I’ll admit, I had high expectations for Alitalia. I assumed good food and great coffee and figured the service might not be incredible, but would be fine. I’m happy to report that I had an excellent flight with not only great food and coffee, but good service as well.
Alitalia has a large business class on its 777-200, with 46 staggered seats spread over two cabins. I assigned a window seat on the starboard side since that typically provides great views of downtown LA upon arrival. The cabin was very clean and while the black and gold colors would not have been my first choice, the cabin was attractive.
I love Alitalia’s 1950s-style uniforms and FAs looked very sharp, with female business class FAs wearing red and those in economy wearing green (it could just be an indication of seniority as well…).
Menus were already waiting at each seat. Alitalia provides three menus onboard: one for food, the other for wine, and the third for coffee. I’ll have details about each menu in my trip report, but I’ll say now the crew did an amazing job with coffee on the flight.
We took off on time…early actually…and were soon in the air over unusually light blue waters over Rome. Although the menu clearly states meal service is on-demand, the first meal service began as soon we leveled off.
I had eaten a breakfast at the Hilton a few hours earlier, but decided that if I did not eat now I would risk another United situation.
The Alitalia Feast Begins
Service began with canapes and an aperitif. No nuts of any kind.
Next came a cold potato and fennel appetizer that was delicious. I love the way Alitalia wraps its cutlery in red ribbon.
That was followed by the pasta course, what I was looking forward to the most. The ravioli had pork inside and was absolutely fabulous with fresh grated parmesan cheese.
I ordered lamb for my main course and it was DELICIOUS. Really, really good.
Then cheese, followed by fruit, and finally cake.
Behind the forward business class cabin is a staging area ideal for a mid-flight snack. Unfortunately, Alitalia just set up a meager selection of soft drinks and water during the flight. I buzzed the FA call attendant call button to ask about ordering a snack off the menu and it went unanswered for 45 minutes…the one service lapse during the flight.
I slept well for about five hours.
Finally a FA made a round through the cabin and I ordered a pizza and cappuccino, a perfect mid-flight snack! The pizza was good, but Saudia was better the week before.
There was no mention of a pre-arrival meal or snack on the menu, but a FA assured me there would be a meal. I asked because 11 hours in to the flight I was hungry once again. The pre-arrival meal was not great by itself: it contained a warm focaccia roll, some cold cuts, fruit and a warm hash brown. Very random…
I asked a FA if there were any leftover lunches and she checked and said there was either another lamb dish or fish. This time I had fish. It was a bit dry after sitting in the oven for so long, but still great. More importantly, I appreciated the kind gesture. The FA could have easily said no if she was just lazy.
We landed early in LA but parked at a remote gate (a first for me at LAX) and ended up waiting 45 minutes for a bus to the Tom Bradley International Terminal. During that time I witnessed something I did not care to see..
Alitalia impressed me. It wasn’t the best flight, the best food, or even the best coffee I’ve ever had onboard an airplane, but it was a very solid product. Stay tuned for the full trip report.