or NASA taking over :P

      Thanks for the feedback!

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