General Strike October 24

As luck would have it, I arrive in Rome on Delta from the USA and have a connecting Alitalia flight to Pisa. I've tried to find out specifics about the strike but the only sure info I have is that the trains are striking from 9-5.
Does anyone know what is happening in aviation? Airport workers, air traffic control, Alitalia?
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Ciao Margaret,

I have unfortunately bad news for you - being a general strike for 24 hours, all of the airline personnel will also be striking. I went ahead and researched the info available and posted an update on our blog here (there is another date next month for another general strike): http://www.discovertuscany.com/blog/news/general-strikes-in-october-and-november-2014-2993/

At what time do you leave the US and is it a direct flight to Rome? I would call Alitalia, as it is possible they might not even let you board the plane in the US if they know nothing is working in Rome or elsewhere that day. Maybe you can leave a little earlier or the day after? I already think they will have to try to fit in all stranded travelers on that day on later flights, if you call now you might be able to arrange something and avoid some of the chaos. So sorry you'll be caught right in the middle of this :(
 
Thanks for the info, Lourdes. I knew you'd be able to get the facts for me. Rats! I'll be calling Delta in a little while to see what they can tell me. My flight is direct to Rome from NYC and supposed to arrive at FCO at 8 am. Looks like I'm going to be SOL. My ticket is an award ticket so the likelyhood of them rebooking me is probably pretty slim...and there goes the money I already paid for the apartment stays (in Florence & Rome) as well as all of the concerts and tours. I'll probably be out several thousand bucks and, if that's the case, it will not be likely that I'll ever book a trip to Italy again. It's just not worth the stress or aggravation or financial risk.
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
OH NO! Call Delta and find out if you can at least get to Rome! If you can, then you can just plan an unexpected day in Rome - and either catch a train or fly the following day and still be able to make it to Italy. I really really hope this works out for you!!!
 
Ohhhh. I'm going to get to Rome...I've been working on that since last night. I spoke to Delta who has no notification that the flight would have a problem. Also, the Alitalia website is allowing me to "purchase" a ticket on the same Pisa flight I have booked for Friday. Tomorrow, I'm going to try calling Alitalia to speak to a rep (wish me good luck there, I understand their customer service is so-so).
And, just in case I need it, I've reserved a room in Rome for the 24th at the Cavalieri Hilton (on points) that would be NO hardship if we need to spend the night there! I can cancel the reservation up until 16:00 if I don't need it.
The only thing I haven't done yet is cancel my reesrvation for the night in Montecatini Terme, They've been so nice but I'm feeling like I may cancel and re-reserve once I reach Rome and am sure I'll make it to Pisa.

I hope I don't have to end up rescheduling but the flight from JFK is daily and there are a lot of unsold seats for both arriving on Thursday or Saturday.
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Am glad this is going to work or, one way or another!
There space on Thursday? I say just change it and ask for an extra day off from work ;)
 
Well, both Delta and Alitalia say their flights are scheduled to fly with no strike alerts noted. Looks like I'm good to go....I hope:)
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
Sounds great although I am very confused.... here, the announcement of the strike is out so maybe they have personnel who are not part of the unions that makes it possible for them to fly in without a problem?
 
I'm also confused. It is so difficult to get specific information. The only specific I can find is Trenitalia is striking 9:00-17:00. Plus "Public & Private Sectors".
Are you hearing anything specific about Alitalia?
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
This should help clear things up: the general strike is only from 3 independent unions (OR.SA, UNICOBAS and USB) but the one affecting AIR TRAVEL is only by USB (this is for the 24th of October). So as far as flights go, it seems that the impact should be limited. That is likely why you should not have problems as far as flying in to Rome and then on to Pisa. Although once in Pisa, that will change as bus and trains will be impacted (trains until 5pm).

If you're staying in Pisa, you'll need to plan on taking a taxi to get to your hotel!
 
I'll have to give you a new nickname - "Lourdes, Stress Reliever Extraordinaire".
My hotel in Montecatini Terme will have a taxi meet us at the airport and we'll make a stop to see the Leaning Tower before leaving town.

My father, who was too young to serve in the military during WWII, served in Korea in the late 1940's. Then, with the Marshall Plan to rebuild Europe after the war, he was recalled into the Army in 1950 and built roads throughout Tuscany and was really proud of his picture in front of the Tower in Pisa. He died in 2000. Then in 2004, my mother and a girlfried went on an Italy tour and she also took a picture in front of the Tower. So now it is time for my daughter and I to carry on the tradition:)

And, I'm in the process to secure my own Italian citizenship as I am Italian "through blood". My grandfather did not become a US citizen until after my father was born which made Pop an Italian (although he never realized it) and therefore so am I and so is my daughter.
 

Lourdes

The Tuscan Expert ;-)
Staff member
So glad this is going to work out and you will be able to carry out the tradition of visiting the Leaning Tower with your daughter!! :D Having a driver come pick you up and drive you to the hotel sounds perfect, will definitely reduce any last segment stress.

How wonderful to be able to pick up Italian citizenship through bloodline, hope the process doesn't turn out to be too difficult. Will you be dealing with local public bureaucracy on this trip such as picking up copies of birth certificates at local anagrafe offices or purely vacation time with your daughter?
Sounds like you will have a lovely time together, regardless!
 
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