Alitalia: never again!!

Following flights on 4 continents, the airline company providing the worst services was in my opinion Alitalia and I am writing this article to let everybody know on the type of services they offer.

My Letter of Complaint:

Dear Sirs,

I am writing to you because I had several problems connected to my last four flights with Alitalia, grouped under the aforementioned reservation code.
Firstly, I was not able to make the booking online, because your online booking system did not work, so my boyfriend was forced to call your Romanian office and make the bookings by phone. Your employee was so ill-trained that he was not able to make the booking for two persons at the same time, but for one person at a time, which led – as you can imagine – to seats in different areas of the plane instead of next to one another, as it would have been normal. When asked, this employee also said that we would not have any meals on any of the four flights and that there would only be snacks, so there was no need for us to reserve vegetarian meals. This led to another uncomfortable event, meaning that on the flights to and from Tbilisi, I was not able to have a proper meal. I checked-in online one day prior to our first flight (and I still could not select the meals, although the cabin crew onboard said that I should have been able to).
Approximately one month after making the booking, our return flight from Rome was cancelled. I contacted your support team via Facebook, I waited for one week and received no reply or solution to this issue. Consequently, I decided to contact by phone your office in Bucharest. It took them 2 days to solve this issue and book us seats on another flight.
The worst thing was however about to come. Yesterday evening, while picking my bag at Otopeni Airport, I sensed a strange smell coming from the bag. I had bought some very rare wine from Armenia (which had been packed in a protective case at the Armenian wine factory), yet one of the bottles still broke. Needless to say that my clothes are stained and ruined.
I cannot imagine how a company of your standards and reputation can make such serious mistakes related to ONE booking alone.
I would really like to know your opinion on this and your solution to this situation.

Thank you,
Olivia-Petra Coman
Braşov, October 31st 2012

Alitalia’s reaction:
  • 21.12.2012 (e-mail):
Dear Ms Coman,
We confirm to you that we received your claim from 31 October, 2012 regarding your flight with Alitalia. We wish to express our apologies for this incident. You will receive our reply as soon as possible. For any future communication, we kindly ask you to quote the following reference number: 5337278.
We thank you for choosing Alitalia and remain,
Yours sincerely,
Alitalia Customer Relations
  • 19.02.2013 (telephone):
After nearly 4 months, I was contacted by a person who could barely speak Romanian and who told me that:
a) The failure of his co-worker to simultaneously book 2 tickets was caused by a ‘technical error’;
b) The fact that my wine bottles broke was my mistake and I was treated like a child doing a bad thing.
The fact that I could not be provided vegetarian meals and that our initial flights were cancelled, Alitalia offering a solution only at my insistence, were not considered.      
  • 19.02.2013 (e-mail):
Dear Mrs Coman,
In reply to your email of the 31/10/2012 and further to the telephone conversation you had with our Customer Care Office 19/02/2013, we wish to renew our sincere regrets for the inconvenience you experienced while travelling with Alitalia on flight AZ 494 on the 30/10/2012.
As per our telephone conversation, I can confirm that the airline does not accept any liability for fragile items packed in a checked luggage and that no refund can be considered on this occasion. …

I believe that we are all entitled to express our opinions whenever we feel deprived of our rights. I don’t believe that the aforementioned events speak well for a company like Alitalia and I would like to advise you all to choose other companies for your flights, because with Alitalia… you’re walking on very thin ice… and you wouldn’t want your business or leisure travels to suffer, would you? 

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