Review of Alitalia flight Rome Johannesburg in Business

Airline Alitalia
Flight AZ848
Class Business
Seat 3E
Aircraft Airbus A330-200
Flight time 10:05
Take-off 28 Feb 19, 22:10
Arrival at 01 Mar 19, 09:15
AZ   #131 out of 139 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 274 reviews
Published on 1st March 2019


This report covers the second part of my journey to South Africa for a bike trip with Alitalia. I booked my ticket for 250 EUR from PRG to JNB returning to CAI in a "special" sale which is so loved.
Immediately after purchasing the ticket well in advance, I went to their Plusgrade program and bided for most of my flights. The minimum bid for this leg was 360 EUR. I went for 480 EUR upgrade bid and that was accepted 2 days before my flight took off, exactly at the time the online check-in opened. I was able to check-in and select seats online so I had no issue with the upgrade. For those of you who are considering the upgrade bid for long-haul part of your journey - if it is accepted and you will fly at least part of your journey in business class, all of the other boarding passes will be Skypriority, so I think there is no need for bids for short-haul flights ;-)

Casa Alitalia Lounge

As there are separate reports of Alitalia Lounges in FCO, I decided, as I had plenty of time to spare in Rome, to make the journey of all lounges offered by the airline in FCO just for you. First of all, there is a map of lounges:
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1. Piazza Navona
Very nice welcome area for Priority passengers. On the right side you can check in yourselves and your luggage, then you can proceed to the left side of the area which is like an Italian café. There is a bar with a coffee machine, you can have a drink and there is also a tiny buffet area for those starving and not able to wait for the real lounge.

3. Piazza Venezia
Lounge for european flights. Very basic, if you have time, head to the lounge located in E area (after passport control) because this is the real lounge.

4. Piazza di Spagna
Great Lounge, very warm welcome, showers available. The buffet area was not so big at the time I arrived but there was also the fresh cooking stage after a couple of hours. You can have everything you want from the bar, I liked it but let me say…I still love Air Canada Signature Suite and it is the top. Can anybody beat it?

5. Piazza del Popolo
This was a hit! First, you have to understand that at FCO they announce gate numbers on the screens just a few minutes before boarding. So even if you have your gate number pre-printed on your boarding pass, it might change anytime. This is the reason why Piazza di Spagna gets crowded at the peak hour. They advise people to stay here until their gate is announced because once you take the train to the satellite terminal, to get back you will have to go through the security check. But if your flight might, according to your information, depart from the satellite, do not think and head there. The lounge is exactly the same with the same front cooking, café, seating, buffet area, and showers, but there is literally nobody. I left Piazza di Spagna 2 hours to my departure when there were so many people that nearly 90% of seats were taken. When I got to Piazza del Popolo, there were only two other people. And a lot of stuff doing nothing. That is also something that makes me wonder how they work. Now I understand Lufthansa plans after the possible takeover of AZ to cut more than 20% of employees because they do not have work for them! They are standing at the door, smiling, talking to each other. Boarding provided by two agents, one is staring on them. And I do not count the crew onboard! There was nearly as much crew as business class passengers! Unbelievable!
All in all, if your flight is departing from satellite, do not hesitate and head there!

I was very impressed by the cleanness of the area. I asked for a shower and was immediately taken to one of their nice suites

The gate was just around the corner from the lounge, boarding started 20 minutes behind the schedule.
The crew on this flight was nice and attentive. The cabin is starting showing its age. It was quite dirty but the best benefit was there was sitting nobody next to me so I could enjoy my own suite!
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Upon boarding, there were awaiting us the menu, wine list, and the coffee list. The blanked, pillow and slippers were also prepared on our seats.
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Welcome drink and amenity kit
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We were also given the 50 MB free internet voucher which I find very generous. Or no, waiti, that should be standard in the business class! The premium economy got 20 MB.
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For a dinner, I started with Campari Spritz which was served along with some canapes…
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Then the table was set up which I really like. I hate those airlines serving the dish on the tables. At this point, let me say that Alitalia is well behind they should be in food quality. This veal appetizer with tuna is something I do not understand…
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But the primi piatti consisting of pasta with truffle sauce was very good, maybe a little fatty
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But the Secondi piatti was a disappointment. It should be slowly cooked medium veal and I expected something like a steak. We got 3 slices of hard meat with no flavor, absolutely dry. Potatoes and green beans were more than overcooked. All in all, I ate only a few pieces of it.
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But than cheeses came and I was surprised. I got a huge portion with ice wine, dried plum and goiabada, a sweet from Brasil.
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Espresso and the dessert at the end…
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The breakfast is another meal I do not understand. This flight was nearly 10 hours and this is what we got:
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I think we deserve a better breakfast than just two warmed pieces of bakery and fresh fruit. The menu stated yogurt but that was not served. And how was the breakfast served? Two hours before landing! Rubbish! Everyone was done with it in just minutes and went back to sleep. Why they wake up people so early? Then the crew chatted so maybe if they were working and not having a discussion with colleagues, it might be better…

We landed right on time in sunny South Africa
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And let me say that I expected JNB to be a dirty place with chaos everywhere but it is well organized, I really love the option of check-in for domestic flights before you leave the transit area. Very nice!
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Cabin crew7.0

Casa Alitalia Piazza Navona


Rome - FCO


Johannesburg - JNB



Do I recommend Alitalia Business Class? Well, you might try it and if you do not have high expectations, you might be surprised. But for me, it was just that flight I expected.
The recommendation at the end - they have many blankets and pillows left so feel free to ask them to give you one more package and use it as a mattress so you do not have to lie on the seat which was never cleaned and came from Delhi...

Information on the route Rome (FCO) Johannesburg (JNB)

The contributors of Flight-Report published 3 reviews of 1 airlines on the route Rome (FCO) → Johannesburg (JNB).


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

The average flight time is 11 hours and 18 minutes.

  More information


  • Comment 490951 by
    sotto_Deactivated 83 Comments

    I repeat my comment on the flight report PRG FCO: The times at Alitalia were already much better. Not only economically, above all in service. At times, when AZ still flew me FC, for example, there was a delicious Oxtail Soup with sherry.And there was also a small menu card with the beverage offer.But this service decline is recorded by almost all European airlines. Once the variety of Italian food reflected on the flights. Today, there are only junk food at AZ. For that I would not pay a cent business class tariff.

  • Comment 490964 by
    East African 1519 Comments

    Many thanks for the lounge hopping and AZ review
    Breakfast is meh, the rest looks ok.
    "I expected JNB to be a dirty place with chaos everywhere"=> Seriously??? Because it's Africa's busiest airport?
    Is it road or mtb trip?

  • Comment 490979 by
    ThomasDutch GOLD 430 Comments

    Not the most expensive product to be honest, but that 2nd meal is unjustified indeed to a J product.

  • Comment 491057 by
    JW19 118 Comments

    AC Signature Suite lounge, can it be beaten? Of course it can. Acceptable if you like or prefer it but claiming it to be the best, hardly. UA Polaris is definitely ahead based on my experience and we are not talking about AA Flangship First, AF La Premier and LH First Terminal at FRA yet, those makes the signature suites child's play.

  • Comment 491061 by
    sotto_Deactivated 83 Comments

    AZ has been experiencing significant deficits for decades. These deficits are taken care of by state support. My conclusion is: AZ has no market authorization.Now Delta Air Lines, Easyjet and the state railway company AZ are to take over. It would be important that at AZ a new spirit and, above all, a service orientation.

  • Comment 491312 by
    gustavoflyer 4 Comments

    really loved the way you explained the differences between the lounges, nice job and advices.
    by the way, seems very dissapointing alitalia meals onboard. First toughts that come to your mind when you hear "Ital" word it's food, and guiding by your comments and pictures i can say alitalia isn't doing a good job. I remember that in certain routes meal offering it's more like a pasta party, wich i consider a great idea. Hope you had a nice trip, regards

  • Comment 491584 by
    Skytop 2 Comments

    Dear Tulakpohvezdach,
    I was a former Alitalia "steward", at that time, Alitalia had the 5th largest network in the work. SInce then, decades have passed and Alitalia became the wreck of what it was 40 years ago. My flying career lasted less than 5 years, then I switched carrier for good and enjoy flying (privately and for duty) as much as I can.
    I am not the quintessential Italian, having British roots, but I am a proud Italian, as well as a Piedmontese (I live in Turin), which is the land of what you call
    "This veal appetizer with tuna is something I do not understand…" which is aptly called "vitello tonnato" (tuned veal... literally). This is the explanation. It's a delicacy dating back to the beginning of X century, which was once reserved to rich people and became a more popular dish after the XVIII century. The sauce is actually made of grinded vegetables, boiled eggs, anchovies, but the receipt may include tuna fish and mayonnaise. It much depends on the cook's tastes. The sauce is laid over lean tender veal, usually boiled in the same vegetables of the sauce, or broiled until the meat is white (absolutely well cooked).
    Sorry for this elapsed explanation, but "vitello tonnato" is a well known Piedmontese speciality and can keep its texture, even in the air.

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