Hello fellow a.nutters,
In February of this year I went to visit my old friends in France, whom I had not seen in quite a while. Having just joined a.net today, and with the current situation Alitalia is finding itself in I thought it would be suitable to share my Alitalia experiences with you guys from Malta to Nice. As this flight has been more than 8 months ago I’ll try to remember as much details as I can. The quality of the photos is not great, as I only had my old Sony Cybershot on me when taking these, and my TR quality won’t be of the high quality many of you here on a.net are so used to! I will also apologise now on the lack of flight times and aircraft registrations in my TR.
Date: JAN 31
Departure: MLA (Malta Luqa)
Arrival: MXP (Milan Malpensa)
I arrived at the airport well on time, right after school finished and so I could immediately move through check-in with no one in line. Check-in went really smooth, handed in my passport and e-ticket which was received with a very polite smile. The lady who checked me in was really pleasant and helpful, asking me whether I would prefer a window or isle seat (window of course!!! hehe), and continued to explain seat, gate and transit information in the most friendly manner I miss so often. It really couldn't have been much better.
Even security was a breeze, with no queues it was seconds before I was though and up the escalators to the gate area.
Waiting close to Gate #2, where we would soon be boarding I was listening to my iPod and enjoying the view of aircraft taking off. Just before our boarding time an announcement was made that the Ryanair flight to London Heathrow would be delayed by 1 1/2 hrs due to bad weather in London. Was I glad I wasn't going that direction, but to the French Riviera. Sunshine all the way!!!
We boarded on time, and the bus ride was a short one, but little did I know we too would be delayed by approx 25 mins. due to traffic in Milan. So we waited for a short while, which seemed to fly by in no time, and before I knew it I would be on my way to see friends I had not seen in a LONG time.
Living quite near the airport I always try and spot my house if I sit on the right side of the plane, and depart from the right runway, unfortunately I just missed it this time.
It wasn't before long that in-flight service started which was overall fast and effective. Starting with the drinks, coffee for me, followed with the choice of a sandwich or a slice of cake. Having had no dinner I opted for the sandwich, and was hoping for the cake on my second leg. The sandwich turned out to be quite horrid. White, un-toasted bread, with unidentifiable cheese and cold meat. The large chunks of what I presumed to be some sort of cream-cheese turned out to be butter. I am not a picky person and eat literally everything, but this... Not Good!
The rest of the flight was uneventful, with only some bumps as we neared Milan.
One thing I really liked is that Alitalia showed a video on the drop-down screens about the re-painting process of their aircraft livery. I have always wondered about the exact process of how they do this, and was really cool and interesting to see! Nice touch, something that really stuck with me!
As we were delayed I was worried that my baggage wouldn't make it through the transit (Alitalia has it's reputation of loosing luggage) but we caught up a little in the air and arrived a mere 15 minutes late, so it wasn't too bad. Touchdown was extremely smooth, and it was a sort taxi to the gate.
Overall the flight was good (quite uneventful), apart from the disappointing sandwich, and the slight delay which didn’t really bother me.
At the airport, being Milan, it was a tedious wait with nothing much to do, so it was back to listening to my iPod and playing Freecell on my laptop.
Date: JAN 31
Airline: Air A!ps (In co-operation with Alitalia)
Departure: MXP (Milan Malpensa)
Arrival: NCE (Nice C'ote D'Azur)
Aircraft: Dornier 320
Note: This flight is currently no longer under operation.
Boarding was on time and the small group of us (I guessed about 10) sat on the long bus ride to the small prop plane that was going to take us on our 45-50 minute flight to Nice. I had never flown this aircraft before and so was really excited!
We entered the plane and I had both an aisle and window seat, ahhh the luxury of it all!!! The engines fired up, and we were quickly taxiing to the runway. I immediately loved this plane as you could hear the screeching of the brakes and tires, good fun!
Take-off was very quick with this light load, I think it was 12-14 seconds and we were soon on our cruise altitude of 5000 metres.
The flight attendant who was extremely friendly and caring immediately started serving drinks and food as the seat belt sign was switched off. Being such a tiny plane you could hear all the banging and such of the cart, but I only think this added to the whole ambience.
As she came by the asked whether I wanted the salty or sweet option, I chose for the 'sweet' as another one of those sandwiches would have been a killer. This time it was a delicious, and I really mean delicious piece of apple pie. Simple but perfect! The uniform of AirA!ps, although in co-operation with Alitalia, is very different and looks quite classy in black tones (the uniform even including gloves!) for such a region hop. The one stewardess onboard looked professional, though she seemed to be quite unhappy as not one smile showed on the entire flight.
After she came by to pick up trash and cups it was time for our descent where I got a fantastic view over Cannes, Antibes, Cap d'Antibes, Juan-les-Pins, the lot! It's really stunning when you fly along the coast at night!
Touch-down was also smooth and spot on time. Although when we arrived at the gate, it took about ten long minutes before the bus finally arrived to come pick us up and bring us to the terminal. But when it finally did come I tried to make some shots of the plane before I got a “Non, non, c’est interdit” from the ground staff (still got the picture though).
Arriving at the terminal I went through the passport control and my bag was ready and waiting for me on the carousel. Perfect!!!
Then five great days in France it was unfortunately time to leave my friends and head back to Malta.
As the trip back was almost identical to the first one, I will not mention a lot on this part. Notable however, was the check-in lady at Nice refused to speak to me in English (even though she could see from my passport I was clearly of the Dutch nationality), luckily however I speak a good word of the language, but the fact that she was quite rude and not very helpful made it all the worse.
The security check was the best I have ever had (and I mean BEST!), with yet again no waiting and the most friendly French(!) security agent who I talked with for a bit about travelling and all that. He was super helpful and a funny guy, something VERY rare nowadays. No bells that went off and no random hand luggage security check made it all a breeze.
The views from the plane were stunning and amazing over the Alps which had just been topped off with a fresh layer of snow, the sea and
the coastal villages and cities, such as Monaco, as you will be able to see in the pictures which follow.
Thanks a lot, and I hoped you guys enjoyed reading it as much as I had making it! Any constructive criticism is always welcome .