I was flying with Alitalia, London-Rome-Abu Dhabi-Johannesburg. It was me and my friends' little quick trio before we had to attend the conference in Pretoria, SA. We're supposed to spend 1 day in each city before arriving to our destination. On the day of our fly out from London, our flight was delayed due to weather condition. Later, our flight took off only to arrive 3h late. We spend 1h waiting with the rest of the passengers for our bags in front of the belt only to find out that NOT a single baggage was taken on board of the aircraft! WHAT? But this was just a start. We had to now queue up in enormous queue to report missing baggage as well as every single other passenger of that flight.
Day one, now was gone. We have missed on every single attraction we pre-booked. Day 2 and Day 3, our bags were still missing. When we arrived to South Africa, we have found out that our delayed baggage case was closed by Alitalia as our bags were delivered to Rome and they didn't think if we gave them address in SA, they need to send it to SA. They knew about our further flights. Now, we were fighting against the unacceptable system. During our 4 day stay at the conference, we were called to the airport twice more to come and collect our bags because Alitalia send the messages that bags were delivered. 2h drive there and 2h drive back. We wasted our time, could not enjoyed our stay or the conference. We paid money for petrol to drive to the airport. We spend a lot on the mobile phone bill. We went back to London with no bags and awful week of travelling with nothing on us.
Now, the whole terrible experience with Alitalia started. Email addresses given by them were not working. Only the customer relations service one but no one ever replied. Just once they called to tell me nothing new. I did my own investigation, kept calling Abu Dhabi and Johannesburg, and found my friend's bag that finally returned safely home. Mine, still missing. English Alitalia number is only for bookings so you cannot speak to anyone that wishes to help you. I spend another £100 on phone bills calling Rome only to be mistreated by customer service. Plenty of people just did not will to give me any answer or help me. One lady almost even shouted at me. Fax numbers to send complaints and claims were not working. Address that they give in London to send post with claims and complaints is not valid. System designed to avoid customers and make them go crazy.
The customer relations service only replied to my emails (few times) to ask for the list of the items inside my bag which I have sent 5 or 6 times! Ridiculous. I have not met so unfriendly and unhelpful staff ever in my entire world, and never been placed in the system that is against customer. So dissatisfied. I am not recommending to anyone to fly with them. Let's start with "what airline doesn't take their customers' bags!"