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Business Class on Alitalia

biz_alitaliaItaly’s national airline, Alitalia, has been getting some bad press in recent years – and with good reason. They don’t have the best record when it comes to things like luggage service at Rome’s airport, and their perilous financial situation meant that for awhile ticket-holders weren’t sure whether their Alitalia flight would exist by the time their trip came up.

Fortunately it looks like the worst of Alitalia’s struggles are behind them (at least for now), so passengers can get back to worrying about things like what Business Class on Alitalia is like instead of thinking about where their luggage might end up.

With an Italian airline, it would be expected that style would be at the forefront in Business Class – but Alitalia is a bit behind the times when it comes to offering top-notch cabins and services in the sky. Their Business Class cabins are extremely comfortable, to be sure, but even on the long-haul flights you won’t find privacy shells creating “suites” or even seats that recline to fully-flat beds. The Italian touch is obvious in the names of the Business Class levels, however – “Magnifica” is Alitalia Business Class on long-haul flights, and “Ottima” is for short-haul flights.

In this list, you’ll find information about what to expect on “Magnifica,” or the long-haul Business Class cabins. There’s some information at the bottom about how “Ottima” differs.

Seat & Bed

  • On Boeing 767 aircraft, seats recline to a lie-flat position (but not horizontal with the floor)
  • On Boeing 777 aircraft, seats do not even recline to a lie-flat position
  • Lie-flat seats have leather upholstery and adjustable lumbar support

Food & Beverages

  • Menus designed by some of the best Italian chefs
  • Meals highlight Italian food and wine specialties
  • Each month the menu focuses on a particular region of Italy (Tuscany, Sicily, Veneto, etc.)
  • Italian espresso is available on each flight


  • Each seat has individual video screen with on-demand movies, TV shows, news programs, and audio programming
  • Various Italian and international newspapers and magazines are available on each flight
  • On long-haul flights passengers can use the satellite phone at their seat to call anyone in the world (for a fee) or another passenger on the same flight (for free)

Other Amenities

  • Business Class passengers get priority service through Alitalia’s security lanes at airports in Rome, Milan, and Turin
  • Business Class passengers get to use the VIP lounges of both Alitalia and SkyTeam

Alitalia’s “Ottima” Business Class service for short- or medium-haul flights may look relatively similar to “Magnifica,” since Magnifica doesn’t have mini-suites, but there are a few things that make Magnifica nicer than Ottima.

On board an Alitalia flight in the Ottima cabin the seats do not recline to a lie-flat position, although they do recline further than the seats in Economy Class. There’s more legroom in an Ottima cabin now, as the airline recently removed one row of seating and increased the amount of space for every other row.

Entertainment differs dramatically, as Ottima passengers don’t get individual video screens (they’re stuck with the same kind of ceiling-mounted video screens you’re used to seeing in coach), and while the meals are nicer than what the passengers in Economy Class are getting they’re not as nice as what those in Magnifica class receive.