Flight Review Alitalia Economy Class (A320/A321)

Alitalia A320.JPG

With the Italian flag carrier Alitalia facing an uncertain future, I thought it was about time that I posted my flight report of my latest two flights with them, from Moscow Sheremetyevo to Rome Fiumicino and back.

The Flights


Flight #: AZ596

From: Rome Fiumicino (FCO)

To: Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO)

Flight time: 3.5h approx.

Aircraft: Airbus A321

Flight #: AZ595

From: Moscow Sheremetyevo (SVO)

To: Rome Fiumicino (FCO)

Flight time: 3.5h approx.

Aircraft: Airbus A320

These are Alitalia's business class seats

These are Alitalia's business class seats

I had not flown with Alitalia since last year's rebranding - a move that followed Etihad's investment - and I must say that I was positively impressed by the cabin interior.

Italy is a land of design and style, of course, so you would not expect less of its flag carrier!

I particularly liked the sobriety and coolness of the cabin: black leather seats with the a touch of yellow (on business class) or red (on economy class). And all very new too!

I particularly liked the sobriety and coolness of the cabin: black leather seats with the a touch of yellow (on business class) or red (on economy class). And all very new too!

I also liked this Alitalia fleet depiction. Although I must confess that, when it comes to the outside of the airplane, I have trouble finding out what the "rebranding" consisted of.

I also liked this Alitalia fleet depiction. Although I must confess that, when it comes to the outside of the airplane, I have trouble finding out what the "rebranding" consisted of.

Well, this could really be any airline, but I just liked to share this picture of Moscow from the air in the early hours of the morning. Here we had just taken off from Sheremetyevo. Next stop: Roma!

Well, this could really be any airline, but I just liked to share this picture of Moscow from the air in the early hours of the morning. Here we had just taken off from Sheremetyevo. Next stop: Roma!

We were served breakfast. Quite decent for economy, some pastries, fresh fruit, yogurt, coffee and water. Does not leave you hungry!

We were served breakfast. Quite decent for economy, some pastries, fresh fruit, yogurt, coffee and water. Does not leave you hungry!

A general view of the cabin. Note the light-brown wood-like (I guess is not real wood) finishings on one end of the cabin. Small detail but contributes to an atmosphere of coziness.

A general view of the cabin. Note the light-brown wood-like (I guess is not real wood) finishings on one end of the cabin. Small detail but contributes to an atmosphere of coziness.

This was a really early flight, 5.50am, so, as you can guess most passengers just slept throughout (no exception here!). The crew just served breakfast shortly after take-off and then just left people sleep. So not much to report when it comes to service...

Nice little detail here -  "Brand Italy" on the curtains too!

Nice little detail here -  "Brand Italy" on the curtains too!

The return flight was on a slightly larger A321 - same cabin interior design though.

A nice surprise and very kind of the member of the flight attendant that suggested we could seat on the emergency row seat: huge space! 

It you ever travel on Alitalia's A321 on economy (and you fulfill the mandatory conditions, of course) , keep this in your mind: row 9A has even more legroom than business class!

It you ever travel on Alitalia's A321 on economy (and you fulfill the mandatory conditions, of course) , keep this in your mind: row 9A has even more legroom than business class!

Another interesting detail that caught my eye: there's enough room between the last row of economy class and the wall of the toilet to allow for the storage of baggage (quite convenient when the flight is full of people coming back from their Italian shopping trips!) - not sure I have seen it on other airlines. Can you think of any?

Another interesting detail that caught my eye: there's enough room between the last row of economy class and the wall of the toilet to allow for the storage of baggage (quite convenient when the flight is full of people coming back from their Italian shopping trips!) - not sure I have seen it on other airlines. Can you think of any?

Dinner was very tasty - although not suitable for vegetarians! Cold cuts with vegetables, pastry and fresh fruit, plus drinks, of course

Dinner was very tasty - although not suitable for vegetarians! Cold cuts with vegetables, pastry and fresh fruit, plus drinks, of course

Night flight - almost everyone is asleep

Night flight - almost everyone is asleep

Back in Moscow to a rainy welcome!

Back in Moscow to a rainy welcome!

Our take: thumbs up! Comfortable cabin - despite being to red-eye flights could sleep really well (although on the return flight it helped to have the huge space provided by the emergency door seat), the food was rather good and service also without fault.

The only IF: Fiumicino airport

We got to the airport with plenty of time (2.5h before the flight) and we just managed to make it to the gate at the very last minute as we encountered a number of bottlenecks along the way.

First the check-in queue was very slow, so slow, that one of Alitalia's employees had to go around asking passengers with flights departing in less than 1.5h (!) to follow her to a speedier counter, then the VAT Return office, also understaffed and slow, and providing very poor information (only after queueing for a while someone told us there was another office air-side, no other way to know!) and finally long, long way to the gate...the type of stressful experience that makes you question the convenience of connecting in Rome, even if Alitalia provides quite a nice in-flight experience!