Alitalia Raises Prices on Best Award Tickets, Only Promises Not to Do It Again for One Month

Alitalia is being restructured (again..) after their latest investor to decide it’s done losing money on the transatlantic debacle Etihad walked away. Alitalia’s frequent flyer program is a separate company, spun off so that Etihad could give Alitalia more cash and so that Etihad could exercise more control all without running afoul of foreign ownership rules.

And the Millemiglia frequent flyer program is one of the real dumpster fires of loyalty. And not just for doubling partner award prices overnight either. Some loyalty programs expire miles. Alitalia expires the program. Everyone’s mileage goes away at the end of the year when the program resets. (They run promotions to let you earn back the miles you had previously earned.)

Copyright: jvdwolf / 123RF Stock Photo

Alitalia moved to a revenue-based program for 2018. But it’s redemption pricing I’m most interested in because Alitalia is a transfer partner of American Express Membership Rewards, because they used to have excellent award pricing (albeit frustrating customer service), and because they’re expected to become a Capital One transfer partner later this month.

Alitalia is devaluing their award charts again. They increased the cost of business class and long haul saver awards on Alitalia flights significantly.

There are no more discounts for roundtrip redemptions. Everything prices one way. And prices have gotten more expensive. Alitalia used to charge 80,000 miles roundtrip for business class between the US and Europe plus fuel surcharges. Come January it will be 140,000 miles roundtrip plus fuel surcharges.

And the craziest thing? Hyperinflating currencies force vendors to change their pricing all the time. Alitalia only guarantees these redemption rates for January. So we could see them go up again in February!

I really cannot recall an award that which was published just for one month. Maybe they got the idea from Marriott, which published an award chart in August for redemptions until the end of the year, currently the most expensive room night is 60,000 points per night but goes up to 100,000 next year.

(HT: One Mile at a Time)

About Gary Leff

Gary Leff is one of the foremost experts in the field of miles, points, and frequent business travel - a topic he has covered since 2002. Co-founder of frequent flyer community, emcee of the Freddie Awards, and named one of the "World's Top Travel Experts" by Conde' Nast Traveler (2010-Present) Gary has been a guest on most major news media, profiled in several top print publications, and published broadly on the topic of consumer loyalty. More About Gary »

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  1. Alitalia’s program is best described as a scam.
    I noticed that it was seemingly a great deal, transatlantic C class at 40,000 as promoted eagerly by certain sites. I jumped in blindly.
    Whenever I tried to use my miles te awards priced at over one million miles per pax. When they threatened and actually erased all miles unless used up they again raised awards to ridiculous levels.
    Clearly, they control the program, redemption levels and redemptions. I control my destiny and suggest any sane traveler avoid AZ.
    I will also state that I was advised by medical personnel to avoid AZ after I repeatedly suffered severe headaches with sudden onset after flying on old 737/MD8x flights within Italy. The trained medical advice was based on the assumption that the aircraft were old and not holding cabin pressure correctly. I resumed travel with interItaly legs by train and using LH when possible.

  2. You’ve said this before repeatedly, but trust is the cornerstone of any loyalty program. Alitalia has obviously abrogated that trust.

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