Alitalia Magnifica Class Flight 609 New York-Rome – Review
It’s 1969 and Alitalia is launching jet service from New York to Rome. Fashionably dressed passengers board the plane all looking like Anita Ekberg and Marcello Mastroianni in the scene of La Dolce Vita where Ekberg’s character arrives at Ciampino Airport and is met by a horde of reporters.
So it isn’t 1969, but some 45 years later the glamour of flying is still alive at Alitalia and passengers are still elegantly dressed and everything is done with class. It’s the only airline I’ve flown where not only are bottles of water handed out but they are accompanied by plastic cups.
In a parallel to the recent Volkswagen commercial Vámonos, I walk off the plane speaking Italian.
After take-off from JFK our routing took us in a northeasterly direction towards Newfoundland, Canada, and out over the Atlantic at Cape Breton.
The captain informed passengers that, thanks to a tailwind of 77 mph (124 km/h), we should arrive at 6:25 a.m. local time in Rome.
Given our southern European destination, our crossing over the Atlantic Ocean was via a more southerly air corridor than any past flight I had taken and we passed the English Channel and entered the European continental airspace over Lannion, France before heading southeast to Rome.
Alitalia’s Airbus A330-200 fleet is configured with 28 fully lie-flat seats arranged in a 1-2-1 configuration in two cabins. My seat, 6A, was in the bulkhead row of the mini-cabin, which only has two rows of seats.