We got an Alitalia flight with a stopover in Milan Malpensa for our holidays. I must say that we regret having chosen Alitalia.
The negative experiences started already when checking in in Zurich. Our connection flight from Milan was not open yet for a through checkin. No problem, we thought, we’ve got enough time to do that in Milan.
But there was no transfer desk when we arrived in Milan. When you first arrive, transfer desks are sign-posted, but when you get to the desks, there are no more signs. And even before the boarding desk was open, a huge queue started to build up. So I went to a nearby desk and asked, where we could get our boarding passes. Just at the boarding desk, was the answer. When we finally wanted to board, we were told that we had to queue at another desk to get a boarding pass.
Another thing what Malpensa failed to manage: there were no vegetarian meals. The Alitalia cabin crew made it not better by being a bit arrogant: they didn’t really apologise, because it’s not their fault, or is it?
This was not the last of our troubles. Our luggage stayed behind in Milan and we got the phone number of the Alitalia office where we should be able to inquire the status of our luggage. Of course we were nervous to start our trip without our things and tried to call this number early the next day. But only at noon we got through the first time and were told that the luggage would be delivered before eleven in the evening at a friends address. It was only in the evening that this friend was contacted and a few minutes before eleven when we finally got our belongings and the holidays really started.
After all this annoyances I think that “Malpensa” is an appropriate name for this airport: a combination of the Italian words for “bad” and for “thinking”.
How different was our experience in Toronto Pearson when we travelled back home. The airport employee at the boarding desk told the passengers that there is no point to queue yet and how exactly the boarding would happen as soon as a queue started to build. And the security changes (only a couple of hours after the incidents in London last week) were well and transparently organized.
The whole episode reminded us of the joke how to get the worst possible international party: let the English cook, the Italian organise and the Swiss entertain.