Buongiorno a tutti.
Seems like this route is the first ever reported!
Today I will start reporting a series of flights from London to Sicily. Italy is probably one of my favorite countries, and unfortunately I didn't have the good reflex to take a lot of pictures I apologise for it. You know when you feel "oh yes there will be other times…" and that there isn't!!
Flying blue Miles earned with this flight: 336
Status earned: 2XP
To go to Catania there are fewer options than Palermo, and when we compared fare on Skyscanner, it appeared that AZ was just 30euros more expensive than U2. So when it is the case, I prefer going with legacy carriers for two reasons:
1. They don't pay their taxes in Ireland and it is local people that are employed
2. You get miles through an alliance - Skyteam in this case
The APP has a fairly basic level of functionalities but is well designed and works fast. You can see your itinary, know your seats and luggage allowance at a glance, and of course download your boarding pass.The boarding pass is just a scan of a text written in old police, with no graphic design elements at all.
Welcome back to 1995!
At the time of our booking, we were supposed to fly in an A320 but at checkin we discovered that actually it was an A321.
Just like Air France, Alitalia has split its cabin configuration into 2: whether they are outbound for domestic or international destinations. The difference is of course the amount of seats available and the business sections seats are different too.
Sicily offers a really big amount of history… Antique greek intact temples
Stunning Roman villas
and Baroque cities like Syracuse or Catania.
I am sure the beaches are lovely too but in January we didn't go! It was way warmer than London but still..
Catania is a fairly small airport, and so everything is pretty smooth when it comes to check your bag in and going through security..
The announces for boarding were made in both English and Italian, and the boarding happened with first the Skyteam elite members and business class ticket holders (and so we took advantage of it) before the remaining passengers.
The view of the airport from my seat..
Aircraft: Embraer A321-112
Registration: don't remember sorry
Engines: 2x CFM56
Age: almost surely 20 years
The crew was very nice and gave us a really warm welcome. After push back we had the regular announce by the captain the safety procedures explained in the old fashion way by the crew.
Take off happened facing the sea.
The really strange thing at Catania, is that even though there is blue sky all over Sicily, the town of Catania is covered with clouds almost every afternoon… These clouds aren't the natural evaporation of water but the nearby and GIANT Etan volcano activity.
And so after take off, we had a beautiful view on this dangerous mountain, above the clouds.
After take off and the seat belt switched off passed 10,000 feet, the crew quickly started their on board complimentary service, bearing in mind this is a fairly short flight.
Walking in the cabin, coming back from the toilets..
There was no IFE on this plane, like the rest of the Alitalia Medium haul fleet.
And so it is time for the magazine review!
So apparently Alitalia has the best J class catering… I never tried but I let my fellow reporters be the judge of that!
Looking at the european network, you can really tell where the Skyteam members are!
Alitalia uses the strategic "feed your hub" approach except in its case, it is a bit like Lufthansa where there are two hubs: Rome and Milan…
And finally the page for AVGeeks like me!
I remember the landing was very smooth.
View of our plane.. I guess it is I-BIXN but not sure..
We waited at the E terminal building for our next flight onbound to Heathrow..
A good flight with Aliatalia.
The crew members were really professional.
The cabin is a bit old in style and hard product, but at least comfy.
There isn't any wifi.
CTA: Small airport but efficient. Could be cleaner
FCO: clean and a lot of food points, dare I say restaurants.
The very good point of Fiumicino is that it is just a few minutes away from the Roman Antique site of Ostia, the largest Roman port of the Empire.