There were a few other times during the planning process that should have given me pause. After the warning that Alitalia was “only flying until the fuel runs out” I went ahead and made our reservations. We made our plans to visit my brother’s family in Chicago for Christmas and they agreed to take us to O’Hare for our departure. My brother works at O’Hare as an air traffic controller. In the course of one phone conversation he asked me, “So what airline are you flying?” “Alitalia,” I innocently replied. There was a pause. “Alitalia?” he said, “Alitalia doesn’t fly out of Chicago anymore.” A longer pause on my end. “But I already bought the ticket. They must fly out of Chicago.” He went on to say that he hadn’t seen an Alitalia plane in a long time, but that there was another Italian airline flying out of Chicago.
What had we done? Was this some sort of internet scam being run by the Italian mafia?