Airport Lounges

2 Days in Sicily: Linate Airport Lounge and Alitalia Economy LIN-CTA

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The bus from Malpensa Airport drops off right in front of departures, so it was just a matter of finding the check in desk among the sea of aisles. It wound up being based on destination rather than airline like I’m used to.

Linate Airport Catania Sicily Check In

But eventually I found the right area and had a choice of checking in. I could go with the Alitalia check in desk or try out their (new-to-me) kiosks.

Linate Airport Catania Sicily Alitalia Check in Desks

I went with the kiosk, picked my seat as close to the front as I could, which wound up being in the middle of the plane, and headed for security.

Linate Airport Catania Sicily security

There I had a shock, my TSA approved bladeless corkscrew was confiscated! In Italy!

My enthusiasm for the trip a little dampened, I set off in search of the one gateside lounge, Club S.E.A. Sala Leonardo. It wound up being right after duty free.

Linate Airport Sala Leonardo Lounge sign

I no longer was a Star Alliance Gold, but I was eligible to enter the Sala Leonardo Lounge with my Priority Pass Select Membership (via my American Express Platinum card). Quick tip, if access hadn’t been free, I don’t think it would be worth the $29 Priority Pass fee or the 35 euro day pass for the general public unless I had a really long layover and would get the value from drinks and food.

And since it’s the one lounge in Linate, there is a lot of confusion over who has access to it. While I was there, a stream of people were being turned away because they didn’t have the right membership card or airline status.

Linate Airport Sala Leonardo Lounge busy seating

The lounge was pretty basic – one decent size room with three seating sections and lots of electrical outlets. The food options were surprisingly good. An array of crackers and chips, cheeses, and little sandwiches. They even had a decent Prosecco.

Linate Airport Sala Leonardo Lounge Snacks

Linate Airport Sala Leonardo Lounge sandwiches

It also boasted a large, very bare, but modern bathroom.

Linate Airport Sala Leonardo Lounge bathroom

Flight announcements weren’t being made the day I was there, so I headed to the very crowded gate area early. And soon discovered I’d picked the exact wrong seat at check in for my Linate to Catania flight.

Right in the middle of a plane that boards from the front and back, thus I had the farthest to struggle down a narrow aisle and would be the last to deplane. 😛

Alitalia LIN-CTA flight

But despite that, and the fact that many of my fellow passengers had forgotten deodorant that day, it was a better flight in economy than I had expected. They even served a snack on the short flight and the service was friendly.

Our landing was pretty turbulent since Catania was experiencing a rare multi-day rainstorm that had lasted for several days. And then there was barely enough room on the two buses sent to carry the passengers to baggage claim. At this point my brief rest at the Milpansa Airport Sheraton was wearing thin.

Catania Airport rainstorm

Especially when I discovered the rental car counter was 150m uncovered walk from the airport terminal. But my first experience driving in Italy is a story for another day…

More from this trip:

American Airlines Flagship Lounge in JFK
American Airlines Economy JFK-MXP
Day Room Upgraded to the Diplomatic Suite
Getting from Malpensa Airport to Linate Airport


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