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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