Fiumicino is always full of people but despite being here in the early morning, the crowds were everywhere. I came to check-in my luggage as they were not able to check it in the day before in Barcelona and found the SkyPriority and Business Class lane full. So decided to print the boarding passes on the self-check-in kiosk and also to use the self bag drop-off. It works very well, I really liked it. It speeds up the whole process a lot if you do not require any kind of assistance. After that, we went to the security check which was empty as direct US flights have its own security area than all other flights. This was maybe the most smooth and calm check I have ever experienced as we were the only one here. It took us almost 10 minutes to go through the whole terminal and passport control. We also used the self-service for EU citizens and we were done in seconds. But if you walk slower, you can expect 15-20 minutes to get to E lounge from the Alitalia check-in area.
I covered all Alitalia lounges in my previous flight report so if you need a consultation of which lounge to use, you can refer HERE This morning there were just a few people. The food selection was fine although Air France offers more variety in all kinds of food. But they don't have the bar service which was exceptional! The guy made us a cappuccino and cafe macchiato which were all the Italian quality. This really helped us to start our morning along with the shower which was once again very nice. You come to the reception, they will scan your boarding pass and guide you to the bathrooms where there are 2 showers per each bathroom – 2 for women and 2 for men. I waited for a few minutes to get a free shower room but my friend got it immediately. Inside you will find everything you need from a comb, fain to shoes. It is a very nice service which you might not expect from the bankrupt airline.
We were the last one to board the aircraft but it took them another 20 minutes to close the door. During the time we did not receive any welcome drink (they do not serve champagne anymore, expect prosecco) as we boarded the last one but there was still a lot of time for it. We got the amenity kits, all of them very well equipped including hand cream, socks or perfume and we pushed back and took off 30 minutes behind the schedule. I was seated in 10K and I find this seat to be as great as 1A/K because you have an extra storage space in front of your screen. The only disadvantage of the rear cabin which bothered me a little bit was that economy/Y+ section went often to the business class lavatory in the middle section of J cabin. That should be limited and signed as AF do in their fleet.
After takeoff, they began the service by taking orders. You can pair each course with another wine, every meal comes with the wine recommendation. After this nice procedure, we were asked if we want to eat right now or later. This was so kind to many passengers who seemed to be American and slept during the time we ate since the local time in LAX was close to midnight. Apperitif comes first with warm nuts. This is a nice change compared to my previous flight to JNB. I started with the duck breast rose and went for one of their white wines. It was a bit dry to my taste and the appetizer missed something but it is just a small bite before the real meal comes, right? The pasta was the highlight of the meal. They were delicious and I can’t wait to make them home! The main was just ok… But the cheese plate made me very satisfied! I loved pecorino combined with goiabada from Brazil, that is another super spot of the meal service! Desser was under the standard to my taste but the coffee and delicious dessert wine saved the day so all in all this was a very pleasant inflight dining experience! At least a lot above my previous trip and so the expectations! But it is still far behind another carriers like AF, CX or QR.
I slept for about 2 hours and woke up to check the IFE. It did not work properly. Many times failed and the selection was quite limited. Many films were in Italian only. I also missed the front camera view.
But then it started to be interested. In the second third of the flight, we did the turn left. A few minutes after that the captain came on and announced that there is a technical problem and we can not make it to LAX. Instead, we are heading to nearly 3 hours distanced Toronto where the technics will check the aircraft. I am not much into the situation but why can we fly 3 hours to YYZ instead of 5 hours to our final destination or eg. Calgary which is nearly on our way. This complicated our plans a lot but what can we do? We ordered another cheese plate and fresh fruit along with a glass of prosecco and headed to Toronto.
We arrived at the gate and waited for about 10 to 15 minutes to get the technics arrive to the plane. We were asked to keep seated but you know Italians…they all went to the galley to get chat with the others along with a cup of espresso.
All the time nobody told anything to all of the passengers. So one of our advantages in J cabin was that we were at the front chating with the crew so we were at least a little kept updated. They had a problem with the oxygen bomb in the cockpit and it seemed like they will solve it quickly. In about an hour the bomb was exchanged, the catering brought us a few bottles of water and we were ready to go. At leat this 5 hours delay will get us 600 EUR per passenger by EU261, that is nice, right? During our stay on the ground I ordered a sandwich along with a tea. This seemed like a joke.
After another take off I asked if they have any pasta from the first meal service available but they seemed they ran out of all food. They started preparing the pre-arrival meals so we got them 4 hours before landing. Well at last we got something… It wasn't bad but nothing to remember. Aperol was the best part!
We landed in LAX with 4 hours 40 minutes delay and went to the painful customs. We came to a bus gate and business class was not respected upon leaving the aircraft (inside the crew stood in front of Y+ to let all of us disembark smoothly). I really love like the Americans behave like everybody wants to get to the USA. You won't see these queues in Europe…
Casa Alitalia Piazza Navona
Rome - FCO
Los Angeles - LAX
I will not talk about the delay as far as that could happen to any airline. The crew were very nice, even they worked for 5 more hours than scheduled, they seemed professional and did great job. But the interior is starting showing its age and the soft product, where the airline has to great amazing job to interest customers...was just ok. Better than my previous experience but nothing why I would come to AZ business class again.
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