Alitalia | Airbus A321 | FCO-LHR | Economy

This Trip

Alitalia | Airbus A321 | LHR-FCO | Economy
Hilton Garden Inn, Rome Fiumicino
Alitalia | Airbus A319 | FCO-FLR | Economy
Hilton, Florence Metropole
Alitalia | Airbus A319 | FLR-FCO | Economy
Alitalia | Airbus A321 | FCO-LHR | Economy

Airline: Alitalia
Aircraft: Airbus A321
Route: Rome – London Heathrow
Flight number: AZ204
Seat number: 27A
Cabin: Economy
Flight date: May 2016

Picking up pretty much straight from my flight from Florence, it was a bit of a race to make it to the gate for my next flight on time for boarding. This is where Fiumicino lets itself down a bit – everything is a little bit too far apart, and it doesn’t seem all that well thought out. Seems as though despite there being plenty of gates, bus journeys are pretty frequent. Due to the rush, there wasn’t any time for a lounge visit as the one in the G gates still isn’t open (I’m sure it said 1st May on my last visit).

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Boarding / Onboard

Boarding started around ten minutes after I arrived at the gate, and for the first time on this trip, the agents went through the priority lane and sorted through who was supposed to be there and who wasn’t. Not that it mattered all that much, as once more it was on to a bus. What was more frustrating is that the bus pulled up a couple of planes down from the one that I had just disembarked…

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Service

Service on board this flight was a little slow to get going, but with a 2+ hour flying time, I guess there was no real need to rush. Once more, it was the pre-packaged sandwich along with a choice of soft drinks. One thing to note was that for the third time the sandwich was of a different variety – chicken and cheese this time. So a good deal for frequent flyers.

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Arrival

Unusually for Heathrow, there was no holding, meaning it was pretty much straight in. As we landed on 09L there was a little delay getting over to Terminal 4.

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Conclusions

The final of four flights with Alitalia on this trip and on all four occasions, flights were reasonably full the crew provided a decent enough service and the on board food on the two flights where I received it was tasty enough. The only issue was really Rome airport – where everything seemed to be miles away from everything. In future, I’ll definitely leave more than 90 minutes to connect when using this airport.

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Alitalia | Airbus A319 | FLR-FCO | Economy

This Trip

Alitalia | Airbus A321 | LHR-FCO | Economy
Hilton Garden Inn, Rome Fiumicino
Alitalia | Airbus A319 | FCO-FLR | Economy
Hilton, Florence Metropole
Alitalia | Airbus A319 | FLR-FCO | Economy

Airline: Alitalia
Aircraft: Airbus A319
Route: Florence – Rome
Flight number: AZ1678
Seat number: 18A
Cabin: Economy
Flight date: May 2016

Check In / Security

Check in was a little busy as I had arrived a little later than usual. There wasn’t a queue in the priority line however, and I was seen within a couple of minutes.

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Lounge

Alitalia don’t have their own lounge here – instead its just the one third party lounge, which caters for all. It was before security and not the greatest – small, dark and basic. It didn’t even offer Wifi – you had to use the airports, which was pretty slow.

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Boarding / Onboard

Boarding was made a little late, due to the inbound aircraft arriving a little late from Rome (although isn’t that always the excuse?). When it did get under way, it was done in what appeared to be typical Alitalia fashion – there was a priority line, but it wasn’t enforced in the slightest. Not that it really mattered anyway, as all flights are boarded by bus in Florence.

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On board, I was met with the standard Alitalia cabin.

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Service

Not an awful lot can be said about the service on this flight – mainly because there was none, except for a tray of wet wipes handed out. Seemed a bit of an odd thing to hand out, especially as there wasn’t anything else given out food or beverage wise.

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Arrival

Despite the late start, due to some nicely padded scheduling, arrival was made more or less on time. Having said that, we then ended up being put on to a bus gate, which in turn took an age to get over to the terminal. Not what I needed with a shortish connection…

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Conclusions

Not an awful lot to say about this part of the trip really, due to the thirty minute flying time and the almost complete lack of service on board, third party lounge and contract workers in Florence.

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Alitalia | Airbus A319 | FCO-FLR | Economy

This Trip

Alitalia | Airbus A321 | LHR-FCO | Economy
Hilton Garden Inn, Rome Fiumicino
Alitalia | Airbus A319 | FCO-FLR | Economy
Hilton Florence Metropole
Alitalia | Airbus A319 | FLR-FCO | Economy
Alitalia | Airbus A321 | FCO-LHR | Economy

Airline: Alitalia
Aircraft: Airbus A319
Route: Rome – Florence
Flight number: AZ1675
Seat number: 2A
Cabin: Economy
Flight date: May 2016

Check In / Security

As I had already been given my boarding pass, there was no need for me to pay the check in desk another visit. Instead I headed straight for the general security. I did enquire about the SkyPriority lane, and the guy said one did exist but as it was at the far end of the terminal I’d be better off using the general lane as it wasn’t too busy. As it was, it took me no more than ten minutes to pass through.

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Lounge

The Schengen Alitalia lounge is located in the D gates – as I was due to depart from the B gates, it was a bit of a walk from where I was. When I arrived, it was a little busy. There were decent enough catering options and plenty of smaller seating areas.

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Boarding / Onboard

When it came to boarding, there was some priority boarding announced – however it wasn’t enforced at all. The three people ahead of me had no status on their boarding passes, and as there wasn’t a business class cabin operated on this flight it cant have been that either.

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On board was the typical Alitalia cabin.

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Picture taken after arrival

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Service

Service got underway shortly after departure. As this was just a thirty minute flight, water was all that was offered.

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Arrival

Arrival was made more or less on schedule – there was a slight hold up for an unknown reason when the doors were opened, but once disembarked it was straight out to the taxi rank.

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Conclusions

As mentioned in the previous part of this report, I wasn’t originally booked on to this flight. However, everything went flawlessly (as expected) and once more Alitalia did a reasonable job on this short flight. Although I’d say their lounges in the particular area of Fiumicino needed a bit of a refurb as despite being comfortable enough, they are starting to show some wear in areas.

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Alitalia | Airbus A321 | LHR-FCO | Economy

This Trip

Alitalia | Airbus A321 | LHR-FCO | Economy
Hilton Garden Inn, Rome Fiumicino
Alitalia | Airbus A319 | FCO-FLR | Economy
Hilton Florence Metropole
Alitalia | Airbus A319 | FLR-FCO | Economy
Alitalia | Airbus A321 | FCO-LHR | Economy

Airline: Alitalia
Aircraft: Airbus A321
Route: London Heathrow – Rome
Flight number: AZ207
Seat number: 34F
Cabin: Economy
Flight date: May 2016

Check In / Security

The check in desks were relatively quiet this afternoon – I was able to walk straight up to the Business Class desk, grab a boarding pass and be on my way within a minute or so.

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Next up was security. Unlike my last time at Heathrow T4, this again was very quiet – I was the only person there. In fact I made it from kerbside to the lounge in just seven minutes.

Lounge

As a top tier Alitalia status holder, I was entitled to use the Etihad lounge, due to the tie up between the two airlines.

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When I first arrived, it was a little on the busy side, however due to the fact the Etihad flight departed shortly after my arrival, it emptied out considerably to just a few people.

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The only minor issue was that once the Etihad flight did depart, the lounge staff cleared away a lot of the buffet and started hoovering, dusting etc. Its great that they take such pride in their lounge, however it did make the remaining few Alitalia customers feel a little in the way. I was still able to order from the menu however in the restaurant area.

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Boarding / Onboard

Boarding was made around 40 minutes late, due to the late inbound arrival of the aircraft from Rome. When it did get underway, it wasn’t the best I’d experienced. Whilst priority boarding was called, it wasn’t enforced all that well – I overheard the gate agent say more than a few times “bear that in mind for next time…”

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Even once on board, it still took an absolute age to complete the boarding process. And once it was complete, a load of bags then had to be taken downstairs to be loaded into the hold. This meant pushback was eventually 1h15 behind schedule – not what I needed with a 1h25 connection time in Rome…

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Service

Service didn’t get underway all that quickly, mainly due to the aisle being blocked with people waiting to use the wash room. Once it did get underway, the standard Alitalia on board offerings of soft drinks and a sandwich was distributed.

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Arrival

Arrival was made around an hour later than scheduled. Being put on to a bus gate didn’t help matters with my connection either, and despite my best efforts I missed my connection by a matter of minutes.

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Conclusions

Once again, Alitalia providing a good enough flight for a decent price. Yes, the flight was delayed, but this was down to ATC issues at LHR – I had tracked the incoming plane on flightradar24.com for most of the afternoon and everything had been running to schedule until it ended up in a holding pattern. It then took an age to cross runway 09R at LHR to get over to T4 and finally it took a good 45 minutes to get everybody on board. Once we did get going, again, LHR was very busy and it took a good while to finally get airborne. So I really can’t fault the airline for the late running. If anything, they handled everything perfectly with regards to my misconnection – apologetic, proactive and well organised. By the tim I had turned up to the gate, I’d already been rebooked on to the next flight, and as it was the following morning a hotel and meals had been arranged too, so all that was needed was a new boarding pass.

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British Airways | Airbus A319 | MAN-LHR | UK Domestic

This Trip

British Airways | Airbus A320 | LHR-ARN | Club Europe
Clarion, Stockholm Arlanda
Qatar Airways | Boeing 787 | ARN-DOH | Business
The Airport Hotel, Doha
Qatar Airways | Airbus A350 | DOH-SIN | Business
Crowne Plaza, Singapore Changi
Cathay Pacific | Boeing 777-200 | SIN-HKG | Business
Cathay Pacific | Boeing 747-400 | HKG-HND | First Class
Hilton, Tokyo Odaiba
ANA | Boeing 787 | HND-ITM | Premium Class
Courtyard by Marriott, Osaka
Asiana | Airbus A330 | KIX-ICN | Business
Four Points by Sheraton, Seoul
EVA Air | Airbus A330 | ICN-TPE | Business
Novotel, Taipei Taoyuan Airport
EVA Air | Boeing 777-300ER | TPE-SIN | Business
Conrad Centennial, Singapore
Qatar Airways | Airbus A330 | SIN-DOH | Business
Doubletree by Hilton, Doha Old Town
Qatar Airways | Boeing 787 | DOH-ARN | Business
Radisson Blu, SkyCity, Stockholm Arlanda
SAS | Boeing 737-600 | ARN-GOT | SAS Plus
Sun Air | Dornier 328 Jet | GOT-MAN | Euro Traveller
Hilton, Manchester Airport
British Airways | Airbus A319 | MAN-LHR | UK Domestic

Airline: British Airways
Aircraft: Airbus A319
Route: Manchester – Heathrow
Flight number: BA1407
Seat number: 23A
Cabin: UK Domestic
Flight date: April 2016

Check In / Security

I arrived at check in a little later than I’d wanted – ninety minutes before departure, and it was deserted apart from one family ahead and most of the staff. Luckily, one other member spotted me and made their way from behind the check in counters.

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I used the fast track security, and was processed in a couple of minutes, which was a welcome relief – on previous occasions at Manchester Terminal 3, I’ve waited over an hour.

Lounge

The British Airways lounge at Manchester is one of the better outstation lounges in my opinion. Its large, airy and even includes showers – no doubt going back to the days when the airline had a much bigger presence here.

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Having said that, it still features the more basic food offerings – sandwiches and crisps.

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Boarding / Onboard

As mentioned in the first report of this trip, British Airways have introduced a new boarding procedure within the last year, and the implementation of this has been very hit and miss. On this occasion, it was a miss with all the priority boarders being invited to board at once – so the previous way of doing things. However, enforcing any sort of order may have been difficult as the boarding area consisted of a corridor.

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On board, it was the now standard British Airways Airbus short haul cabin.

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Service

Due to the fact that this was a very empty flight – just 53 passengers I believe – the service was very personal. In fact there were just the two of us seated behind the two over wing emergency exits. As such, doubles were handed out without prompting. As this was just a 35 minute flight, not much else in the way of service.

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Arrival

Somewhat surprisingly, there was no holding on the way into Heathrow. Arrival was made on to one of the domestic stands at the North end of Terminal 5, some 20 minutes ahead of schedule. Although any advantage was lost when waiting for my bag, that took a good 25 minutes to appear on the carousel. Madness that the flight took 35 minutes and yet it took the ground crew 25 minutes to bring the bags a few hundred metres from the plane.

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Conclusions

Now the only player on the London – Manchester run, British Airways have really polished the service. Despite the low load, the airline has added an extra crew member to this service (normally the A319 has three cabin crew – this flight had four) to make sure everything goes as smoothly as possible. The only niggle was the wait for my bag – although I have no idea whether that was down to the airline or the airport.

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Look out for the YouTube video soon!

Sun Air | Dornier 328 Jet | GOT-MAN | Euro Traveller

This Trip

British Airways | Airbus A320 | LHR-ARN | Club Europe
Clarion, Stockholm Arlanda
Qatar Airways | Boeing 787 | ARN-DOH | Business
The Airport Hotel, Doha
Qatar Airways | Airbus A350 | DOH-SIN | Business
Crowne Plaza, Singapore Changi
Cathay Pacific | Boeing 777-200 | SIN-HKG | Business
Cathay Pacific | Boeing 747-400 | HKG-HND | First Class
Hilton, Tokyo Odaiba
ANA | Boeing 787 | HND-ITM | Premium Class
Courtyard by Marriott, Osaka
Asiana | Airbus A330 | KIX-ICN | Business
Four Points by Sheraton, Seoul
EVA Air | Airbus A330 | ICN-TPE | Business
Novotel, Taipei Taoyuan Airport
EVA Air | Boeing 777-300ER | TPE-SIN | Business
Conrad Centennial, Singapore
Qatar Airways | Airbus A330 | SIN-DOH | Business
Doubletree by Hilton, Doha Old Town
Qatar Airways | Boeing 787 | DOH-ARN | Business
Radisson Blu, SkyCity, Stockholm Arlanda
SAS | Boeing 737-600 | ARN-GOT | SAS Plus
Sun Air | Dornier 328 Jet | GOT-MAN | Euro Traveller
Hilton, Manchester Airport
British Airways | Airbus A319 | MAN-LHR | UK Domestic

Airline: Sun Air
Aircraft: Dornier 328Jet
Route: Gothenburg – Manchester
Flight number: BA8233
Seat number: 2A
Cabin: Euro Traveller
Flight date: April 2016

Check In / Security

Check in opened around two hours prior to departure – which was a little annoying (but hardly surprising) as I had arrived from Stockholm a couple of hours previously. And theres not an awful lot to do landside at Gothenburg. When it did open, my bag was given a priority tag, which was a little surprising as BA don’t give their elites travelling in economy priority handling. Maybe those rules are different on Sun Air?

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There was a fast track available, however as BA rarely make it clear if you’re eligible to use it or not (despite it being a published OneWorld Emerald benefit) I used the normal lane, as it wasn’t too busy.

Lounge

There are two lounges in Gothenburg – the SAS lounge, for all Star Alliance carriers and the Menzies lounge, catering for OneWorld and SkyTeam flights. As such, it was the Menzies lounge I used. It was a reasonable lounge, with plenty of light and a couple of secluded areas – which nobody seemed to be using, so I took advantage of that fact.

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The food options included a salad buffet and crisps/nuts etc.

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Boarding / Onboard

Boarding was more or less on time, but there was no priority boarding. With a maximum of 38 passengers though, it wasn’t really an issue.

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Legroom on this small jet (at the front at least) was pretty decent.

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Service

Sun Air has a pretty good reputation for their on board service, and its very well deserved. In fact their motto is “not bigger, but better” and I’d have to agree with that. The service got underway with a drinks run, complete with snacks. On the mainline at this time, this would be all you’d get for the entire flight.

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However on Sun Air, this is followed up with a meal.

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Which is then followed up with an ice cream service.

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And finally tea or coffee.

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Previously, there was also a digestif run, but that didn’t happen on this flight.

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Arrival

Arrival was made a little early. There was a short wait for the bags to appear and mine was around the tenth off. Despite it having its priority tag, there were others without that came out before however.

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Conclusions

Another fine run with Sun Air. The food on board was plentiful and tasty. Only minor issue was that the digestif run wasn’t completed, but that could have been done away with since my last flights with the airline back in February 2015.

Questions? Comments? Come and Say Hi on Twitter!

Look out for the YouTube video soon!

SAS | Boeing 737-600 | ARN-GOT | SAS Plus

This Trip

British Airways | Airbus A320 | LHR-ARN | Club Europe
Clarion, Stockholm Arlanda
Qatar Airways | Boeing 787 | ARN-DOH | Business
The Airport Hotel, Doha
Qatar Airways | Airbus A350 | DOH-SIN | Business
Crowne Plaza, Singapore Changi
Cathay Pacific | Boeing 777-200 | SIN-HKG | Business
Cathay Pacific | Boeing 747-400 | HKG-HND | First Class
Hilton, Tokyo Odaiba
ANA | Boeing 787 | HND-ITM | Premium Class
Courtyard by Marriott, Osaka
Asiana | Airbus A330 | KIX-ICN | Business
Four Points by Sheraton, Seoul
EVA Air | Airbus A330 | ICN-TPE | Business
Novotel, Taipei Taoyuan Airport
EVA Air | Boeing 777-300ER | TPE-SIN | Business
Conrad Centennial, Singapore
Qatar Airways | Airbus A330 | SIN-DOH | Business
Doubletree by Hilton, Doha Old Town
Qatar Airways | Boeing 787 | DOH-ARN | Business
Radisson Blu, SkyCity, Stockholm Arlanda
SAS | Boeing 737-600 | ARN-GOT | SAS Plus
Sun Air | Dornier 328 Jet | GOT-MAN | Euro Traveller
Hilton, Manchester Airport
British Airways | Airbus A319 | MAN-LHR | UK Domestic

Airline: Scandinavian
Aircraft: Boeing 737-600
Route: Stockholm Arlanda – Gothenburg
Flight number: SK157
Seat number: 4A
Cabin: Business
Flight date: April 2016

Check In / Security

Check in was made in the basement area of Terminal 4 at Arlanda. it was more or less deserted, therefore I was able to dump my bag within seconds.

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It was then up one level to the fast track security, where once again I was the only person there – so once more, through in a few seconds.

Lounge

The lounge was up one level again, and was your standard SAS Domestic lounge – self entry with a basic range of snacks and coffee.

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Boarding / Onboard

Boarding began a little behind the advertised time. When it did, there didn’t appear to be any priority call made – just the “all aboard”. I couldn’t be totally sure though as the announcement wasn’t made in English.

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Once on board I took my seat of 4A, and luckily they middle seat stayed free. This is where SAS’s premium shorthaul product is a little different to other European airlines – they don’t block the middle seat.

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Service

Once again, where Scandinavian’s European premium product differs from most is the service. Rather than a full blown on board meal, its a case of the buy on board being complimentary. I ordered a wrap, a chocolate bar and some water.

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Arrival

Arrival was made more or less on schedule. There was a short wait whilst the bags came out, but when they did mine was one of the first – so priority baggage working well.

Conclusions

I’m glad I got to finally try SAS Plus. I’d always ben curious as to how the concept worked and I must admit, I think its a good enough idea. However I’d be hard pushed to call it a business class as such. More of an economy plus product. Would I fly in this cabin again? Well if the price was right – admittedly, my Star Alliance Gold status gets me a lot of the perks that are on offer anyway, such as priority check in, fast track security, lounge access, and priority baggage – so for me personally its all about the on board service. However if you don’t hold any Star Alliance status, then it may be of more value.

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Look out for the YouTube video soon!