Edited by: Keri Stooksbury
& Kellie Jez
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UPDATE: Alitalia ceased operations in 2021. It was replaced by ITA Airways.
Alitalia has recently been in the news for being an airline ripe for bankruptcy, but we’re here to tell you that Alitalia (now renationalized as ITA (Italia Trasporti Aereo)) presents one of the best nonstop options to get to Italy.
Alitalia, the flag carrier of Italy, operates nonstop flights that connect much of the world to one of the biggest tourist destinations globally. Still, the recent economic turmoil that the airline has experienced has raised many questions about the airline’s future.
As of now, Alitalia is still an operational airline, with 98 planes flying to 94 destinations.
Alitalia operates flights to key hub airports in the United States, but their U.S. network is petite. Let’s get started!
Update: Due to COVID-19, Alitalia may temporarily suspend routes, frequencies, and/or aircraft flown. Please check with the airline directly for the most current information.
Alitalia operates 6 different types of aircraft globally, and they only utilize 2 of them on U.S. flights. These are the:
Additionally, since Italy is such a seasonal destination, the flight frequencies may change to meet demand for peak season. The following flight frequencies correspond to their regular service. Let’s look at the route table below:
|Alitalia Route||Flight No.||Aircraft||Cabin Classes||Frequency|
|Los Angeles (LAX) – Rome (FCO)||AZ 621||777-200||Business, Premium Economy, Economy||Daily until October 6, 2019 then 6x weekly until October 26, 2019 then 3x weekly until January 10, 2020.
Service suspended until February 26 then 3x weekly until March 27, 2020. Then, 4x weekly until May 1, 2020 then daily from May 1, 2020 on.
|Miami (MIA) – Rome (FCO)||AZ 631||A330-200||Business, Premium Economy, Economy||Daily|
|New York City (JFK) – Rome (FCO)||AZ 609/611||AZ 609: Mostly 777-200, sometimes A330-200
AZ 611: Mostly 777-200, sometimes A330-200
|Business, Premium Economy, Economy||2x daily|
|New York City (JFK) – Milan (MXP)||AZ 605||A330-200||Business, Premium Economy, Economy||Daily|
|Washington D.C. (IAD) – Rome (FCO)||AZ 619||A330-200||Business, Premium Economy, Economy||5x weekly until October 26, 2019 then 3x weekly until January 6, 2020.
Service resumes March 9, 2020 to 3x weekly and increases to 5x weekly from March 29, 2020
|Chicago (ORD) – Rome (FCO)||AZ 629||A330-200||Business, Premium Economy, Economy||Daily until September 30, 2019 then service suspended until June 2020|
|Boston (BOS) – Rome (FCO)||AZ 615||A330-200||Business, Premium Economy, Economy||Seasonal: Daily until October 26, 2019 then 5x weekly until Jan 8, 2020
Service resumes March 2, 2020 to 5x weekly until March 30, 2020 then 6x weekly until April 30, 2020 then daily
Now that you have an idea on the various flights Alitalia operates let’s talk about the best points to enable travel on Alitalia.
Alitalia is a SkyTeam airline, with sharing partners such as Delta Air Lines and Air France/KLM. Additionally, Alitalia is partners with Air Serbia, ANA, China Southern, Etihad Airways, GOL, and Virgin Australia.
This means you have some solid opportunities to book Alitalia award travel. You can use Delta SkyMiles, Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles, ANA Mileage Club miles, Etihad Guest miles, Alitalia MilleMiglia, Virgin Australia Velocity miles, and Korean Air SKYPASS miles.
In this case, the most cost-effective way to use points and miles is with ANA Mileage Club, Korean Air SKYPASS, or Air France/KLM Flying Blue.
Unfortunately, Alitalia doesn’t currently offer first class flight options on their long-haul routes to and from the United States.
Alitalia receives solid reviews on their business class product. Named “Magnifica Class,” the long-haul business class product features a variety of excellent Italian food and beverage offerings, a good seat, and mostly great service.
Some of the main concerns with Alitalia business class is the lack of a proper ground experience and terrible award availability. All in all, flying on Alitalia in Magnifica Class is an excellent way to cross the Atlantic nonstop to Italy.
Again, Alitalia operates two aircraft on their long-haul flights to and from the United States, and they are:
As we’ll find out, the 777-200 is the better product of the two.
Alitalia operates an older version of the 777, the 200 variant. The 777-200 is the aircraft utilized on Alitalia’s flagship routes. In other words, their best business class product will be located on this aircraft.
In business class, you’ll find staggered and fully lie-flat business class seats in a 1-2-1 configuration. Each of these seats offers direct aisle access, which is pretty much par for the course in business class.
Still, it’s good to know that these seats are reasonably private and also quite comfortable. There are a total of 30 business class seats on the 777-200, and the seats are divided into two cabin sections. The larger cabin is located at the front of the aircraft, whereas the more intimate mini-cabin is located behind it.
The 777-200 business class seats are quite generous in size, measuring 22 inches wide and 46 inches in pitch. The seats recline into fully lie-flat beds up to 78 inches in length, so you won’t have any issues stretching out.
Without further ado, let’s examine the seat map:
As we see above, there are 5 rows of seats in the front section, with a lavatory at the port side and galleys at the starboard side. There’s an in-flight bar and a lavatory separating the two business class sections, followed by more business class seats in the smaller mini-cabin.
Believe it or not, the best seats on this layout aren’t readily apparent. While most would initially say that row 10 seats are the best, it’s important to note that none of the seats are true window seats; they’re all aisle seats.
By selecting row 9 seats, you’ll experience a bulk of the foot traffic from passengers seated in the rows behind you. In our opinion, the best solo seats are 5A and 3L. These seats are far from the lavatories and are true window seats.
If you’re traveling with a companion, you may enjoy the honeymoon seats in the middle of odd-numbered rows.
Here are all the routes on which you can find this business class arrangement on Alitalia’s 777-200 aircraft:
Let’s move onto our runner-up, which is Alitalia’s A330-200.
Since the A330-200 is significantly smaller than the 777-200, it makes sense that there are fewer business class seats. Unfortunately, the business class section isn’t separated to make intimate mini-cabins.
The 20 seats in business class are each 21 inches in width and 44 inches in pitch. This means that the seats are 1 inch narrower and 2 inches shorter in pitch when compared to the seats on the 777-200.
An inch of width is readily noticeable, so that’s the main reason why the A330-200 falls behind the 777-200. As for the seating arrangement, you’ll still enjoy direct aisle access and fully lie-flat seats across the entire business class cabin.
Let’s look at the seat map, which is arranged in a 1-2-1 fashion:
There are frankly a ton of galleys, but only 1 lavatory, which is a strange setup. Nevertheless, the best seats are the window seats located at row 4. These are far from the lavatories and provide excellent privacy.
You’ll find the Alitalia A330-200 flown between the United States and Italy on the following nonstop routes:
Now that we’ve grown an appreciation for Alitalia’s underrated business class, let’s take a deep-dive into their premium economy products. Both the 777-200 and A330-200 offer a premium economy product. As we’ll find out, there isn’t necessarily a winner between the two, but there certainly is a loser.
Our rankings for Alitalia premium economy are as follows:
Alitalia’s premium economy product consists of large recliner seats with up to 9 inches of recline. This is a great product that offers a compromise between business class comfort and economy class value.
Each seat on the 777-200 is 19 inches wide and 37-38 inches in pitch. There are 24 seats spread out across 3 rows in a 2-4-2 configuration. The premium economy section is located from rows 14-16 as shown here:
The most private seats will be in row 14, as it’s far from the economy cabin right behind row 16. If you’re traveling with a family, you might be best suited reserving the entire middle row of row 14. Otherwise, couples traveling together will love the privacy of the side rows.
You can find this exact 777-200 premium economy configuration on these routes between Italy and the United States:
The A330-200 premium economy cabin contains 17 seats in a 2-3-2 configuration. The seats are approximately the same size as compared to the 777-200: 19 inches wide and 37-38 inches in pitch.
Unfortunately, there are lavatories and galleys located right in front of the premium economy cabin (rows 8-10). For this reason, the A330-200 is ranked lower than the 777-200 in premium economy.
Here’s what the A330-200 premium economy seat map looks like:
The best seats for couples traveling together are the side row seats in row 9. Solo travelers may opt to reserve a window seat in row 9, and families traveling together could find utility in reserving an entire middle row.
You can find the Alitalia A330-200 operated on these long-haul routes to and from the United States:
There are a lot of travelers who are focused on getting the best bang for their buck. Alitalia periodically offers competitive economy rates. This fact combined with the nonstop options from the United States makes economy a worthwhile consideration.
As is always the case with economy, the key to comfortable trips in coach is to reserve preferential seats and fly on the aircraft with the best seats. As we will find out, Alitalia’s 777-200 wins out in both regards.
Alitalia’s economy seats are quite narrow, but the seat pitch at preferential seats is astonishingly large. The seats are 17 inches wide, but the seat pitch varies from 30 to 35 inches!
In addition to this, Alitalia’s economy seats offer 6 inches of recline, which is excellent for a long-haul flight in economy. Importantly, Alitalia’s economy section on the 777-200 contains 239 seats configured in a 3-4-3 arrangement as shown here:
Interestingly, there’s a row that doesn’t contain seats located at the front of the economy cabin. Row 19 on the right-hand side of the aircraft is empty, which means that seats right behind row 18 have tons of extra legroom. Specifically, these are seats 20J, 20K, and 20L. These three seats are the best seats on the 777-200.
However, if you can’t reserve those, some other options include 19C, which is missing a seat in front, or seats in row 18. Row 18 seats have extra legroom and are bulkhead seats.
Here are the routes on which Alitalia offers this economy layout aboard the 777-200:
Alitalia’s economy class cabin on the A330-200 consists of seats that are 17 inches wide and 31-32 inches in pitch. This is a dramatic reduction in seat pitch that puts this economy product in second place.
The economy section has seats in a 2-4-2 configuration. There are a total of 219 economy seats on this aircraft as shown here:
The most preferential seats are the middle row seats in rows 14 and 40, and the exit row seats in row 29. Keep in mind that the exit row seats are row 29 are nearby the lavatories, which may be a source of inconvenience for some flyers.
Alitalia operates the A330-200 on these U.S. routes:
As we’ve seen above, you have a couple of options for business class, premium economy, and economy. We’ve determined that the 777-200 features the better product among the two choices in every instance.
Alitalia can be a challenging product to book in business class, but with a bit of work, you can be on your way to enjoying lie-flat staggered seats in business class.
Additionally, Alitalia’s financial future is uncertain, but that’s even more reason to try them as soon as possible. Now, you have all the information you need to plan your trip on Alitalia.
Featured Image Credit: Youtube.com / Amp Pro
Alitalia doesn’t offer any first class options, so there’s currently no way to book Alitalia first class with points and miles.
Alitalia’s business class is challenging to find award availability.
Still, if you’ve got your eyes dead set on flying in their business class, your round-trip business class ticket will cost 88,000 ANA miles, 140,000 Alitalia MilleMiglia miles, approximately 106,000-117,000 Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles, 150,000 (185,000 if less than 21 days before departure) Delta SkyMiles, or 80,000 Korean Air SkyPASS miles.
Etihad Guest employs an award chart with different prices for each route, but it’s generally not a good use of your points and miles.
You can book one-way Alitalia premium economy tickets for 40,000 Alitalia MilleMiglia miles or 42,500 Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles.
The best value you’ll get is by spending 21,500 Air France/KLM Flying Blue miles each way. Additionally, you can spend 32,500 Delta SkyMiles or 30,000 Alitalia MilleMiglia miles.
Round-trip travel costs 50,000 Korean Air SKYPASS miles or 55,000 ANA miles.
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