Dozens Arrested For Baggage Theft In Italy

Having an airline lose a piece of luggage is a relatively common – albeit frustrating – part of travel. But when just a few items repeatedly go missing out of a bags, there is a major call for concern. CNN is reporting that’s just what has allegedly been happening over and over again with baggage handlers working with Italian airline Alitalia, leading to dozens of arrests last Friday.

According to the news outlet, police made 49 arrests at Rome’s Fiumicino airport, plus another 37 at airports in Bari, Bologna, Milan Linate, Naples, Palermo and Verona. The arrests came after an 18-month investigation spurred by reports of missing items at the airport of the Italian city of Lamezia Terme. Police maintain the alleged thefts happened during the loading and unloading of baggage onto aircraft, and that they have surveillance footage of thefts taking place. During the investigation, Alitalia security personnel worked with police to catch the supposed thieves.

Our only advice to you, dear travelers, is to either leave valuables at home or keep them with you in the cabin whenever possible (so long as these items follow security rules, of course). You just never know what could happen.

[Photo credit: Flickr user sun dazed]

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk – LAX to Rome in style

GadlingTV’s Travel Talk, episode 23 – Click above to watch video after the jump

Travel Talk is going international for the first time – and we’re doing it in style! Last month, we had the chance to cover Alitalia’s inaugural flight from LAX to Rome to see how the airline is reinventing itself as a private company.

On the couch, we’ll discuss national airlines and the advantages that they have over the competition, and what led to the original Alitalia’s bankruptcy. When in Rome, we’ll be sharing the classic highlights of the city as well as a few less well known points of interest – so kick back, enjoy the ride, and get ready to explore Rome!

If you have any questions or comments about Travel Talk, you can email us at talk AT gadling DOT com.

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Are you familiar with the national carriers of every country? Check out the list here.

Hosts: Aaron Murphy-Crews, Stephen Greenwood

Produced, Edited, and Directed by: Stephen Greenwood, Aaron Murphy-Crews, Drew Mylrea

Photo of the Day (7.13.10)

The Pantheon in Rome is an unmistakable icon and marvel of engineering, construction, and design. Almost two thousand years after being built, it is still the largest unreinforced concrete dome in the world. The name “Pantheon” is speculated to originate from the many statues of gods placed in the building, or from the resemblance of the dome to the heavens.

Today’s Photo of the Day, from Flickr user tysonwilliams really puts the overwhelming geometry and scale of the dome’s ceiling into perspective – thanks to good use of light, shadow, and a little creative post-processing.

This week, Travel Talk is headed to Rome – and we’ll be sharing all of our favorites in Italy’s capital. Tune in to see all of the ancient Roman attractions as well as a few lesser known spots & surprises…

Alitalia joins Air France, Delta and KLM to form trans-Atlantic joint venture

Several of the largest airlines in the world have teamed up to combine routes, creating the world’s largest trans-Atlantic flight network. Alitalia signed an agreement to join Air France, Delta and KLM and share revenue and costs. The new combination will operate 26% of all trans-Atlantic flights, with almost 55,000 seats on 250 flights. The total revenue from this trans-Atlantic capacity is estimated to be more than $10 billion.

Unlike some airline collaborations, this new alliance actually appears to help air passengers by allowing airlines to create new routes they normally may not have considered. The network also allows for seamless ticketing and baggage handling between the U.S. and European gateway airport. Examples of new routes include Delta non-stop flights from Atlanta to London Heathrow and Portland to Amsterdam.

The hub cities for the network are Amsterdam, Atlanta, Detroit, Minneapolis, New York JFK and Paris CDG. Part of the joint venture will include codeshare flights (when allowed). The trans-Atlantic alliance is separate from the already existing Skyteam alliance.

[Image credit: AFP/Getty Images]

Alitalia: The world’s worst airline company?

Is Alitalia, Italy’s national carrier, the worst airline in the world? Anybody out there have awful experiences with them?

I ask this because the other day I stumbled upon a recounting of one of the most nightmarish airline/airport sagas I’ve ever read, all focusing on the sheer ineptitude of Alitalia.

I can hardly improve upon it. So, I’ll just pimp it here and get out of the way. Journalist Michael Totten exposes Alitalia doing the worst for its customers and its own reputation.

You can find it here. Yes, it’s long (perhaps a wee bit too long), but it’s utterly amazing what he captures. When you have some free time, read it.