ITA Airways is the largest airline in Italy, and is currently in the process of being integrated into the Lufthansa Group.
In July 2023, it became possible to book award flights with ITA Airways through Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. However, you can also now book flights with ITA Airways with Air France KLM Flying Blue, which gives you another opportunity to use miles for direct flights between North America and Italy.
ITA Airways Now Bookable with Air France KLM Flying Blue
As of November 20, 2023, flights with ITA Airways are now bookable with Air France KLM Flying Blue. This is the latest partner redemption to become available through Flying Blue, although it’s unclear how long it will last, given the upcoming integration of ITA Airways into the Lufthansa Group.
ITA Airways has a network that’s largely centred around Europe; however, the Rome-based airline also flies to a handful of international destinations, the majority of which are located in North America.
In the United States, ITA Airways currently offers flights to Boston, New York JFK, Washington Dulles, Chicago, Miami, San Francisco, and Los Angeles, mainly from Rome, but also from Milan.
Air France KLM Flying Blue recently harmonized the baseline award pricing for transatlantic flights with Air France and KLM. However, the pricing for flights with ITA Airways follows a different model.
For example, one-way flights in business class from Rome to New York JFK price out at 72,000 miles, plus $224 (CAD) in taxes and fees.
At the present, availability isn’t too bountiful in either direction on any routes, but hopefully that improves in the near future. Pricing on other routes could be different; however, in the absence of widespread availability, it’s difficult to gauge how much it will cost.
If you can find availability, it’s worth noting that pricing appears to be somewhat competitive with other transatlantic options to get to Italy. However, there are certainly less costly award seats to keep an eye out for, mainly through Air Canada Aeroplan and “Saver”-level flights with Air France and KLM booked through Flying Blue.
Furthermore, you can book ITA Airways flights through Virgin Atlantic Flying Club, and the availability appears to be better through Flying Club at the moment. If you find award flights, be sure to compare pricing with Flying Blue to make sure you’re getting the best deal.
As a reminder, you can earn Air France KLM Flying Blue miles in Canada through the Brim Financial Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard, or by transferring points in from American Express Membership Rewards at a 1:0.75 ratio.
In the United States, Flying Blue is a transfer partner of American Express US Membership Rewards, Capital One Miles, Chase Ultimate Rewards, and Citi ThankYou Rewards, and you can also earn miles directly through the Bank of America Air France KLM World Elite Mastercard.
How Is Flying with ITA Airways?
By all measures, flying with ITA Airways appears to be an entirely comfortable way to get between North America and Italy.
ITA Airways’s flagship business class product is found on the Airbus A350-900, which has 33 reverse herringbone seats in a 1-2-1 configuration.
The business class seats convert into a fully lie-flat bed, and offer every passenger direct aisle access.
As a reminder, the Lufthansa Group acquired a 41% stake in ITA Airways in May 2023. The deal was approved by the Italian courts in June 2023, and the integration will take place at some point in the near future.
Once integrated, ITA Airways will join Austrian Airlines, Brussels Airlines, Lufthansa, SWISS, and other subsidiaries as part of the Lufthansa Group. It’s further expected that ITA Airways will join Star Alliance upon this integration.
After joining Star Alliance, the future of booking ITA Airways with Flying Blue or Flying Club is unclear, although it’s unlikely that redemptions through either program will continue for the long-term.
Until that happens, it’s worth checking both programs for award flight availability, as Italy is a popular destination for travellers, and it can be difficult to find redemptions at a good price.
Flights with ITA Airways are now bookable via Air France KLM Flying Blue. While availability appears to be quite low at the outset, it’s possible that this will improve in the near future.
If you’re looking for direct flights from North America to Italy, be sure to check Flying Blue as one of your options.
Even if you don’t find award flights with ITA Airways, you’re sure to come across options with Air France and KLM, too.