Review of Alitalia flight Tokyo Rome in Premium Eco

Airline Alitalia
Flight AZ785
Class Premium Eco
Seat 15L
Aircraft Boeing 777-200ER
Flight time 12:50
Take-off 12 Mar 15, 14:10
Arrival at 12 Mar 15, 19:00
AZ   #131 out of 139 Airlines A minimum of 20 Flight-Reports is required in order to appear in the rankings. 274 reviews
giancarlo330
By 11548
Published on 14th March 2015
I have to confess I have been a huge fan of FR since its beginnings. With this in mind and being a frequent traveler of Skyteam on its Premium Classes I want to share my first FR. I happened to find some days ago some crazy low fares on Alitalia, specially on Classica Plus from Europe to Asia. With every intention of trying this product which there is little information on the net I decided to buy a ticket from Rome to Tokyo and spend 6 days at that beautiful and crazy city which I enjoyed very much.

The trip started at 11am showing up at the Sky Priority check in area of Alitalia (T1 North Wing) which also handles Delta,Korean,AeroMexico,AF and other carriers. After a 15 minute wait which was a bit too much as Alitalia has two departures at almost the same time (one 777 to MXP and other to FCO) I was taken care of by a nice asian assistant.
Check in was kind and efficient,BP and invitation to the Delta lounge were handed out in no time. I tried a bit to push for an upgrade but the flight was wide open and an upgrade would have cost me aprox 1,200EUR for one way which I didn't see the benefit as mileage accrual is the same for Premium Economy and Business flying Alitalia and earning points with Flying Blue.

NRT has a dedicated Sky Priority lane for security and passport control and in no time I was at the Delta lounge at satellite 2. As some fellow travelers state this is one of the best Delta Sky Club's around its system,my opinion is that it is OK for american standards but still light years behind than other premium asian or ME carriers.






After enjoying a couple of glasses of decent Chilean and French Bordeaux, we were called for boarding at gate 24. Aircraft today was a B-777 with Skyteam livery. I was greeted by two cabin attendants which were let's say very little welcoming but they did their job. I walked through the Magnifica mini cabin down to my seat 15L. Good news today for the flight I wouldn't have any companion on the aisle seat so I would have more room to stretch out. The seat as itself is the same as AF Premium Economy product. There was a set of cushion and blanket (both from Frette) and a bottle of water. After seating and getting comfy a flight attendant passed by offering prosecco (not even half of a plastic glass),water or red orange juice (Arancia rossa).




Noticing a gap on the protocol of service I noticed that the Frette Amenity Kits were not handed out. Trying to be patient I decided to wait until airborne and see if this part of the amenities offered to the Premium Eco passengers was going to be fulfilled or not. I will come to that in a bit.


We taxied and took off sharp on time and headed north towards Russian airspace. Noticing some gaps to what have been reported on other sites no menu was handed out for this flight and neither on the inbound flight. Shame that Alitalia is not consistent on service protocols and products for specific classes of service. After a while I asked the first flight attendant for the amenity kit. He immediately responded to make sure that they were not handed out before,sure no one had received them yet. After one hour and having asked to 5 different people someone in a hurry came out of Business to give one to every passenger. I mean, I don't want to be on those persons trying to think the worse…but is there any chance that Alitalia is trying to save amenity kits for other flights? Or is it that some flight attendant that was supposed to do his/her job forgot because there is no supervision at all?

God knows the answer.

photo IMG_4311



Anyway, after some minutes from the amenity kit incident the trolley came from the rear galley. Now, if someone thinks that food in Classica Plus is different from Economy…well they are wrong! The food is exactly the same, served on other plates, with a glass (real) for wine and plastic cutlery. The options were italian or asian menu. I decided to take the italian. Quality I must say was below standard. The appetizer consisting of a cold cut was not very fresh and the lasagna was just floating on a watery tomato sauce. Now, the worse part of the meal was the wine. It was so so but sooo cheap that I ended up with a slight headache after the meal service. I investigated a bit after landing and discovered that Alitalia's choice for its Economy and +Economy clients was a 4 EUR bottle at any supermarket in Europe (Canello White/Red). Actually it is a shame for an airline that prides itself for its italian heritage to offer such cheap product and leaves me thinking on the big hole that Alitalia was and is still today product of the bad management that have run Alitalia for decades.

Here is the picture of shame

photo IMG_4312photo IMG_4316photo IMG_4318


After meal service I tried to sleep a bit and taking advantage for some extra space offered on Y+. No, being honest this seat is terrible for a night flight of more than 8 hours. I think from an east coast flight to Europe it is more than fine, but for 11+ hours it might be a bit of an issue. IFE offered is a bit primitive for 2015 and the selection of movies was below standard. Screen size was adequate.

Here are some shots of the legroom.

photo IMG_4303photo IMG_4304photo IMG_4308

Soon after lights were dimmed and the cabin crew vanished for a nice chat at the rear galley for around 6 hours, the nice chatting update of the layover was interrupted by offering some drinks to the passengers like water and OJ.

Flight continued uneventful and an hour before descent a light snack was offered (way too light I must say for a 12:50 hours flight). Again,cheap wine and same food offering as Economy and plastic cutlery.

photo IMG_4321


Landing was sharp at 19:00 and taxied to the G- arrival satellite from T3. It was a big mess upon deplaning. Flight from Dubai and Doha had arrived and everyone was trying to rush to the skytrain. What a nice way to be welcomed back in Italy with some chaos and disorder for a change :)
See more

Verdict

Alitalia

5.3/10
Cabin6.0
Cabin crew4.0
Entertainment/wifi5.5
Meal/catering5.5

Delta Air Lines Sky Club - 1, Sat 2

6.1/10
Comfort6.5
Meal/catering6.5
Entertainment/wifi5.0
Services6.5

Tokyo - NRT

8.8/10
Efficiency10.0
Access5.0
Services10.0
Cleanliness10.0

Rome - FCO

5.4/10
Efficiency3.5
Access6.0
Services6.0
Cleanliness6.0

Conclusion

Sadly Alitalia is still a long way to reach other Skyteam partner's standards. Cabin crew is something that bothers me. Most of the cabin crew are very old, probably they have been with the airline for 25+ years. But comparing to chez AirFrance or BA where most of their senior crew are still motivated, kind and friendly enough to enjoy their job, Alitalia crew shows zero effort to solve issues, be kind, have a smile or just make you feel welcome. They clearly seem to be bothered by something which might be money issues, company manegement or just tired of the crew life. No reason whatsoever should be accepted for the terrible lame attitude of the crew. I find that most male flight attendants on Alitalia are very very rude and unprofessional while females are trying a bit harder to make a difference, but of course this is not enough. Examples as the amenity kit, or simply observing the interaction of the crew with the clients was more than enough for me to say I wouldn't choose Alitalia other than a future flight I have already booked on Y+ for a very very low price to ICN next June.

But if you ask me if I will pay the normal fare for Classica Plus on any flight with AZ my answer would be NO. Magnifica its another story but on regular classes as also any intra european flight with Alitalia expect little and you won't be disappointed ;)

Hope you guys enjoyed my first report and any feedback will be welcomed!

Thanks for reading!

Information on the route Tokyo (NRT) Rome (FCO)

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


Useful

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

The average flight time is 12 hours and 44 minutes.

  More information

14 Comments

  • Comment 131699 by
    SKYTEAMCHC GOLD 8149 Comments

    Thanks for sharing this Report with us, it was a pleasure to read it. I agree with you on many things that you have pointed outlook about AZ and in particular the lack of consitency and respect of protocole. This airline needs a lot more discipline. As for flight attendants i have a very good experience as well as terrible and again it's a weak point. I am very surprised about the Catering which is the same as un economy and that the arrival meal is in fact just a small snack !

    • Comment 312417 by
      giancarlo330 AUTHOR 60 Comments

      Thank you for your feedback SkyteamCHC :) very kind of you. Indeed I hope the new management make some changes to AZ service protocol but until today those changes haven't arrived yet. I have also mixed experiences with Alitalia, specially as I travel 90% of the time on J being my first time on Y+. Service was lame and mediocre at best, it just never stops surprising me how some cabin crew members from old airlines like Alitalia or Iberia are tired of flying and disliking their job and seems to still be flying because they can't afford to stop working or they just can't stay at home without the little glamour left on the aviation industry post 9/11 and pass that anger and indifference to the customer.
      Catering was a very weak point I also agree with you. Thanks once again for your feedback.

  • Comment 131715 by
    Denzee 1773 Comments

    Thank you so much for this great first FR !!!

    Took last month AZ in J and the service was pretty poor too, it seems to be quite usual with them and it's really a shame.

    Really surprised by the catering which is the same as Y and looks pretty poor.

    • Comment 312422 by
      giancarlo330 AUTHOR 60 Comments

      Thank you for reading, indeed catering was a very weak point for the italian/arab flag carrier ;)

    • Comment 312423 by
      giancarlo330 AUTHOR 60 Comments

      Thank you Kevin for the warm welcome!

      Yes, the welcome drink is much well received but when they serve 1/4 of a glass full of prosecco on both ways makes you feel that is just for the sake of getting rid of the 'perk' and not really because they want you feel more premium as you paid at least 1,000USD more from a regular Economy ticket.

      Meal service compared to AF is just shameful. Sadly Alitalia as I stated is far away from offering a fair product and serving the same food of Economy with the same wine options on a nicer tray it just makes you feel sad and silly.

      Thanks once again and hope you enjoy my future reports as I enjoy every report posted here!

      Giancarlo330.

  • Comment 131717 by
    KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5138 Comments

    Thank you for this awesome first report on a rarely reported product. You are totally right about the SkyClubs in Narita...they are definitely the best Sky Clubs in the system, but this is by US standards...by the standards of more premium carriers, the NRT Sky Clubs are very average.

    The Classica Plus seat is indeed exactly the same as AF's Premium Economy. Personally, I have flow in this seat many times and rather like it--more so on the A380 as it is a newer model and has more padding then on other aircraft (except those with the Best and Beyond cabins). One good things about Classica Plus is that you get a pre-departure drink while boarding. That's something I've always said that AF should do in Premium Economy, to give it a more premium feel--even if it is in a plastic cup. BA does this in World Traveller Plus and I think it makes a difference in the overall experience.

    The meal service is disappointing. Again, I'm comparing with AF, and at least AF gives you some upgraded elements like Business class like appertizer, better dessert, and a box of chocolates and candy after the meal. Giving an Economy tray with a real glass feels like a half-a** attempt, lol.

    Very much enjoyed your first report and looking forward to many more!

    Welcome to Flight-Report!

    KevinDC - Community Manager

  • Comment 131728 by
    padawan 1448 Comments

    Thank you very much indeed for this first report on the new AZ Economy+.
    Bad news to learn it is equipped with the same seats as AF, OK for a day-flight but so uncomfortable for a nigh-flight :(
    Catering is quite disappointing too :(
    Overall, the product is OK if you manage to get the mistakes fares to ICN and NRT to renew your Skyteam status :)

  • Comment 131750 by
    KL651 TEAM 4479 Comments

    Benvenuto e grazie per questo primo FR.

    I didn't know the Y+ seats on AZ were the same as on AF, at least the ones I saw on the A330 seemede different.

    The catering seems very small in quantity for a flight of this duration, was there any snack available in the galley?

    I agree with you that AZ's biggest problem is its staff, because when they're bad they're terrible, not just average.

    The amenity kit sure is nice for Y+.

    Your opinion that AZ is worth it, only if their price is the lowest is shared by many people it seems.

    • Comment 312435 by
      giancarlo330 AUTHOR 60 Comments

      Grazie mille KL651!

      Yes indeed the Premium Economy seats are different and vary from the 777 to A330 fleet...you figure out! Yes, snacks were available the typical cookies given on any domestic or european flight (which taste terrible, I don't even accept them anymore) and Pepsi products at the galley. I was offered a petit sandwich which it was just a shame! I didn't even bother to take a picture because it was too small for my camera hahahaha. Yes,the amenity kit was very nice almost Business Class level but again the shame that the crew ''forgot'' to deliver them to the clients and after I insisted if I recall my memory correctly about 4/5 times it was handed out by the asian crew member from Business...only after some frequent travel noticed the gap on the protocol of service (moi) when this is normally done before pushback.

      AZ Y+ worth it as they offered a couple of weeks ago some mistake fares to Asia which allows me to collect level miles with FB as flying Business and getting the very generous bonus of 150% because of flying AZ.

      Thanks for your opinion! I will post some pictures on my AF Affaires flight to Lima at the end of this month! Keep tuned!

      GC

  • Comment 131817 by
    NGO85 1622 Comments

    Thank you for sharing this report and welcome to the site!

    Other than pre-departure drinks and an amenity kit, it looks like there is little benefit from upgrading from Y to Y+ since I think either seat would be difficult to sleep in (pitch is good [maybe same as CX], but not TK great). The catering certainly doesn't warrant an upgrade and is of poor quantity (I actually laughed when I saw the packet of saltine crackers on the second meal tray), which is a shame since its perhaps the only good reputation AZ has. I find the price/benefit comparison of Y/Y+ poor on most carriers. When given the option, I've always just saved the money and gone Y since it's going to be uncomfortable either way.

    Did you pick a missing window seat on purpose?

    Hopefully EY will take a bigger hand in things and start cleaning house, since poor performances by AZ now reflect poorly on EY.

    All in all, AZ looks like the UA of Europe where a good crew makes the airline look average. And a bad crew, well... gives you this report.

    Hope for better flights in the future and looking forward to your future reports.

    • Comment 312475 by
      giancarlo330 AUTHOR 60 Comments

      Thanks for the feedback NGO85!

      Yes, I had to choose the missing window seat as all other seats were taken and they were only the middle section seats available. With a bit of good luck I managed to get the aisle seat vacant so I enjoyed some extra space for this ultra long haul flight. I have been investigating other Y+ products around and seems that BA and AF have better offerings for this class of service which is the first time I try as I stated before I usually fly J but I got some crazy low fares to Asia with AZ and receiving valuable level miles for my Skyteam program at almost 1/3 of the price I would usually have had to spend.

      Haven't had any recent UA experiences other than a IAH/LIM on J some years ago which was a standard flight for an american carrier but AZ crew on this sector was below standard for sure.

      Thank you for the feedback again and hope to report my next flights to Lima and Asia on chez AF and AZ :)

    • Comment 312508 by
      KévinDC TEAM SILVER 5138 Comments

      @NGO85 - In my experience on Transatrantic flights with AF ex-East Coast, Premium Economy has always been a worthwhile upgrade from Y, especially in the summer. Typical PE fares from IAD to CDG in the summer are around $2000-2200, while Y is about 1500. For me, the extra pitch, wider seats, upgrade amenities, and discounted lounge access (Though, I always got lounge access as a SkyTeam Elite+ so that didn't mater to me) for around $250 each way were well worth it. But then again, AF's PE product, though with the same seat (which I like actually) is generally better than AZ's and I've always had amazing crews on AF (but then I used to work for AF a long time ago, so that probably helps). I've also flow on VS and BA Premium Economy TATL and enjoyed those as well--more so VS. The European side of me wishes that US carriers would introduce a true Premium Economy cabin, but the American side of me tells me that this will add complexity for upgrade options for Elites (i.e. SWUs from Y to Y+ instead of from Y to J) or make mileage upgrades more expensive from Y to J. Either way I like the concept of Premium Economy when you can't always justify the cost of J when flying on your own dime.

  • Comment 133278 by
    jetsetpanda 2295 Comments

    Welcome and thank you for sharing this new addition to the Premium Economy genre.

    Too bad about the inconsistency in service and the crew's lack of attention to details like the distribution of amenity kits. However, I must say that the kit is of J quality and much better than what other airlines give in Y+. The meal presentation is more Y than Y+ in my opinion and could be improved.

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