Alitalia – Rome Miami
Flying business from Rome to Miami on Alitalia should be a treat. But really the service, the good, and the comfort of the seats on the 10+ hour journey, is a joke. They have a casual approach, I guess, to the whole experience.
The movie selection was grimmer than flying TAM. There was an awful film called La Grande Bellezza, about an aging movie star in Rome who smokes a lot of cigarettes and seemed to get off with young woman. It was pure and absolute misogyny and dreadful to boot.
And I never expect to eat anything other than appalling food on an airplane, but frankly eating something is a way to fill in the hours. If you’re on BA or any number of half decent carriers, the food is OK – not brilliant, but OK. On Italia it is at the highest level of inedibility. The land of pizza, pasta and gelato – you would think, could rustle up something that resembles something edible. The land of prosciutto and parmesan – surely there must be somebody in charge of the kitchen of Alitalia that could make my 10 hours a bit more interesting! How they managed to get awards for their meals, is beyond me. Perhaps the reviewer was promised an antidote in exchange for a good review?
But the food, this was business or as they call it Magnfica. Even the picture on their website looks like the food stylist took the day off. Two kinds of putrefied pasta and a risotto you wouldn’t give to your dog. Fearful for my life when I saw the meat dish, I opted for the fish as the follow-up. One bite into the branzino and I realized that this baby had been cooked up a storm and probably should’ve been taken out of the oven several days before, along with the congealed sauce it sat in. Still there was always a chunk of cheese at the end of the meal that I could look forward to. But no luck, the parmesan packets where nowhere to be seen!
Alitalia has nice enough people as crew, but they spend most of their time practicing the art of conversation (with each other!) and seem absolutely disinterested in the people they’re supposed to be serving. In fact you feel awkward about interrupting their conversation for a glass of water – and they seem to have it figured out because they have set up a self-serve station. Not Magnifica, not at all. I hate to think about what was happening in Economy. Miami was but a few hours away and I was headed off to warmer climates, and hopefully warmer customer service.