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“Business Class only way to go on this airline”
Review of Meridiana


Reviewed 20 September 2017

When I found out a few months prior to my trip that I was being booked on Meridiana airlines I went searching online about this airline I'd never heard of and found mostly horrible things written about them. Inasmuch as my trip HAD to go on, I decided that perhaps the only thing to do was upgrade from coach to business class. I based that move on the countless negative reviews and figured at least the upgrade would make the 9 hr flight more tolerable.

With no online check-in I had to get to the airport earlier than I'd have liked, but with business class the check in was instant and I was directed to the Air France lounge at JFK which was comfortable so things were off to a good start at least.

The boarding was on time and at least in business class was simple and unrushed. Here is what I was figuring - I CANNOT sleep sitting up - only in a flat bed so I knew going into this that the seat was an old style recliner BUT being that it was in the early afternoon when I wouldn't normally sleep - it should be OK. Once ushered to my seat I found that the legroom was fantastic - seriously more than ample. The seat was old, as was the plane, but was comfortable at least. The controls for the foot rest, etc on many of the seats did not work. Thus, my reference to the old seats. It did recline and for the most part was comfortable for a daytime flight. Once we took off the passengers in business class were offered ipad devices loaded with maybe a dozen or so movies. Certainly by todays standards this is really not a very elegant business class -- BUT I can tell you that my counterparts who were in coach on this same flight would've gladly moved up front and considered it an oasis compared to the cramped and loud economy class.

I do not fly expecting a gourmet meal from ANY airline. I was surprised by the attentive service, selection and decent tasting food on Meridiana. So, they scored well here too. My business class experience, while not extravagant compared to almost every other airline was good. Seats comfortable, lots of leg room, some entertainment, decent food selection and quality, pleasant and attentive cabin crew. If you want a convenient flight to Palermo from JFK, this is the one, but consider upgrading to business.

The downside: The plane is old and I will admit when we hit some turbulence I was more anxious than with other newer airplanes. This may be non-sensical but I was nervous navigating bumpiness in a 30+ year old plane. Obviously all was fine, but it was a little scary even for someone who flies alot. The other thing was that since it's a small independent airline we had a weather delay on the return changing departure from 1pm to 7:30pm as they use this one plane back and forth to NY and it came in late. The problem for me was now it was a night flight and more uncomfortable in the recliner seat. We made it into NY around midnight and while the flight seemed longer than the trip in, the service and everything was just fine.

In conclusion - if you want a non stop to Palermo from NY at a decent price, use Meridiana - but use the business class if you can. Also, I saw complaints about their customer service phone handling - NO problem for me, I called twice with questions and was helped immediately. And my luggage even was there with me on both ends of the flight - so a success all around.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
1  Thank STEVENSNY
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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Reviewed 18 September 2017 via mobile

I was really scared to fly with this airline after reading the reviews. Yes it was the oldest plane I have ever been on in my life but the ride went really well and was uneventful both ways.

Parts of the interior and the exterior look ancient but it seems like they upgraded the interior with modern seats, the business class seats are much more comfortable and roomy. The outside engines and wings looked upgraded.

The food on the flight was the best food I've ever had while flying. The crew and captains were very good and informed us what was going on the entire flight. The business class food was amazing and I was extremely surprised with this. Yes if it was a newer flight you would have gotten better looking seats.

I probably will not fly with this airline again but it's good if you are on a tight budget. If they fully upgraded their planes I would fly with them again.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
2  Thank TravelNewb9000
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2017 via mobile

We were swapped to Meridiana from Thompson which we weren't aware of until we tried to check in online.
It seems with Meridiana, you can't check in online, but only in person 2.5 hours before you fly which wasn't awful, just a bit of a pain as there was the 80's style rush for first place. Outgoing flight itself was good. Left slightly late (although I think this was an issue at Gatwick rather than an airline issue). Bit surprised to see such an old plane. No idea when the plane was made, but it had ashtrays in the seat arms and very close seating. The crew on this flight looked as if they desperately did not want to be there. Didn't smile once or interact with anyone on board. There was also a pilot who I assume was plane hopping as a passenger, dressed in the uniform that looked as if he was suffering from a class A hangover - not very reassuring as he spent most of the flight hanging off the service trolley at the back of the plane.
The flight back however was a breath of fresh air. Attentive, happy crew. Welcomed on and off the plane. No complaints at all. Hence the 5 marking.
The obviously main thing was getting to and from safely, which we did. Just such a let down of the outbound crew.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
1  Thank tracyk742015
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 16 September 2017

Booked our flights with Expedia & thought we were flying with British Airways but no.
Now part of IAG we were on Meridiana planes. The flights both ways were OK but the planes are ancient, uncomfortable with terrible food & surly staff.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
Thank laurenwhitbourn
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 September 2017

I also got Air Mediterranean instead of Meridiana. The old Boeing 737-400 had seen better days and the leg room was very tight. Crew served us some disgusting rolls (inbound/ outbound) and the cabin crew were quite brisk. But they were punctual.

    • Seat comfort
    • Customer service (e.g. attitude, care, helpfulness)
    • Cleanliness
    • Food and Beverage
    • Legroom
    • In-flight entertainment (WiFi, TV, films)
    • Value for money
    • Check-in and Boarding (e.g. efficiency, service at gate)
Thank ChrisB090
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC