NOTE: This blog has
no ads and I'm not beholden to hotels, cruise lines, tour companies or
airlines, and that's why I can offer my readers the truth about all of the
above + offer the many ways to enjoy comfort traveling for less
My last blog
post may have given my readers the idea that they should join me and book
Alitalia for flights to Italy, however let me dissuade you of that notion.
I regret that
domestic and international travel is not a fun experience in 2017, and the
challenge of “getting there” includes the “getting back,” but then I can only
make the following commentary per my recent horrendous travel experience
inbound from Rome to JFK on Alitalia’s AZ610 and outbound JFK to Rome on
Alitalia’s AZ609. When I found
myself not only coping with the “security” checks, I was astonished to find
that Alitalia’s control of confirmed tickets with seat choice” can be effected
by “overbooking” necessitating a “last minute” change of aircraft,” because US
DOT joins with the European Commission to negate “the international airlines” requirement
to notify passengers that their “confirmed seats” have been arbitrarily changed.
from my observations during my 2 trips on Alitalia (in May from JFK to Naples
and on September 30 from JFK to Treiste), I have found this airline regularly
violates passenger right to keep their confirmed chosen seats by abrogating
consideration of “health issues” when determining whether outbound/inbound download
boarding passes with seat choice will be honored—Alitalia mandates manually
issued boarding passes at time of departure requiring all passengers to wait on
line for checkin before security allows passenger to outbound/inbound gates. Additionally,
where there was a “last minute” change of aircraft due to overbooking, in each
case the plane load of passengers were subject to the power of the gate
personnel to “effect” a change of seat even if a health issue exists, which
isn’t a good thing for elderly passengers who book flights with Alitalia. Sadly US DOT
does not regulate foreign airlines like Alitalia or mandate the number of
“non-stop” flights by US airlines who would honor passengers’ seat choice when
flying outbound/inbound to/from Italy—for example American Airlines, who does
honor confirmed ticket passenger seat choice, has 1 direct flight to Rome daily,
but return to US is so early in the a.m. a passenger would need to spend an
additional day in Rome to catch the flight back to US soilon the following day.
As well, in
2017 when “comfort travel” is no longer a “certainty” internet search engines
are putting 3rd party travel sites like Expedia at the top and
in-between the list re your flight inquiries, and it becomes more difficult to
find a full list of familiar airlines flying out of your departure airport. For a much more
dependable airline experience than I had when I flew to Italy on Alitalia, you
can take the time to see if it is possible fly your favorite airline either for
domestic or international travel. Contact the "Airport Authority" where the "outbound" airlines flies to the destination. In NYC, *the Port Authority web site has a link to "JFK" as well as "LGA" (LaGuardia) with phone number to call, and yes, it is staffed by a person, use the same link to complain about any company that has a shuttle service to/from the NYC airports, or find your local "Airport Authority" online for all information.
Overseas based passengers should use Kayak.com to
determine which airlines have non-stop flights to the destination.
In all cases travelers must contact the airline of
choice for price and availability, but at the very least, you do have a way to
find comfort by choosing a familiar plus more dependable airline when you
travel, and avoid my unpleasant experience with Alitalia.