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.


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.


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


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.



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.





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…”


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…



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.




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.




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 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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Hilton, Rome FCO

This Trip
KLM Cityhopper | Fokker F70 | LHR-AMS | Economy

KLM | Boeing 737-800 | AMS-FCO | Business
Hilton, Rome FCO
Alitalia | Airbus A320 | FCO-LHR | Economy

Stayed in: March 2016


Normally when staying for somewhere for more than just a stopover, I’d go for a city hotel. However on this occasion as I’d be arriving at 11:30pm, I didn’t much fancy making the journey into town at that time.

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As it turned out, the hotel offered free transportation into town anyway, so worked out well. Upon checking in my HHonours Gold status was confirmed and I was upgraded to a room on the executive floor.

Main Room

Standard room really. Like most airport Hiltons, it was a litte rough around the edges but clean and tidy enough. There was a decent sized work desk. And a TV with a whole load of Arabic channels on, but two English channels – both news channels.

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The bathroom included a bath/shower combo and the usual furniture.

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Usual Hilton amenities in the bathroom, as well as the tea/coffee making facilities. Also of note were the two bottles of complimentary water ready and waiting in the room. During 2015 I’d have a 50/50 hit rate with this, but its been such more consistent lately.

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Pretty small lounge here, that didn’t open until 11:30 so no use for breakfast. I popped by for a couple of drinks on my return from town, but didn’t bother with any of the evening snacks.

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In Conclusion

One of two Hilton Group hotels at FCO, although I chose this one due to the fact it offered a free hourly shuttle into town, plus the fact it was within walking distance from the terminals – the other involved catching a shuttle. It was good enough, but could do with a lick of paint. Also of note was that despite the stay posing on my HHonours account, no points came with it.

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MGM Grand, Las Vegas

Stayed in: December 2015


Having visited “Sin City” just over a year previously and staying in the Tropicana, I decided to try out somewhere different on this occasion. The MGM fit the bill, being just across the road from the Tropicana.

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Annoyingly at check in, they wanted a whopping $200/night extra for security… I tried to argue it, but the check in guy just kept saying “it’s for security”. To add insult to this, it wasn’t a pre-authorisation either – they actually took the money from my account. It was eventually refunded a week after check out.

Main Room

The room itself was pretty decent. Big bed, as is standard in the USA, complete with a very decent sized working desk and a large sofa.

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In keeping with the rest of the room, the bathroom was large and clean.

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There were the standard amenities dotted around in convenient locations in the bathroom, however there was nothing in the way of tea or coffee in the room. There was however an expensive mini bar.

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In Conclusion

The MGM grand is a very good hotel to stay in at the South End of The Strip. Although I didn’t like their security deposit policy. Not only was the amount higher than anything I’ve experienced before, but also the fact they took the money from my account rather than just taking a pre authorisation was a little harsh too. I eventually ended up losing money due to differences in the exchange rate.

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Hilton Midtown, New York

Stayed in: November 2015


The last time I was in NYC, I discovered that hotels were pretty pricey. I ended up staying in a Super 8 over in Brooklyn, which wasn’t too bad but a little far from the action. This time around I decided to spend a little more and be a bit closer to the action. The tried and tested Hilton came up with a decent location between Times Square and Central Park and at a (somewhat) reasonable price. I also used 30,000 HHonours points to upgrade my room.

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First impressions were good. Although the guy at check in couldn’t decide whether I had pre paid or not – I hadn’t so no major issue other than taking a little time, which wasn’t what I really wanted after doing a day at work and then taking a Trans Atlantic flight.

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Main Room

The room itself was of a decent size – although most are in the USA. There was the standard Hilton bed, along with a comfortable enough chair and footstool.

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The bathroom was a little on the small side, but perfectly adequate. There was the standard bath/shower combo.

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Standard bath and shower amenities were present here, but no tea, coffee or in room fridge was offered.

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Breakfast was available in the onsite restaurant – good enough due to the fact it was included due to my HHonours Gold status, but for $27 it seemed poor value otherwise. There was also a cooked option for $45.

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In Conclusion

The Hilton New York Midtown was a great hotel, with an almost perfect location between Central Park and Times Square and also a sort walk from the Rockefeller Centre and Fifth Avenue. There was also a subway station nearby to get you downtown. The Hotel itself was somewhat busy during my stay – Thanksgiving week, although I only really noticed this in the lobby. I’d have no issues staying here again.

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Radisson Blu, Manchester Airport

Stayed in: October 2015


An old favourite. Needing somewhere onsite, and having stayed at the Hilton earlier in the year, I turned to the Radisson this time around. I’d not stayed here since it had its much needed refurb so was interested to see what it was like these days.

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Upon check in, there was no mention made of my newly acquired Club Carson status. In fact they couldn’t be any less interested if they tried…

Main Room

First impressions of the room were pretty good – a bit of a shame they had got rid of the themed rooms – but they were getting a bit long in the tooth the last time I stayed here in 2013.

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As it turns out, I had been upgraded to a business class room.

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The standard Radisson welcome gift was present.

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Like the rest of the room, the bathroom had also been given a refurb since my last stay, although I wouldn’t say it was brand new. There were a few signs of wear. This was also another room that featured only a shower but no bath. Being a shower person, I much prefer this set up anyway.

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Standard Radisson amenities present in the bathroom, as well as a Nespresso coffee maker and kettle.

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In Conclusion

A great refurbishment in the last couple of years and by far and away the best location at Manchester Airport, being directly connected to all the terminals. I arrived at Terminal 3 (the furthest terminal from the hotel) and it was no more than a ten minute walk. The major downside of this though, is that it comes at a cost – and that cost has increased since the refurbishment.

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Conrad, Dubai.

Stayed in:September 2015


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Hotels are pretty plentiful in Dubai. I was going to stay in the Hilton up by the creek, but as the Conrad was less than £100 more, I figured why not. Especially as it was a little further into town. Due to my status, upon reaching the check in desk, I was whisked up to the lounge to check in. It was a case of sitting down with a drink whilst everybody else did the work. Then my key was brought over to me and I was on my way.

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Main Room

Into the room itself, and it was your standard cookie cutter room. Fist impressions were good though. Very spacious, very clean and a decent work desk.

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Quite a large bathroom here, with dual sinks, a separate shower and bath.

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An added bonus was the TV in the bathroom. First time I had experienced this.


Standard bathroom and room amenities. Of note was that the bathroom amenities were upgraded over the standard Hilton fare.

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Also of note was a remote control next to the bed which controlled the curtains and lighting.

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In Conclusion

One of the newer hotels in Dubai, and I’ll certainly be back. The room was great, as was the lounge (sorry, no pictures of that) and all the staff were extremely friendly and accommodating. The only downside was that the pool area was a little busy in the afternoon.

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