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Alitalia To New York: STR-MXP-JFK And Back (+pics)  
User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

My last visit to New York had been 8 years ago and I always wanted to go there again. So when I found a very good offer from Alitalia for a flight from my home airport Stuttgart (STR) via Milan Malpensa (MXP) to New York (JFK), I didn’t hesitate to book. Having flown Alitalia on short-haul several times, I was curious what their long-haul product would be like. Flight price was EUR 160.00 + tax EUR 199.54, so I paid all in all EUR 359.54 for the return flight. Seat reservation in advance is possible for the long-haul flights at no charge. I chose seat 41L for both flights, a window seat in the back of the aircraft.


Saturday, 16 February 2008
Stuttgart (STR) – Milan Malpensa (MXP)
Airline: Alitalia (operated by Alitalia Express)
Flight number: AZ 449
Scheduled departure time: 07:10
Scheduled arrival time: 08:15
Type of aircraft: Embraer RJ145LR
Registration: I-EXMA “Giosué Carducci”



This aircraft was built and delivered to Alitalia Express in 2000 and was the first Embraer 145 in the fleet. It is named after Giosué Carducci (1835-1907), an Italian poet.


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Photo © Bianca Renz
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Photo © Marco Toso - SpotIT




I arrived at Stuttgart Airport shortly after 5:00 am, about 2 hours before departure. Check-in opened at 5:10, which was two hours before departure, with two very friendly ladies of our local handling agent Stuttgart Ground Service. One of them took my luggage, entered my passport dates into the system, asked me for an address in the USA and printed my boarding passes. She then told me that we still had to wait for the Alitalia station manager before she was allowed to start check-in officially and hand out the boarding passes to me, in order to hear if there were any specials on this flight. The station manager arrived shortly after. One of the check-in agents walked over to the Alitalia office which is located opposite the check-in area, collected a flower decoration for the counters and returned with the information that there were no specials on this flight. So I got my boarding passes for STR-MXP and MXP-JFK:



I went straight through security check to the gate area. The departure gate for this flight, number 331, was still deserted:



Boarding started 20 minutes before departure with the same agent that had checked me in. She wished me a pleasant flight and I walked down the stairs to the waiting bus that took us to the aircraft for this flight. I was I-EXMA, the very first Embraer 145 in Alitalia’s fleet:



A friendly female flight attendant welcomed all passengers and offered newspapers (German and international). I took a copy of “Stuttgarter Zeitung”, our local newspaper, and went to my seat number 15A. There were 28 passengers on this flight which was a load factor of 58%. As usual on the Embraer 145, all passengers were seated in the back of the aircraft while the rows in the front remained empty – or were used to stow over-sized hand luggage.

The captain made a short pre-flight announcement, and then the flight attendant demonstated the safety instructions. We were off-block at 7:05, five minutes ahead of schedule, and taxied to the de-icing position:



Then we went on to runway 07 where we were number five in the morning departure queue. After an LH A 320, two TUIfly B 737-700 and an LH Regional CRJ 200, it was our turn to take off in Eastern direction:



The town of Ostfildern; in the back the River Neckar and Mettingen, a suburb of Esslingen:



Shortly after take-off the flight attendant started food and drinks service. All passengers had the choice between a sweet or a salty snack and a drink. I had the sweet option which was a pastry with an apple filling, along with a coffee:



The Swiss Alps in the morning light:



An in-flight cabin shot:



Flight time was short and soon we were on approach into MXP:



Shortly before touch-down. In the background, you can see the cargo ramp:



We taxied to a parking position on the apron where we were on-block just on time. Leaving I-EXMA:



When all passengers were in the bus, I realized that our crew left the aircraft as well and closed the door from outside. Must have been a really short working day…

The bus took all passengers to the arrivals area where I followed the “transfer” signs.


Saturday, 16 February 2008
Milan Malpensa (MXP) – New York John-F-Kennedy (JFK)
Airline: Alitalia
Flight number: AZ 604
Scheduled departure time: 10:00
Scheduled arrival time: 12:50 (time difference -6 hours, so scheduled flight time was 8:50)
Type of aircraft: Boeing B 777-200 (ER)
Registration: I-DISU “Madonna di Campiglio”



This aircraft was built and delivered to Alitalia in 2002. It carries the name Madonna di Campiglio, a small town in the Italian Alps.


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Photo © Antonis Panayotatos
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Photo © Bjoern Thomsen - BuAvioPics




Alitalia’s international flights at MXP are handled in the B-area of Terminal 1. I passed customs clearance quickly and made my way to gate B6 where the Triple Seven I-DISU was already waiting for its flight to New York JFK. In this picture, it is the last aircraft in the row:



I was surprised to see that there were no additional security checks for this flight to the USA. In fact, I didn’t have to pass any security check at MXP. The only thing was an additional passport check at the gate starting about 15 minutes before boarding. It was performed by a private security service. The agent had a look at my passport, entered the dates into a laptop and signed on my boarding pass. He then told me that I wouldn’t need to show my passport any more, just the signed boarding pass.

Boarding started shortly after, at 9:15 which was 45 minute before departure. It was announced that status clients were allowed to board first, followed by passengers sitting in rows 31-44, then the remaining passengers. Business Class passengers could board at any time. However, nobody really cared about the regulation, and all passengers tried to get on the plane at the same time, so it was a bit of a chaos.

Italian and international newspapers were offered in the jet-bridge. Then all passengers were welcomed by a very friendly cabin crew. The majority of the cabin crew members were male on this flight. I proceeded to my window seat back in row 41 which is the third last row on Alitalia’s 777. The overall impression of the cabin was positive. Configuration was 3-3-3, which I personally prefer over 2-5-2 (and of course also over 3-4-3). Seat pitch was good. There were PTV’s installed in the back of every seat which had the consequence that passengers sitting on a window seat had a small metal box for the PTV-system in front of their feet instead of a footrest like on the other seats. The grey fabric seats were comfortable. However, the light colour might have been not the best choice as some of the seats looked a bit dirty. Overall cleanliness could have been a bit better for an aircraft leaving its home-base. There were crumbs on some of the seats and still some rubbish on the floor. Here is a cabin shot during boarding:



Load factor on this flight was around 90% in Economy Class. While the front part of the cabin was completely full (everybody wants to sit in the front), there were some free seats in the back. So the middle seat next to me remained empty. The aisle seat was occupied by a middle-aged American lady. The great majority of the passengers seamed to be Italian.

At our scheduled departure time, luggage was still loaded. The captain made a pre-flight welcome announcement and told us that it would take about 10 more minutes. Flight time to New York would be about 8 hours. The safety video was shown. We were off-block at 10:15 and taxied to runway 35L where we performed a very powerful take-off. Malpensa Terminal 2:



Soon we were reaching the Alps again:






Cabin crew came through and distributed head-phones for free for the entertainment system (cheap ones without an airline logo that weren’t re-collected, so you could take them with you), along with envelopes for “Change for Good” where you can give your remaining change in foreign currency to Unicef. Those envelopes were collected by the cabin crew shortly before landing.

Let me drop some words about the entertainment system. Up to that day, I had always thought that PTV was something I wouldn’t really need. However, I found Alitalia’s PTV-system on the B 777 really very good. It has lots of options to offer. All options are available on demand; you can stop a programme at any time and re-start it later. The explanations on the screen were available in Italian and English. There was a selection of 11 movies, among them “The Bourne Ultimatum”, “Rush Hour 3”, “The Simpsons Movie”, “Stardust”, “The Jane Austin Book Club” and others. Most of the movies were available in four different languages: Italian (well, that was clear), English (also obvious), Japanese (on the first view a bit surprising, but you have to keep in mind the Alitalia uses the B 777 frequently for flights to Japan where they serve Tokyo and Osaka), the fourth language was either Spanish or Portuguese (probably for the flights to South America). Only two Italian films were only available in Italian language. In addition to that, there were short programmes like information films about cities served by Alitalia, a news programme and a children channel. The Audio system offered a selection of about 15 different music channels of all styles that were also available on demand. Besides, there were some games for single and multi players available. A really entertaining selection. In addition to the PTV-screens in every seat, the aircraft was also equipped with central screens at the ceiling. On those screens they were showing the air-show permanently which I found a good thing:



Nevertheless, you could watch the air-show on your private monitor as well. Apart from the route maps and statistical information like flight level, time to destination etc, the air-show also provided pictures and information screens about the cities we were flying by, like Zurich, Lyon, Boston and so on. Really a nice feature.

By the way: we were taking a quite Southern route on that flight which was MXP – North of GVA – Dijon – Paris - Channel Islands – then flying South of Britain and Ireland out over the Atlantic Ocean, reaching America at Newfoundland, then along the coast via Halifax and Boston to New York JFK.

The airport of Paris Orly (ORY):



Then we were flying directly across the City of Paris:



The French Atlantic coastline:



The Island of Guernsey:



Cabin crew had already performed a first drinks service, now it was time for the meal. Choice was between chicken and fish, and the choice was available up to the last row (service had started in the front). I opted for the fish:



It was butterfish served with potato gratin and beans, together with a crêpe filled with champignons. Besides, there was a plate with Italian ham on mixed salad. In addition to that, there was a roll with butter and cheese, some fruits for dessert and some crackers. There was a second drinks service with the meal, followed by tea or coffee. All in all, food was really tasty – one of the best airline meals I ever got. Quantity was very good as well. After all, the Italian cuisine is world famous.


Meal trays were collected again. Soon we were out on the Atlantic Ocean:



Although this was a complete day-flight, cabin crew performed something like a “night”: the lights were switched off, and most passengers closed their window shades. As flying across an ocean becomes boring after some time, I watched the Simpsons Movie (in English language) and played some matches of “Who wants to be a Millionaire”. I had the choice between the Italian and the English version. I chose English and found out that it was in fact the UK-version with lots of Britain-specific questions. Although I’m a real Britain-fan, I had a hard time with questions like “Which British city does a Cockney come from?” (Manchester, London, Birmingham or Glasgow). There was one more drinks service during the “quiet time” where the flight attendants walked through the rows with trays with water and Coke. All in all, the service performed by the cabin crew on this flight was really friendly and attentive with an individual touch.

After some more time of flying we reached the American continent at Newfoundland. Here, you can see some ice floes near Newfoundland. Looks cold out there, doesn’t it?



The Canadian coastline:



Canada is a wide country:



St. John on Canadian mainland, near Moncton (don’t mix it up with St. John’s, Newfoundland):



About 1:30 hours before arrival, cabin crew offered a snack service consisting of an Italian cake with a tomato and mozzarella filing, plus s small sweet cake, followed by hot and cold drinks:



Again it was really tasty and from my point of view the right quantity for the second meal on this flight.


After the meal, the flight attendants distributed immigration forms for the United States, available in English or Italian language. Outside, it started to look a bit warmer than on the previous pictures:



Soon we were coming closer to New York:



The captain came over the microphone again and informed us about the weather in New York. A bridge to Long Island:



Final approach:






We touched down on one of the many runways at 12:30 local time. Then we taxied very slowly the long way to our gate at Terminal 1. I wondered if there were strict speed limits at JFK as the same flight crew used much more speed while taxiing at MXP. After 15 minutes driving on the ground we came to stand next to a Saudi Arabian Airlines B 747-400, still 5 minutes ahead of schedule.

On leaving the aircraft, I thanked the cabin crew for the very good service. I-DISU at the gate at JFK:



I hadn’t visited the USA for 8 years and had heard horror stories about hours of waiting for immigration. None of them were true, at least for my case. I just had to queue for about 15 minutes. I guess I was lucky about the early arrival of the Alitalia flight. After us, lots of passengers from other flights like LH, AF, OA and so on arrived. Friendliness of the immigration officer was OK. I had to leave digital finger prints of all 10 fingers and was photographed. Then I collected my luggage that was already turning on the carousel. Luggage check at customs was also no problem and soon I was in a taxi on my way to my hotel in Manhattan.


New York is a really fascinating city, even on the third visit. Here are some impressions for you as well:

The Chrysler Building in the morning light:



Probably one of the most beautiful station buildings in the world: Grand Central Station:



New York classic: The Statue of Liberty:



Brooklyn Bridge:



Ground Zero, where they now build the new Freedom Tower:



What many people don’t know: there is a cable railway in New York, linking Manhattan and Roosevelt Island:



Interesting perspective: view from the cable railway:



Central Park with Plaza Hotel:



After three days in this great city, it was time to go back. This time I decided to take the Subway to get to the airport. With USD 2.00 + USD 5.00 for the AirTrain linking the Subway station with the airport, it was much cheaper than the taxi (USD 49.00 including USD 4.00 toll for a tunnel) and didn’t take much more time. Besides, I was lucky that they had some problems with the AirTrain ticket readers, so everybody was allowed to ride free on that day.

The AirTrain linking two different New York Subway stations with all terminals of JFK:




Tuesday, 19 February 2008
New York John-F-Kennedy (JFK) – Milan Malpensa (MXP)
Airline: Alitalia
Flight number: AZ 605
Scheduled departure time: 17:55
Scheduled arrival time: 07:55 (time difference +6 hours, so scheduled flight time was 8:00)
Type of aircraft: Boeing B 777-200 (ER)
Registration: I-DISA “Taormina”



This aircraft was built and delivered to Alitalia in 2002. It carries the name Taormina, a town at the East Coast of Sicily.


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Photo © Joey Collura
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I arrived at JFK Terminal 1 at around noon:



Terminal 1 handles mainly European and Asian carriers like AF, AZ, LH, OS, OA, TG, JL, KE and some others. The departure area is light and spacious. The Alitalia check-in line was still deserted:



There is a food court that offers some nice views to the apron. At around 13:00, I could watch the on-time arrival of the Alitalia Triple Seven from MXP. Alitalia operates two daily flights out of JFK: one to MXP (B 777), one to FCO (B 767). Besides, they serve EWR as well, also from MXP and from FCO.

Check-in for the flight to MXP started four hours before departure and was performed by Swissport agents wearing full Alitalia uniforms. There were all in all eight counters reserved for AZ Economy Class; four of them were already staffed from the beginning. A friendly agent checked me in and handed me over my boarding passes for JFK-MXP with my pre-reserved seat number and for MXP-STR. Other than many other large airports, MXP had already fixed the departure gate for my onward flight to STR, and it was printed on my boarding pass. My luggage got tagged, and then I had to take it with me again and transfer it to a special screening area in the centre of the terminal. After screening, the security agents took the pieces of luggage back to the regular luggage belt.

I passed security check without any waiting time. The check itself wasn’t stricter than at any European airport. The only thing was that everybody had to take off shoes, but that’s common at airports in the UK as well.

The airside area of JFK Terminal 1 is nice with many shops and views to the apron. I-DISA “Taormina” at gate number 6, waiting for its departure to MXP:






I saw the crew for this flight arriving 90 minutes before departure. Boarding started one hour before departure with three wheelchairs and some families with children, followed by all other passengers. American and Italian newspapers were offered in the jet-bridge. I had a copy of the New York Times. Then we were welcomed by the cabin crew and I took my window seat 41L, the same as on the outbound flight. Load factor on this flight was between 80 and 90%. The seat next to me remained empty. On the aisle seat there was a young American guy who moved to a free seat in the exit row when boarding was completed, so I had a row for myself. Again the majority of the cabin crew was male, but there were some more females this time as well.

Our neighbour, having just arrived from IST: Turkish Airlines A 330-200:



We were off-block at 17:45 which was 10 minutes ahead of schedule. The safety video was shown and we taxied to our runway. The early evening is a busy time at JFK and there was a long take-off queue. After a waiting time of 30 minutes, it was our turn to take off in Southern direction. It must haven been on runway 13L if I remember correctly. It was already completely dark outside. We had a nice view of the City of New York, and then we made a sharp left-turn towards the ocean. Due to strong tail winds, flight time to MXP would only be around seven hours.

When we had reached our flight level, cabin crew started their meal and drinks service. Choice for dinner was beef or fish. This time I opted for the beef:



The beef was served with peas and carrots, gnocchi in tomato sauce plus a vegetable salad, a roll with butter and cheese, a cake for dessert and some crackers. I found the beef to be a bit too salty, but that’s always a matter of personal taste. The vegetable salad and the cake were excellent. Quantity was very good again. Suddenly we came into heavy turbulences, and many passengers, including me, spilled parts of their drinks over the tables.

As this was going to be a night flight and I don’t really sleep well on planes, I decided to stay awake this time. I had a cup of the good and quite strong Italian coffee that Alitalia serves. Shortly after dinner, the cabin lights were turned down for the night. I read a bit in the newspaper and the in-flight magazine, and then I played some more matches of “Who wants to be a Millionaire”:



Once during night, the in-flight entertainment system stopped working for 10 or 15 minutes. At that time, I thought “wow, that’s like flying LH”  Wink

Our flight route was very similar to the outbound flight:



Then I still fell asleep for an hour or so. After some more time, we reached good old Europe again:



Wake-up was at 5:30 European time, about 90 minutes before landing. Breakfast was served which consisted of hot bread filled with cheese, a pastry filled with apricot jam and hot and cold drinks:



Compared to the other meals, breakfast couldn’t really keep up with the high standard. The whole thing was a bit dry. Instead of a second bakery item, I personally would have preferred something fresh like some fruits or yoghurt.

The first sunlight of the day, somewhere over Switzerland:



Breakfast trays were collected and soon we were approaching MXP. The weather around Milan wasn’t the best at that time:



We touched down and to my surprise taxied to a remote parking position on the apron. We were on-block at 7:15 which was 40 minutes ahead of schedule. It was really impressive to leave this huge aircraft via stairs:



Engine close-up:



Several busses took the passengers to the international arrivals area at Terminal 1 where all transit passengers had to go through a security check before being allowed to enter the transit area. Passports and boarding passes were checked, and then I was able to proceed to the Schengen-area.


Wednesday, 20 February 2008
Milan Malpensa (MXP) – Stuttgart (STR)
Airline: Alitalia (operated by Alitalia Express)
Flight number: AZ 448
Scheduled departure time: 10:20
Scheduled arrival time: 11:25
Type of aircraft: Embraer RJ145LR
Registration: I-EXMF “Giulio Natta”



This aircraft was built and delivered to Alitalia Express in 2002. It is named after Giulio Natta (1903-1979), an Italian chemist.


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Photo © Andreas Mueller - Spotterteam Graz
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Due to the early arrival, I had nearly three hours at MXP. I watched the traffic outside. The Alitalia ramp was very busy:



After some time, I made my way to my gate for the flight to STR which was gate number A33, a bus gate on the ground floor.

Boarding was announced 30 minutes before departure. As it was quite cold outside, passengers were asked to wait inside the terminal building while the bus was already parked outside. Then we were told to board the bus. I counted 36 passengers which was a load factor of 75%. Most of the passengers on this Wednesday morning service were German and Italian business travellers. The bus took us to our aircraft that was parked on the apron. Lots of large pieces of hand luggage were left outside for “delivery at aircraft”.

The Embraer 145 I-EXMF:






A very friendly and attentive female flight attendant welcomed all passengers. I took my seat 5A, a single seat on the left side of the cabin. We were off-block just in time and taxied to runway 35R where we took off without any waiting time:






Soon we reached the Alps again:






The flight attendant came through the cabin with food and drinks service. The selection was the same as on STR-MXP four days ago. I had the sweet pastry again, and an orange juice. Due to the short flight time and the quite high load factor, the flight attendant had to hurry a bit to serve all passengers in time. However, she always remained extremely friendly and tried to perform the best possible service.

Lake Zurich:



Zurich Airport (ZRH):



The Black Forrest:



On approach into STR again: The Neckar Harbour at Plochingen:



Final approach:



We touched down on runway 25 and taxied to our parking position on the apron. The flight attendant welcomed us to Stuttgart, told us the actual time (which was the same as in Milan) and informed us that we had arrived 10 minutes ahead of schedule. Because of that, we should all relax and stay in our seats until the fasten seat belt-signs were switched off. Needless to say that nobody followed the advice…

A bus took all passengers to the arrivals area of Terminal 3 where luggage arrived quickly. A bit later, I was on a train taking me home.


Conclusion: Alitalia’s long-haul product really impressed me. Four out of four flights arrived on time (or even ahead of schedule), cabin service was really friendly and attentive and meals were definitely above average. The cabin of the B 777 is modern and comfortable and the in-flight entertainment is very good as well. And all that was offered for a very good price. I would definitely fly Alitalia again, on long-haul and on short-haul.


Thanks for reading my report. Questions and comments are always appreciated.

Regards

Christoph

50 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1843 posts, RR: 19
Reply 1, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Christoph

Thanks for your trip report. Kid of shocking to read so much positive stuff with all the bad press AZ has been having lately. May I ask what your incentive was to try AZ? Were they the cheapest option or were you just interested in trying them?


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6938 posts, RR: 77
Reply 2, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report with great pics, Christoph! Good to see Alitalia cares about catering - in contrast to certain other European carriers. I will also fly Alitalia's 777 in April (JFK-FCO), now I know well what to expect. However, I'm glad I will get the A319 on the FCO-MUC sector instead of that tiny tube ERJ.  Wink

Fantastic pics from New York - time to go to Manhattan again in the future. Well, this time I will only stay one night and try to hang around at "my" JFK spotting spot...

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
However, I found Alitalia’s PTV-system on the B 777 really very good.

Once used to it, you don't want to miss it again...  Wink


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5186 posts, RR: 55
Reply 3, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi, Christoph,

what a great story, thanx for posting.

I´ve thought about, what target to expect from your upcoming AZ story.
JFK, for sure not bad.
Knowing about PH´s planned trip for April, something more good to compare.

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
Registration: I-EXMA “Giosué Carducci”

Also still in my log on MXP-STR.

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
When all passengers were in the bus, I realized that our crew left the aircraft as well and closed the door from outside. Must have been a really short working day…

I´ve had a chat sometimes ago with an AF FA. He told me that this was usual shift on AF,
starting in the afternoon, overnighting abroad and end back home after the first morning flight.

Great pix, a good overview around AZ´s longhaul product, for sure not that bad as always expected.

Regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineMIAspotter From Spain, joined Nov 2001, 2852 posts, RR: 25
Reply 4, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Nice report! and nice to hear of a positive experience on AZ, I have never flown them but I wouldn't mind specially on one of their MD80s or the E170.

Loved all the pictures, it's nice how can you sum up an 8 hour flight in just a few pictures.

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
Which British city does a Cockney come from?”

London... that's my final answer! Big grin

MIAspotter



I think, therefore I don´t fly Ryanair.
User currently offlineAirbuseric From Netherlands, joined Jan 2005, 4277 posts, RR: 51
Reply 5, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 17 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Christopf

that's a nice report! AZ's longhaul product is not very often readable here...

AZ seems to offer a good product, food and choices look very ok to me as well. I don't like the grey seats on the 777, colourwise, but as long as they are comfortable, it's ok.

NY is on my to visit in 2008 list, and I'll have to see which carrier we take. AMS via MXP might be a too long flight option, but might be an interesting one. I'll keep it in mind  Wink

Thanks!
Eric



"The whole world steps aside for the man who knows where he is going"
User currently offlineStefanPAD From Germany, joined Dec 2005, 282 posts, RR: 0
Reply 6, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Christoph!

Thanks for the nice TR and the detailed pics. The meals were looking very tasty.

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
I had to leave digital finger prints of all 10 fingers and was photographed

All 10 fingers??? I had only to show my forefingers.

Did you visit the Oyster Bar and Restaurant at Grand Central Station? It's one of my favorite restaurants.

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
...so I had a row for myself

Lucky you!!! I had a middle seat on an AF 777 on a JFK-CDG night flight. It was sooo tight!!!

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
Needless to say that nobody followed the advice…

Did you follow the advice? I always wonder why everybody jumps up, when just the wheels touched the runway. The doors don't open earlier due to that behavior. That's why I prefer window seats. Nobody can force me to stand up sooo early.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
I will also fly Alitalia's 777 in April (JFK-FCO)

What airline willyou fly on your way to JFK?

I've been to Manhattan two times in Decembre on LH and I'm still thinking about a TR. But LH trips over the pond are common and not so much interesting like an AZ flight over the pond.

Regards and many thanks for sharing your AZ experience,

Stefan


User currently offlineEddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 7632 posts, RR: 42
Reply 7, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi Christoph, thanks a lot for taking the time to write the report and share it with us. I enjoyed reading it a lot.

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
Terminal 1 handles mainly European and Asian carriers like AF, AZ, LH, OS, OA, TG, JL, KE and some others. The departure area is light and spacious. The Alitalia check-in line was still deserted:

You mean TK and not TG. If I am not mistaken, TG uses T4 at JFK, but definitely not T1. AM is also a tenant of T1 (I am glad they moved from T3 to T1!!!).



Next flights: MEX-GRU (AM 77E), GRU-GIG (JJ A320), SDU-CGH (G3 73H), GRU-MEX (JJ A332).
User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 8, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I find AZ good except for problems with luggage transfers in MXP and FCO as well as risks of strikes. I have a friend who only flys AZ to the USA. Says they are the best in flight service on the Italy USA routes. Thanks for the great pics.

User currently offlineBAViscount From United Kingdom, joined Mar 2004, 2338 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Excellent report with some great pics too...Alitalia sounds like a great airline, which sadly I have yet to fly. I especially enjoyed your pic of Guernsey, one of my favourite places in the whole world! Had you taken your pic a moment later you would have got GCI in the shot too, it's down in the south west corner of the island and just out of view in your pic!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
About 1:30 hours before arrival, cabin crew offered a snack service consisting of an Italian cake with a tomato and mozzarella filing

I had that very same snack on my recent Swiss flights ZRH-IST-ZRH...quite tasty, but I could have done with a couple more!!

Thanks a lot for taking the time to put this interesting report together!

Cheers.

Andy (a 'cockney' from LONDON!!  Smile )



Ladies & gentlemen this is Captain Tobias Wilcock welcoming you aboard Coconut Airways flight 372 to Bridgetown Barb
User currently offlineLHboyatDTW From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Interesting read. A nice balance of pictures and paragraphs. Very good. Some of the pictures of the 777 simply remind me why I love that plane.

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
The town of Ostfildern; in the back the River Neckar and Mettingen, a suburb of Esslingen:

I was an exchange student there.


User currently offlineCO7e7 From United States of America, joined Dec 2004, 2849 posts, RR: 2
Reply 11, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks for the great report. Excellent pictures as well.

I'm happy to hear something positive about AZ. I plan on flying with them in June.

Z.


User currently offlineCAP2008 From United States of America, joined May 2007, 255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great TR, I loved the pics from NYC.

By the way,

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
What many people don’t know: there is a cable railway in New York, linking Manhattan and Roosevelt Island:

I think anyone who has seen Spiderman 1, would tell you otherwise. Wink



The mother of the last KC-135 pilot has yet to be born.
User currently offlineAFKLMLHLX From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
Besides, they serve EWR as well, also from MXP

Not for long! I still don't get that. Hopefully AF/KLM will revamp that decision.


User currently offlineBZNPilot From Belgium, joined Feb 2006, 264 posts, RR: 1
Reply 14, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great trip report and great pics. Thanks for sharing. I flew the exact same route (STR-MXP-JFK) on a one-way ticket in August of '06. I especially enjoyed seeing your Alps pics, as the mountains were shrouded in clouds during my flights and I never saw them. I too was impressed with AZ's service, and everything was on time. My only complaint--my suitcase was lost in transit. After a lot of paperwork, phone calls, and 1.5 years, it still has not arrived. I was reimbursed for the full cost of my loss, but it was a huge disappointment. Anyway, glad you enjoyed AZ!

User currently offlineTriple7man From Thailand, joined May 2005, 763 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

I have only flown AZ for short flights (FCO-NAP, LIN-FCO) so yours is a good report of their long haul. I see AZ 777's at NRT regularly. Your inflight pics and pics of New York brought back a lot of memories.
And I have passed through Stuttgart HBF on the way to Salzburg HBF.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
Well, this time I will only stay one night and try to hang around at "my" JFK spotting spot...

Where is a good place to spot at JFK? This was about 40 years ago, but there was an observation deck on top of the International Arrivals Building. And better than that, one floor below the control tower (the old one) had an observation deck where you could really get a view. (I was also once treated to a visit to the JFK control tower...in the evening with lot's of Europe departures in 1972)



Have you kissed a 777 today?
User currently offlineBuck3y3nut From United States of America, joined Jul 2006, 881 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

excellent trip report and pictures. really enjoyed reading the report. BTW, I'm curious to know about these specials on AZ you mention. Any examples??? I'm glad you enjoyed NYC. I really enjoyed it as well when I visited it last year.
Thanks a bunch for writing and sharing this report with us  Smile


User currently offlineAADEN From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 835 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 8 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

great TR, I really enjoyed it. while reading it i thought I was right there with you.

User currently offlineGjunnar From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Yet another awesome trip report from the STR crew.
AZ definitely makes a very good impression. I just wonder if they make any money considering such low fares (which of course are not uncommon during that time of the year, with other carriers as well).
If I'm not mistaken, AZ will discontinue their STR-MXP flights soon  Sad Bummer!


User currently offlineIndio66 From United States of America, joined Mar 2004, 475 posts, RR: 0
Reply 19, posted (6 years 9 months 4 weeks ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
cable railway in New York

FYI, the name of this is the Roosevelt Island Tram. They built it back in the 70s as temporary transportation until the subway station was completed. However, people liked the tram so they retained it. A couple of years ago, it broke down and a bunch of riders were stranded over the East River for 8 hours.

Nice report.


User currently offlineB747forever From Sweden, joined May 2007, 17147 posts, RR: 10
Reply 20, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great TR

The pics are really good.

It is really seldom you hear that AZ offer a good service. Really glad that you enjoyed your flights.


Thank you for sharing

B747forever



Work Hard, Fly Right
User currently offlineIDISA From Italy, joined Jun 2004, 262 posts, RR: 0
Reply 21, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hey Christoph, first of all very nice trip report. I really enjoyed reading it and was pleased to hear you had a good impression of my flag-carrier  Smile

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
However, nobody really cared about the regulation, and all passengers tried to get on the plane at the same time, so it was a bit of a chaos.

Typical Italian boarding-style. "ladies and gentlemen now we'll start boarding pax from row 31 to 41". Ok, everybody jumped up...  Smile

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
Overall cleanliness could have been a bit better for an aircraft leaving its home-base.

Probably the aircraft had arrived some 2 hours before from another long-haul trip (most probably GRU or EZE...) but you're right anyway.

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
I wondered if there were strict speed limits at JFK as the same flight crew used much more speed while taxiing at MXP.

Yes I think, or probably there was a slower aircraft before you.

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
Registration: I-DISA “Taormina”


This aircraft was built and delivered to Alitalia in 2002. It carries the name Taormina, a town at the East Coast of Sicily.

eheh... have a look at my nickname  Wink..... yes, it's my favourite, the first 777 to be delivered to AZ, I'm in love with this aircraft...

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
We touched down and to my surprise taxied to a remote parking position on the apron.

No it's quite normal at MXP, surely the aircraft was scheduled to leave in the afternoon for NRT or KIX, they park them on a remote stand for maintenance and cleaning then tow to finger for the next flight.

Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
I would definitely fly Alitalia again, on long-haul and on short-haul.

Benvenuto a bordo!!!!

Ciao
IDISA


User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 22, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Thanks a lot to all of you for your comments and your kind words. They are all highly appreciated!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 1):
May I ask what your incentive was to try AZ? Were they the cheapest option or were you just interested in trying them?

Well, actually it was a mixture of both. On the one hand, they offered a very good fare. I could have gotten a similar fare on LH via FRA. But on my date of travel, the LH-fare was only available for the late outbound flight leaving FRA in the evening, and the flight times of AZ were more comfortable for me. On the other hand, I had had several long-haul flights on LH before, but none on AZ. So I was curious to try AZ this time, and I was not disappointed.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
I will also fly Alitalia's 777 in April (JFK-FCO), now I know well what to expect.

I wish you a great trip!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
However, I'm glad I will get the A319 on the FCO-MUC sector instead of that tiny tube ERJ.

Well, AZ doesn't send anything else than the ERJ to STR at the moment. However, I have to say that I can live with it on a flight with less than an hour flight time. It would be a different matter on longer flights, I have to say.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
However, I found Alitalia's PTV-system on the B 777 really very good.

Once used to it, you don't want to miss it again...

Well, I have to admit, it's true!  checkmark 

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 3):
Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
When all passengers were in the bus, I realized that our crew left the aircraft as well and closed the door from outside. Must have been a really short working day...

I´ve had a chat sometimes ago with an AF FA. He told me that this was usual shift on AF,
starting in the afternoon, overnighting abroad and end back home after the first morning flight.

Well, that would be a reason. Like that, the working day wouldn't have been as short as I had thought. And AZ would have only one crew night-stopping at STR instead of two.

Quoting MIAspotter (Reply 4):
Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
Which British city does a Cockney come from?"

London... that's my final answer!

 checkmark  corrrect! Big grin

Quoting Airbuseric (Reply 5):
I don't like the grey seats on the 777, colourwise, but as long as they are comfortable, it's ok.

Well, at least it is a difficult colour to keep clean.

Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 6):
Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
I had to leave digital finger prints of all 10 fingers and was photographed

All 10 fingers??? I had only to show my forefingers.

I guess this has changed. There were still signs in the customs area telling that they would only need the forefingers, but the officer wanted to scan all my 10 fingers. Maybe I looked somehow suspicious...  Confused

Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 6):
Did you visit the Oyster Bar and Restaurant at Grand Central Station? It's one of my favorite restaurants.

Unfortunately not - it was still early morning when I was at the station and no eating time.

Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 6):
Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
Needless to say that nobody followed the advice...

Did you follow the advice? I always wonder why everybody jumps up, when just the wheels touched the runway. The doors don't open earlier due to that behavior. That's why I prefer window seats. Nobody can force me to stand up sooo early.

Of course I followed the advice. I don't see a point in standing in the narrow aisle with low ceiling for up to ten minutes until the "delivery at aircraft"-luggage has been off-loaded of and the bus has arrived. I always stay in my seat until the door is opened.

Quoting EddieDude (Reply 7):
You mean TK and not TG. If I am not mistaken, TG uses T4 at JFK, but definitely not T1. AM is also a tenant of T1 (I am glad they moved from T3 to T1!!!).

I guess you are right. Now as you mention it, I didn't see a TG-aircraft at Terminal 1. But I did see an AM B 737-800 leaving a few minutes before my flight.

Quoting Semsem (Reply 8):
I find AZ good except for problems with luggage transfers in MXP and FCO as well as risks of strikes.

That might be a reason against AZ. However, I have connected via MXP four times now and never had any losses of luggage. However, I always allow plenty of time between two flights if possible.

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 9):
I especially enjoyed your pic of Guernsey, one of my favourite places in the whole world! Had you taken your pic a moment later you would have got GCI in the shot too, it's down in the south west corner of the island and just out of view in your pic!

Well, unfortunately I'm not familiar with the location, so I didn't realize the airport.

Quoting BAViscount (Reply 9):
I had that very same snack on my recent Swiss flights ZRH-IST-ZRH...quite tasty, but I could have done with a couple more!!

Indeed, the cake is quite small. I found it OK as a second snack, but I find it a bit tiny as a single meal for a flight like ZRH-IST.

Quoting LHboyatDTW (Reply 10):
Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
The town of Ostfildern; in the back the River Neckar and Mettingen, a suburb of Esslingen:

I was an exchange student there.

Wow, nice! So you could always watch the planes at the airport of Stuttgart that is very close to Ostfildern...  Wink

Quoting CO7e7 (Reply 11):
I'm happy to hear something positive about AZ. I plan on flying with them in June.

Have a good trip then!

Quoting CAP2008 (Reply 12):
Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
What many people don't know: there is a cable railway in New York, linking Manhattan and Roosevelt Island:

I think anyone who has seen Spiderman 1, would tell you otherwise.

Well, I guess that shows that I have never seen that movie...

Quoting AFKLMLHLX (Reply 13):
Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
Besides, they serve EWR as well, also from MXP

Not for long! I still don't get that. Hopefully AF/KLM will revamp that decision.

I didn't know that! But with all the reductions at MXP, it doesn't really surprise me.

Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 14):
My only complaint--my suitcase was lost in transit. After a lot of paperwork, phone calls, and 1.5 years, it still has not arrived. I was reimbursed for the full cost of my loss, but it was a huge disappointment.

Well, that's really annoying. I was lucky that my luggage always arrived when flying via MXP.

Quoting Triple7man (Reply 15):
This was about 40 years ago, but there was an observation deck on top of the International Arrivals Building. And better than that, one floor below the control tower (the old one) had an observation deck where you could really get a view. (I was also once treated to a visit to the JFK control tower...in the evening with lot's of Europe departures in 1972)

Wow, those where the days...

Quoting Buck3y3nut (Reply 16):
BTW, I'm curious to know about these specials on AZ you mention. Any examples???

The check-in agent didn't give any details, and I didn't ask. I guess it might be something like a last-minute aircraft change. However, in my case this would have been pointless as the aircraft was night-stopping at STR. So I really don't know.

Quoting AADEN (Reply 17):
great TR, I really enjoyed it. while reading it i thought I was right there with you.

Nice comment, thanks!

Quoting Gjunnar (Reply 18):
If I'm not mistaken, AZ will discontinue their STR-MXP flights soon

Well, they were planning to do so, but now they have decided to continue the route. But from summer schedule 2008, there will only be two daily flights instead of three. The night-stop at STR will be dropped. There will be a morning service starting in the early morning at MXP for STR, operated with Embraer 170, and an afternoon service operated with Embraer 145.

Quoting Indio66 (Reply 19):
FYI, the name of this is the Roosevelt Island Tram. They built it back in the 70s as temporary transportation until the subway station was completed. However, people liked the tram so they retained it. A couple of years ago, it broke down and a bunch of riders were stranded over the East River for 8 hours.

Thanks for that additional information!

Quoting B747forever (Reply 20):
It is really seldom you hear that AZ offer a good service.

I have also realized this, but I have no idea why this is the case. I was always happy with my flights on AZ.

Regards
Christoph


User currently offlineContact Air From Germany, joined Apr 2001, 1154 posts, RR: 13
Reply 23, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi I-DISA,

thanks a lot for your nice feedback as well!

Quoting IDISA (Reply 21):
Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
I wondered if there were strict speed limits at JFK as the same flight crew used much more speed while taxiing at MXP.

Yes I think, or probably there was a slower aircraft before you.

Yes, that might also have been a reason.

Quoting IDISA (Reply 21):
Quoting Contact Air (Thread starter):
Registration: I-DISA “Taormina”


This aircraft was built and delivered to Alitalia in 2002. It carries the name Taormina, a town at the East Coast of Sicily.

eheh... have a look at my nickname ..... yes, it's my favourite, the first 777 to be delivered to AZ, I'm in love with this aircraft...

Wow, what a coincidence! It is really a great aircraft! Big grin

Regards
Christoph


User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6938 posts, RR: 77
Reply 24, posted (6 years 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:



Quoting StefanPAD (Reply 6):
What airline willyou fly on your way to JFK?

I will fly CSA (MUC-PRG-JFK), AT4 & 313 - all that part of a cheap Delta offer.

Quoting BZNPilot (Reply 14):
Where is a good place to spot at JFK? This was about 40 years ago, but there was an observation deck on top of the International Arrivals Building. And better than that, one floor below the control tower (the old one) had an observation deck where you could really get a view. (I was also once treated to a visit to the JFK control tower...in the evening with lot's of Europe departures in 1972)

There's a good place for registrations spotters, just have a look at this report for a description:

BOS-JFK-AMS-MUC: SSSS-Check And KLM 777 (+pics) (by PlaneHunter Jun 16 2007 in Trip Reports)

Quoting Contact Air (Reply 22):
I wish you a great trip!

Thanks!


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
25 TK787 : Thanks for the report. Reminded me of my trip last Sept. JFK-FCO-IST-MXP-IST on AZ. Just a small correction: It is actually called "Grand Central Term
26 JetSetter629 : Great report! Loved the pictures! It seems as though Alitalia has improved their service Ahhh what a town! Of all the beautiful cities in Italy, Taorm
27 Post contains images EIASJ : Great TR Christop, as a regular EI trans-atlantic customer I can only look on in envy at both the meals and the IFE options. I am planning a surprise
28 Post contains images StefanPAD : Thanks for your information!
29 Post contains images Contact Air : Once again thanks for your comments! I have never been there, but I have had a look at some pictures on the internet. Looks really nice. I will keep t
30 Post contains images BA319-131 : Hi, Christoph, Nice report report and pictures, thanks - New York is one of if not my favourite city to visit. - That's way way tooooooooooooo long! -
31 Post contains links 797 : Cristoph, Thanks a lot for this great trip report. I must admit I really enjoyed it and brought me beautiful memories of my recent trips to Italy. I a
32 Post contains images HowSwedeitis : A very thorough, and detailed report. High quality and very informative. Thank you for all the details!!
33 Post contains images Contact Air : Thanks a lot for your comments Mark, Enrique and Andrew! Well, I don't know if it can keep up with SQ or EK. After all, I'm not really spoilt with PTV
34 DALCE : Hi Christoph! Finally a really positve report on AZ. It is a outstanding report with very good details! It really made me feel that I want to go back
35 TopGun757 : Very good report!!! There were alot of very nice pictures and very good explanations about your trip. Keep it up
36 KL773ER : Contact Air, Very nice and detailed trip report! Alitalia is the only SkyTeam member which I have not taken to date as I flew KL to/from Italy. Thank
37 Post contains images TriStar500 : Great report once again, Christoph! It really feels like one is on board with you. After reading your story, I am even more looking forward to visitin
38 Post contains images Contact Air : Thanks for your replies and your nice words Joost, TopGun757, KL773ER and Jens! Yes, New York is always worth a visit. Thank you! Well, for me it's th
39 Reifel : Hello Christoph, Thanks for this report. It's really nice to read something about Alitalia's short- and long haul service. I definitely need to fly th
40 Ndebele : Hi Christoph, nice to read this great report about Alitalia's longhaul product. I liked the photos as well, particularly the ones showing the snow-cov
41 Contact Air : Thanks for your replies, Reifel and Alex! Yes, I guess Alitalia is maybe one of the last remaining "really" classic airlines in Europe. Yes, indeed it
42 Christao17 : That was a really, really nice trip report. Lots of useful detail, good pictures to round things out. Great job! What a sterile looking gate area! All
43 Contact Air : Hi Chris, thank you for your comment! Yes, it might look a bit sterile (and this impression seems to be even more extreme with the missing daylight in
44 BAW716 : As an ex-AZ employee and frankly a fan (in the years we had the SFO-MXP service, I never had a bad flight...nor did most of our customers who kept com
45 Post contains images Contact Air : Hi baw716, thank you for your detailed statement - it's always nice to get some feedback from an Alitalia-insider as well. I have to say I found the q
46 EISHN : Hey Contact Air, Real cool report. The 777 looks very comfortable, with great looking leg room. The food is pretty impressive as well. Lets hope Alita
47 EI320 : Great Trip Report Contact Air, lots of pics and very detailed, really enjoyed reading it. To be honest I've never flown AZ and I know little about the
48 Joka : Great report. Just curious, why did you choose seats at the rear of the AC? It worked out well for you with no one next to you. Thanks for the TR
49 Contact Air : Thanks for your comments, EI320 and Joka! That's exactly the point: everybody wants to sit in the front, that's why the first rows are usually packed.
50 Dantegb : Great TR, Your pictures are very good. Great job. D.
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