Review of ITA Airways flight Milan Catania in Economy

Airline ITA Airways
Flight AZ1713
Class Economy
Seat 24F
Aircraft Airbus A320
Flight time 01:17
Take-off 24 Nov 22, 11:18
Arrival at 24 Nov 22, 12:35
AZ   #64 out of 78 Airlines A minimum of 10 flight-reports within the past two years is required to appear in the rankings. 21 reviews
Carlotherocks
By BRONZE 271
Published on 30th November 2022

INTRODUCTION


Hello everyone!
While I write this report I'm attending my last year of my architecture course at university. 
The main architecture laboratory is focused on the redevelopment of an old industrial area near Siracusa, in Sicily. Since this project is gonna be our final work, the teacher organized a site inspection in Siracusa for 25-26th November.

I've never been to Sicily, even if it's an amazing region. Therefore this trip became the occasion to experience the island better.


BOOKING OPTIONS


Plane is the only way to get from Milan to Sicily in a quick way.
The fastest train can take up to 15 hours and at least one stopover. This is due to the fact that the Italian high speed network ends in Naples. South of it there are only conventional railways; moreover the train has to be shipped to cross the 3-km Strait of Messina, which separates Sicily from the mainland.

No need to say we didn't consider anytime this solution.


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Catania Airport is the closest to Siracusa, being located 48 kilometers from our destination.
Our initial plan was to leave on Thursday 24th November, stay with our teacher in Siracusa on Friday and Saturday, than spending Sunday in Catania before the nine-o'clock flight back home.
By the way we discovered that leaving back on Monday was much more convenient (116 euros agains 152) even considering an additional night.
We decided to stay in Siracusa two nights, than spending one night in Taormina and then the last one in Catania, leaving back to Milan on Monday 28th evening.

After a bit of research the best option appeard to be flying with ITA Airways from Linate.
Actualy Ryanair from Malpensa was kinda cheaper, but we avoided it. First of all because the cabin baggage was not included; leaving from MXP would have meant taking the Malpensa Express train, which costs around 20 euros, and waking up around 5 am to catch the flight around 9 am.

We chose ITA Airways "Economy Light" fare, which gives the possibility to bring a standard trolley as a carry on, plus a small bag to put under the seat. We booked the flight the 28th October, less than one month before the departure date.


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Since the meeting with the teacher was planned for the the day after our arrival, we deciced not the get the earlier flight (departing 9.50).
For the return we took the latest flight departing from Catania.


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We booked also three hotels in Siracusa (two nights), Taormina and Catania (one night each) for a total of 114 euros per person.

Since public transport in Sicily is not very efficient a rented car was the only way to move around all these places. We chose SicilyByCar rental which offered us a Fiat Panda for 55 euros per person.


ROUTING


Routing


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Some personal stats

First time flying into CTA


BEFORE THE FLIGHT


On the 9th November ITA Airways sent an email informing that the flight was postponed, from 10.50 to 11.00.
Nothing serious, fortunately…


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ITA Airways gives the possibility to check-in 48 hourse before each flight. On Tuesday morning I logged in on their app to check-in and generate my boarding pass.

The procedure itself was very easy and quick. The app ask me to confirm my Volare frequent flyer number; by the way when I got my BP I noticed that the number was missing. Moreover, even hours after the check-in, the app continued to show the "Check-in" button as the procedure hadn't been done.

Even if the app had been improved since ITA's foundation one year before, there are still some issues to fix.


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For the fare I chose the seat selection wasn't available. Fortunately I got a window seat, 24F, in the rear of the cabin.


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Arriving at THE AIRPORT


With the flight scheduled to 11 my friend and I decided to be at Linate no later than 9.30, since none of us needed to check any luggage

Getting there from my house can take 45 minutes and two changes (subway, train and bus). By the way my friend, who lives close to my home, and I were able to find a shared car. From our place to the airport 15/20 minutes are needed.

We grabbed a car at quarter to nine and in 20 minutes we arrived at Milan-Linate Airport

Viale Forlanini, the entrance avenue to the airport


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Milan skyline and the Alps seen from the parking.


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The parking which hosts car sharing is connected to the terminal through a walkway
We got inside the terminal around 9:15, more than one hour before scheduled boarding time
Even if the terminal had been refurbished a couple of years ago, the departure hall is a bit dark


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The boarding gate was already visible on the FIDS


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Having a bit of spare time I went to ITA's counter to get my boarding pass printed
Moreover the online BP didn't show my frequent flyer number and I wanted to check it


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Counters were empty and I got my BP in no time
The agent told me that the frequent flyer number was registered; unfortunately ITA's app and website still have some issues with frequent flyer log-in…


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Having nothing else to do my mates and I proceeded straight to the security checkpoint


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waiting to board


There was a bit of queue at the checkpoint
The control itself was quickly due to the advanced X-ray machinery which allows passengers to keep their liquids inside the bag
The whole procedure took 15 minutes


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Mandatory passage through the duty free shop


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The main departure lounge


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Getting upstairs to get a coffee and take some pictures

ITA Airways A320s


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Despite boarding was scheduled 30 minutes later we decided to wait at the gate

I want to take a moment to express something I feel really strange about Linate (both as an avgeek and as an architect)
The main departure lounge is located on the 1st floor. And on the same floor there're 5 contact gates. By the way to access the gate area there's a mandatory passage through the remote gates area, located on the ground floor. In my opinion this is kinda weird, also considering the airport had been improved recently

Our gate was already set for boarding


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The apron with few European birds


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A320s line up: British Airways and 3 ITA Airways, one in old livery


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KLM Boeing 737 just landed…


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…and docking at the gate


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Hibernian Airlines Bombardier CRJ-1000 landing


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This plane is wetleased by ITA Airways


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ITA Airways A220, painted in "Born to be Sustainable" livery as the other 4 planes in the fleet


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Our plane for today:
ITA Airways Airbus A320-200, EI-DTA, delivered to AirOne in December 2008 (14.0 years old). It was later transferred to Alitalia and now it's part of ITA's fleet. It's equipped with 171 seats in mixed C-Y configuration. The plane is dedicated to Italian football champion Gaetano Scirea.
I've already flown on EI-DTA on FCO-LIN route in December 2021.


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Perfectly on time boarding was called at gate A19


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Mandatory door shot
The blue paint looks sooo good


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Heading to my seat, 24F
The plane seemed to have a 80% load factor


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The view from my seat, with an Iberia A320 parked in front of the Emporio Armani hangar


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Meanwhile boarding was going on
The seat was a standard european-haul one, with a decent pitch for a short flight


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As boarding came to end an ITA Airways A320 pulled into the gate next to our


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"Boarding completed" was called minutes before 11
A few minutes after we pushed back


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ITA Airways, Aer Lingus and British Airways A320s


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ITA Airways A220 and KLM Boeing 737 parked the terminal


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Milan skyline with Alps is always a wonderful view


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ITA Airways A320


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Brussels Airlines A319 landing


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German Airways Embraer E190 leased by ITA


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Waiting for take-off on runway 36


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ITA Airways A320 landing before our turn to go


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Entering the runway bound to north
As I know most of the operations are north-bound


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the flight


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Almost 20 minutes after scheduled we started our take off run


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And in the air…


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The apron


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Linate's terminal
The lake behind is called "Idroscalo" and was built in the 20s as a seaplane port


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Mondadori (left) and IBM (right) headquarters in Segrate
The first one was designed by Brasilian architect Oscar Niemeyer


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Banking over Segrate and Milano San Felice towns…


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…and Pioltello


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Milan with the Alps


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Linate Airport as we pointed towards south


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Passing over A58 motorway


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The interchange between A1 and A58 motorways


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Crossing over Po river, the longest in Italy


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This S-bend is located west of Piacenza, on the border between Lombardy and Emilia-Romagna regions


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Approaching Apennine Mountains


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Piacenza-San Damiano Military Airport (ICAO: LIMS)


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Apennines sprayed by a few snow


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La Spezia gulf, in Liguria Region


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Following Tuscany's coastline


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Pisa, crossed by Arno River


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Pisa "Galileo Galilei" Airport (IATA: PSA, ICAO: LIRP), Tuscany's main airport


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Pisa city center, with the Leaning Tower and the Cathedral


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Livorno visible in the distance


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Piombino with Elba Island in the background


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Monte Argentario


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Rome-Fiumicino (IATA: FCO, ICAO: LIRF) visible between the clouds


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30 minutes into the flight a drink service was delivered
I got an orange juice, which was quite good


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Corporate picture


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While the service was in progress we started to flight above Tyrrean Sea


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The largest visible island is Ponza, the other two are Zannone and Palmarole


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Eolie Islands, approaching Sicily's airspace


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Cabin was prepared for landing and the crew informed that we'd arrived in 20 minutes
 
Northern Sicily seemed to be covered by clouds…


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Etna, the tallest active volcano in Europe (3.357 metres)

Located a few kilometres north of Catania, it's one of the activest volcano in the world


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Emerging under the light cloud layers


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Aligning to the runway


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Catania with Mount Etna in the background
Such a pity the summit is covered by clouds


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Catania's harbour


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Our shadow appears on the sea surface
I definitely got the best side to enjoy this landing


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Catania's beach
The runway edge is located barely 600 metres from the shore


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Last moments on air


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At 12:35, ten minutes before scheduled, we touched down at Catania-Fontanarossa Airport
The airport is dedicated to opera composer Vincenzo Bellini

The landing was quite hard and the brake very strong


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Even if the runway is equipped with a parallel taxiway, we had to backtrack to vacate


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Docking at a contact gate minutes after
The captain welcomed us in Catania telling that the temperature was 23 °C, much more enjoyable than the 5°C in Milan


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As I later discovered the western portion of the taxiway was undergoing renovation, obliging planes to backtrack the runway for landing or take off


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Disembark was quite fast

Fuselage shot of our blue bird


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Heading to the exit


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Last view of our plane


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Welcome to Catania!


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The baggage hall

Since none of us had checked bags we get straight to the exit


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My friends and me got off the terminal and went straight to the car rental center, located 4 minutes walking
After claiming our car (a Citroen C1) we pointed immediately to Siracusa
The motorway ride took around 45 minutes

See you for the return flight!


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Verdict

ITA Airways

6.8/10
Cabin7.0
Cabin crew8.0
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Meal/catering7.0

Milan - LIN

7.4/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.0
Services7.0
Cleanliness7.0

Catania - CTA

7.4/10
Efficiency7.5
Access8.0
Services6.5
Cleanliness7.5

Conclusion

The flight was a standard domestic ITA's flight, the cabin was comfortable, the crew professional and the service decent

Linate is an efficient airport, it works very well as European gateway to Milan. Also the process at Catania Airport was a breeze.

Related

2 Comments

If you liked this review or if you have any questions, don’t hesitate to post a comment below !
  • Comment 616548 by
    NGO85 GOLD 1871 Comments

    Ciao Carlo, thank you for the FR! ITA looks to offer decent service on its domestic legs, but it is still missing the salty/sweet snack option that used to be part of AZ's service following the EY investment. Excellent aerial tour down western Italy and beautiful bonus of Sicily, a part of Italy I have not been to yet. Grazie mille!

    • Comment 616580 by
      Carlotherocks BRONZE AUTHOR 80 Comments

      Thank you! Glad you appreciate
      I totally agree with you about ITA's service, a little snack would be fine on a short flight like this.

      My impression is that they're working hard to "erase" Alitalia's memory in order to create a new strong image of a quality airline. Wish them the best and hope to try soon their long haul product!

      Wish you to visit soon Sicily, it's beyond every imagination

      Grazie e buoni voli :)

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