The not so friendly skies & all you can eat...
Now I realize that America is a service based culture. Though not always practised, all businesses have the mantra that the customer is always right. I also realize that Europe is not nearly as customer-friendly. I understand that and have adjusted my expectations accordingly.
I have had the unforunate pleasure of flying with Alitalia twice now. I can easily say it was awful. I've never had such bad service. It's like they are annoyed that you are using their business. Sure it's not a luxurious carrier but I'm pretty sure that I should get more than two waters on an 8hr flight. Plus some decent amount of food that might come close to the size of an actual meal would be nice. Though even if they did provide more food, I wouldn't eat it. It's awful. You know it's bad if I would rather go hungry or pay inflated airport prices for some snacks.
This isn't even why I am mad now. I got over their lameness when I flew back from Christmas. No they managed to screw up again. First they forced Mona to buy a return ticket from Albania because the ticket agent was an idiot. Second when I called to see what her options were because she might miss her flight due to President Bush's visit, the agent (who I reached by calling the US number because the Tirana office was mysteriously closed) was awful and idiotic. She told me that nothing could be done. Mona's ticket could not be changed. When I told the agent that the ticket itself said that changes could be made for a fee of 50Euro, she argued with me. I told her I wanted to speak to a supervisor. She said the supervisor was going to be out for an hour or two. I said this was unacceptable. I needed to get the issue resolved. As I was being insistent, not rude yet, she actually hung up on me. I was pissed! I called back got everything taken care of and spoke to the supervisor. It wasn't even that difficult. Argh.
Moral of this story, NEVER fly Alitalia.
Oh, while I'm venting. Just because you order the "salad bar" and ask if you can get as much as you want, it doesn't mean that you will not be charged for each plate. I learned that the hard way. I ordered the salad bar at a restaurant in Tirana called Taverneta which is used to foreigners. The first time I took small portions of a few things to try them out. The next time I tried a few others. Finally I went back and got some more of each of the dishes I liked. Have you already figured out that I was charged for each plate? Yeah. Nice, huh. I said something to the waiter as we were leaving but I might go back and complain some more. Perhaps I was being foolish but at least the staff should know that there are people like me out there and you got be ready for the foreigners.
Ok. Thanks. I feel better.