Topic Author
Posts: 2047
Joined: Fri Jun 11, 1999 12:32 am


Sun Sep 03, 2000 11:05 pm

5 January 2000
Alitalia flight 604 MXP-JFK
Boeing 747-200 I-DEMF
Scheduled departure: 10h30am
Pre-assigned seat: 59L
Departure from terminal B, gate 4

The very first thing, as some of you may have noticed, is that I-DEMF is
Alitalia's BACI plane!!! Upon check in, I noticed the BACI tail from the
window, but had no idea that it would be our flight!!! Then again, Alitalia
only uses the 747-200 to JFK, MIA, NRT, and Canada. When we left, I saw
MXP-SFO and ORD was a 763 and MXP-LAX was an MD-11.

On this leg, Alitlia lives up to is reputation (at least by my experience) of
being LATE and having absolutely NO conception of time. After 10h30am came
and went, we are informed of a 30 minute delay. I thought to myself, "here we
go again. It all starts with a delay." Well, that was ok. Because you know
what else was at MXP??? The CO MAX 777!!! I saw the CO tail from a distance
and thought to myself, "how cool would it be it was the COMAX???" Sheesh, I
should think like that more often! I was able to find two spots to get the
most of a side shot that I could. The only thing was that a stupid light pole
was in my way for one of those spots, which was on ground level. I did the
best I could, though. Even "regular" i.e. non-airplane enthusiastic
passengers were remarking how cool that CO 777 looked. All heads were turned
towards that baby and boy is she a sight to see.

It was interesting to note, though, that with our departure, a TWA762 and the
CO777 is able to get prepped and board way before we do with departure times
of 11h55am and 11h25 respectively. At 11h00am, we board. Once again, there is
no structured boarding procedure. It seems to be ok, though. Inside the BACI
plane, there are BACI stickers with tag lines on EVERY overhead bin as well
as stickers on the walls of the galleys. Some examples of the expressions:
"Say I love you with Baci," "Un Bacio al volo," and "Baci are the sweetest of
kisses." There are little signs of the 742's age: ash trays fall out, lav.
latches are loose, seat bottoms are loose, and the overhead bin over my mom's
head doesn't close when we are about to land. Also to note: I saw only one
female flight attendant on this flight, all others, were (duh) male. After
the short delay, which the crew says they were apologetic for, the flight was
uneventful back to JFK, thankfully.

Italian's concepts of time are literally non-existant. The time of departure
really means the time of boarding plus a half an hour. Their domestic service
is much better than their international service. On their international
service that I experienced, the f/a's were cold and unfriendly and it seemed
as if they wanted to get what they had to do over with as fast as they could.
The f/a's flew through the aisles with the drinks (coffee, tea) and the
meals. They fly the bread tray above your head, making you feel like you
would interrupt them if you asked them to stop so you could get a roll for
your meal. Also, airline food in coach will always be airline food in
coach...it was not anything to brag about to friends. The f/a's requests not
addressed over the system for passengers to either sit down and/or put their
seat or tray up are blunt and not welcoming. The flight attendants and/or the
airline also needs to get the policy on electronic devices straight. On one
leg, I was able to listen to my discman without any problems. On the other
leg, I was told not to use my discman because it "could be very dangerous"
yet I used it in the middle of the flight while f/a's were running up and
down the aisles and none of them asked me not to use my cd player. My buddy
in front of me was asked, however, to take his headphones off for the same
reason by the same f/a. This is very curious.

The cabin itself is alright. Nothing spectacular there either. The 742's were
showing their age with the small things that I mentioned above. Otherwise, I
actually thought that the seats were comfortable. It was a thrill to fly the
classic 742, a plane that will soon be out of the skies for most airlines. I
need to get that configuration thing straightened out too.

I would also just like reiterate a few more things about one of our Nation's
busiest airports: JFK really needs to speed up its construction and
modernization process. The construction going on there really won't be
finished for a few years and by that time, all the major int'l airports in
Europe will already be renovating their airports as well. JFK is FAR BEHIND
in servicing the millions of pax it receives. The customs hall is not too
bad...it looks somewhat new and there is a little bit of sunlight from a
window high up. Baggage claim is ok too. It was pretty slow, but that is the
fault of the ground crew. I suppose, once you get your bags, it smooth
sailing from there, traffic outside aside. Going into customs upon arrival
into the United States at JFK, you walk through a mile of tiny hallways
underground. It's almost scary, honestly. You feel like you are in some
sterile institution. After having experienced CDG (3 summers ago), MXP, and
MUC, JFK has a VERY long way to go. I wonder how many BAD impressions JFK
leaves in the heads of its pax. It certainly left one in my book. I am
thankful JFK is not my only gateway out. I can go to BOS or fly out of PVD to
IAD or ORD...or even MIA. I just hope JFK can catch up soon.

All in all, besides being an extremely passenger, I was thrilled with my
trip. Having been able to spot and photograph at MUC and MXP was
fantastic...it's so exciting becuase every plane that goes by is something I
haven't shot and seen in person before. Travelling by plane is such a rush
for me and I'm glad that I was able to share some of it with you with this
report. I really hope you were able to find a few minutes to read through
them. Your time is much appreciated.

Happy spotting!
Bonjour Chef!


Mon Sep 04, 2000 8:19 am

Chris, I am Italian but I have no problems to agree with you about your complaints about Alitalia's FAs. They are absolutely unfriendly and filled up with super-ego.
I am currently living in Canada and I never fly Alitalia for this (and also because it's never the cheapest option, also...).
Their 747s are not extremely old, about 15 years each, and quite enjoyable. However, another remark, none of their wide-bodies is equipped with a decent flight entertainment system in economy class.

Posts: 474
Joined: Sun Oct 31, 1999 11:43 pm


Fri Sep 15, 2000 6:09 am

I actually flew Alitalia about 20 times transatlantic from LAX. I flew on the 742 when it use to come to LA back in the 80's and up to Jul.92', then on the MD-11 from that moment on. I was on one of their first MD-11s flights. It was cool then, new long-haul planes! My first one to fly was the I-DUPA named "Giocchino Rossini". Alitalia has one of the worst international service in the world. I can't wait for the 747-400s to arrive in March.
However I get very excited when I see it arrive at LAX because they only have one flight a day. One time I was delayed 4h at MXP waiting on the plane to depart to LAX because we had lost our take-off slot due to slow boarding procedures by the Italian carrier. NExt year I hope I will see the AZ744 her at SF so I can have a more decent trip for my flight in June.
Posts: 88
Joined: Mon Sep 25, 2000 1:36 am


Mon Sep 25, 2000 3:00 am

Dear Andrea, I agree with you about the kindness of Alitalia´s cabin crews, they make feel people on board like indesired persons, they are really filled up with super ego!I think at the end of the flight they should invite passengers to fly some other airlines, as they are annoyed of having people aboard.Thank you for flying Alitalia, but please do not make us attend you again!
Posts: 954
Joined: Mon Sep 04, 2000 7:12 pm


Mon Sep 25, 2000 3:59 am

On the JNB route AZ use MD11 but are often
delayed.The aircraft only has a 2h 30 min turnaround
in JNB and is usually delayed in so the return leaves
late.I must say they have the cheapest airfares to
Europe out of South Africa.Currently we can buy a
return airticket for 322 dollars return to any point in
Europe AZ fly to.Paxs like the MD11 on this route but
the only problem is their reliability.
I as a travel agent also get complaints about IB
cabin crew.
I think back to the days when I was a FA-What a
difference!We enjoyed our work and it showed.
My training course was 5 months-now they fly through
it!Selection took nearly 2 weeks and I remember going
through about 10 interviews.In those days it was
a pleasure to welcome you on board.
Although I do remember a very grumpy Pan Am purser
when asked what the movie was he snapped

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