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The Colosseum in Italy

One More Route to Rome: ITA Airways Adds Nonstop Flights From Chicago

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Midwesterners, rejoice! If seeing the Colosseum in Rome is on your travel wishlist, you'll have a new – and great – option to fly to Italy next year.

Italian carrier ITA Airways announced this week it'll launch nonstop nonstop flights between Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) and Rome (FCO) beginning April 7, 2024. The airline will fly that route six times a week through the spring, moving to once-a-day flights starting June 7. ITA will fly a mix of its new Airbus A330-900neos and older Airbus A330s on the route.

  • Flights depart Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) at 3:10 p.m. and arrive in Rome (FCO) at 7:30 a.m. the following day
  • Flights depart Rome (FCO) at 9:20 a.m. and arrive in Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) at 1:10 p.m.

Flights are already on sale, and you can even book them with Virgin Atlantic points for a bargain – including up in business class seats for 75,000 points each way!


Chicago (ORD) to Rome (FCO) route


The new route opens up more options for Midwest-based travelers to fly straight into Rome. Both United and American already fly nonstop to Rome from their Chicago hubs. But whether you're booking economy or hoping to splurge for business class, those flights are regularly pricey and next-to-impossible to book using points and miles.

That's what makes this new route even more exciting: It offers an easy path to fly to Rome using points and miles.

ITA Airways is currently part of the SkyTeam airline alliance, meaning you can book these flights via Virgin Atlantic Flying Club. And those points are incredibly easy to earn, as you can transfer points to Virgin Atlantic from credit cards like the *chase sapphire preferred*, the amex_gold, the *venture x*, and many more.


ITA Airways plane


With the addition of the Chicago route, ITA now flies to seven destinations in the U.S. including Boston (BOS), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), New York City (JFK), San Francisco (SFO), and Washington, D.C.-Dulles (IAD).


Book ITA Airways with Virgin Atlantic Points

Sure, you can book these flights with cash – and the prices are reasonable. Prices start around $500 roundtrip, though you'll see higher fares if you want to head to Rome over the summer.


Google Flights Chicago to Rome


But the best way to book these flights is with points and miles – especially Virgin Atlantic points. Whether you go in the spring or the peak summer, Virgin prices these economy seats at just 25,500 points each way – or 51,000 points roundtrip! 


flight booking page with travel details and flight options


Rather fly at the front of the plane? You can book lie-flat seats in ITA's business class for just 75,000 Virgin points each way. We sent Thrifty Traveler Premium members an alert highlighting wide-open availability in the spring and summer 2024.


virgin atlantic ita airways


Thrifty Tip: Focus on flights on ITA's Airbus A330-900neo for the best experience in the airline's newest seats.


ita airways business class


Don't have Virgin Atlantic points? Think again. Virgin Atlantic is a transfer partner of most of the major banks, so if you have points or miles from a travel rewards card like Chase Ultimate Rewards, American Express Membership Rewards, Capital One Venture Miles, or Citi ThankYou Points, you can easily turn them into Virgin points and book these flights.

Add in a transfer bonus to Virgin from any of these banks and you could book these flights for even fewer points. For example, right now, both Chase and Citi are offering a 30% bonus when transferring points to Virgin Atlantic. That means you could book roundtrip economy flights for as few as 40,000 Chase or Citi points or business class for just 58,000 points each way. 

Read more: Save Points When Booking Flights, Transfer Them to Airline Partners


Bottom Line

ITA Airways launching flights between Chicago-O'Hare (ORD) and Rome (FCO), giving Midwesterners a great new option for getting to Italy next summer.

The first flights take off April 7, and they're already on sale. But the best part? You can book these flights through Virgin Atlantic using your points and miles.

Editorial Disclaimer: Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, airlines or hotel chain, and have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of these entities.

Disclaimer: The responses below are not provided or commissioned by the bank advertiser. Responses have not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by the bank advertiser. It is not the bank advertiser’s responsibility to ensure all posts and/or questions are answered.

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