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Airline Of The Week: Olympic Airways  
User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8049 posts, RR: 54
Posted (15 years 1 month 6 days 11 hours ago) and read 1293 times:

We've done Air Chance (hoho), who's next? How about Olympic? I've flown with them a few times from London to Sydney with them, once in Economy (92) and later in Business Class (96). Their Economy service was excellent, the food was fab (printed menu, choice of hot main course, smoked salmon on the side) and lots of it, plus when you asked for a drink they gave you two minitures and a big can of mixer. Class! The 747-200s were from TWA, early-build models but in good nick.

The great service made me choose their Business Class (it was pretty cheap), and to my horror the meal was exactly the same as the one I remembered having four years previously in Economy. No personal TVs or anything, and everyone else up front seemed to be travelling free - including a few 90+ year old women in black with plastic bags of fruit. I like the Olympic apron at Hellenikon, they park their planes according to aircraft type, so there was always three or four 747s, a dozen 727s a bit further along, a dozen 737-200s past them, and eight or so A300-B4s. On the other hand, their terminal is a fly-blown relic from the 50s.

They're a state-owned airline, and desperately overmanned - I could never get a jumpseat for landing cos there was always about six guys on the flightdeck, wearing quasi-military/flightcrew uniforms (no ties) and not doing much except smoking lots of fags. Seemed pretty together though, never left late, even at such a far-away station as Sydney, and they do their own maintenance including D-checks and they've never lost a jet in an accident, having operated trans-Atlantic (NYC, YYZ, also ORD?) since the mid 60s and to Aus since 1971, plus all over Europe, Mid East, Tokyo, Bangkok et al.

I'd fly with them again to Aus in Economy, but if it's a cheap business class ticket I'm after I'll take one of Lauda's nice new 777s (apparently their Business Class - sorry, Amadeus Class - is to die for). Any comments?


fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineGoa340 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 1, posted (15 years 1 month 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 1278 times:

I think you are a very lucky guy because you are the first person which finds that airline "ok". I made the mistake of flying them once, (Athens-JFK) and it was a total catastrophe. Service was horrible and FAs the rudest ! If you look to Zagat (a review of restaurants, airline, resorts worldwide..) they describe them as "just shot up, sit down, and hang on" and they also add "p.s. Smoking is required." Fleet wise they are simply a generation behind....If your airline of the week was Lauda Air it would have been a lot more interesting...(I dont know much about them either.)

User currently offlineB-707 From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 494 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (15 years 1 month 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 1279 times:

I find it hard to understand how you could think Olympic is a good airline.

Their planes are filthy dirty and STINK of tobacco, the FAs are very rude and they all smoke. They only responded to my request for a drink when I asked them in Greek. They looked very sheepish when they discovered I understood Greek and so understood their foul language when they spoke to passengers

Have you ever flown Olympic domestically? I do not recommend it. I flew from Athens to Corfu. It would have been quicker to take the bus, 3 hour delay for a very short trip. Try asking an OA representative ANYTHING in Athens airport, they will verbally abuse you for interupting their conversation about their husbands. It's handy when you understand them and they do not know it.

My advice. Take a bus, take a train, take a car, taxi, bicycle, ship, walk, anything but Olympic "You will get there eventually" Airways.

PS. Sorry to go on, but I will never forget the way those bitches in Athens Airport treated us!!!


User currently offlinePaul From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 374 posts, RR: 3
Reply 3, posted (15 years 1 month 6 days ago) and read 1278 times:

I never flew Olympic Airways, but when I was in Australia I heard many peolple complaining about their Europe-Australia service. Apparently their 747 classics were really dirty, crowded, stinking, food awful and so on. Plus I heard their flights are full of migrants ( I have nothing against them ) that are very noisy during the whole flight .
I am on my way to Australia in a few weeks, and I thought I could fly the new OA A 340 cause it is cheap, but it was fully booked.
If I can recommend one airline on the way to Australia, especially for Cedarjet who asked, I would suggest Lauda ( Excellent Airline ) , with superb economy service and , apparently , unbelievable Amadeus Class, if you can afford it.



Veni, vidi, vici.
User currently offlineMontenegro From Italy, joined May 1999, 545 posts, RR: 1
Reply 4, posted (15 years 1 month 5 days 23 hours ago) and read 1280 times:

I have never had the opportunity to ly with OA but I have seen theirs planes very often. They use the Napoli Int.l Airport as a scale from Marselles to Athens. My opinion is strictly personal and I can say this:

1. There is no one day when this airline is on time. The usual delay is 2hr and according to the distance is too much.
2. The way that they present theirself is quite ugly. The airplanes are some old B732 always very dirty and a litlle too retro.
3. The FA's are usually very ugly and aged.

I think that that is not the vay to enter in a next century and I think that they will have to change very soon or they will remain an airline of the past. Poor Aristotele Onasis, it was one of top airlines when he found it, look now?!?!


User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8049 posts, RR: 54
Reply 5, posted (15 years 1 month 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 1278 times:

It's all true, I know I was lucky. But the bit about never having a delay is true, I've done about 14 flights with OA and they all left bang on time, even the 747s that had flown all the way from Athens to meet us in Sydney for the return flight.
I guess that if you had a delay or other problem those old grannies (being a grandmother is a rule of employment) would make life in that terminal at Hellenikon a waking nightmare.

Can't complain about the passengers, the Athens - Sydney flight in Economy was completely full, 474 passengers, and everyone was really well behaved, just like any flight by a European airline. Except, they always clapped on landing, which I thought was incredibly sweet.

On my first trip to Aus, the flight times didn't connect (my one major complaint about OA's service to Aus is that it leaves Athens at 6 am. Surely this is their flagship int'l service??), so the (very cheap) fare included a very nice overnight stay in Athens, with an easy bus transfer and a wake-up call (albeit at 4 am) the next morning.

OK, the planes smell of tobacco, but then again so do I, so I can't tell. And yes, the flight attendents are old, rude and have mustaches, but I don't require doting service to have a good flight, as long as I'm fed, watered and the plane leaves on time (and it's a CHEAP TICKET). Smoking is also a bonus.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineHmmmm... From Canada, joined May 1999, 2104 posts, RR: 5
Reply 6, posted (15 years 1 month 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 1279 times:

Suffice to say, an airline is a reflection of the country, and the culture, from which it stems. Fly on Aeroflot and the passenger next to you is carrying gasoline for the tractor back home. Fly on an Asian carrier and the stewardess serves you and then bows down to you like a geisha girl. Some of them dress like geisha girls. If they spill a drink on you, they beg your forgiveness and wish a thousand sunrises upon your seat. Fly on a Germanic carrier and the stewardess is efficient, meticulous, and not bad looking, but she's cold and stern and smiles are not included in the purchase price of the ticket. Fly on an American carrier and the cabin is clean but the service can be a little laid back, the cabin crew have civil rights and lawyers, and the service may not be as disciplined as with some foreign carriers. Fly on Alitalia or any carrier from a Latin country and the service is festive but there is hair under the wing roots of the airplanes and the stewardess wants to know why you didn't finish your meal. "What'sa wrong? You hava girl problems?" Fly on an Arabic airline, and it's like a German airline except for the lack of efficiency, the lack of exactitude, the lack of punctuality, and the lack of booze. Fly on Air India and the plane is jammed, the kids ride in the overhead bins, and the plane smells of curry. So if you fly on Olympic and the stewardess looks like a peasant widow in black, the plane smells of cigarette smoke, and the cabin efficiency is not quite what you'd like, just be thankful that the plane gets there and that there are no broken dishes in the aisles.


An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8049 posts, RR: 54
Reply 7, posted (15 years 1 month 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1278 times:

Sir, I salute you. You nailed the argument about airlines reflecting their national character spot on (but I find Arabic carriers to be among the best in the world, and definitely as efficient as any German carrier - check out Emirates, Qatar, MEA, Gulf Air) and incredibly witty. I split a gut when I got to the last bit, imagined these old Greek flight attendents throwing crockery about the cabin (they still wouldn't have smiled though). I wish we saw more of you round here.


fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineLufthansa From Christmas Island, joined May 1999, 3204 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (15 years 1 month 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1277 times:

It was suppose to be EL AL next - some guy asked for it and then it was open. Okay, we better have El Al next then - and then i think maybe we should pick a South American Carrier for varity.

User currently offlinePaul From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2005, 374 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (15 years 1 month 5 days 18 hours ago) and read 1277 times:

why don't we write down a schedule, say we decide the Airlines for the next month, one for each week , so that we can get info in advance, and we can be more prepared?
Let us know if you agree



Veni, vidi, vici.
User currently offlineFlyAA757 From United States of America, joined Jun 1999, 1008 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (15 years 1 month 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 1277 times:

OA recently deferred its 8 737-884s on order. What are their current plans for 73S and AB3 replacement?

User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8049 posts, RR: 54
Reply 11, posted (15 years 1 month 5 days 14 hours ago) and read 1276 times:

They'll fly those planes til they drop out of the sky. I don't know what the problem with OA is, why can't they modernise? Every time they've placed an order it's been deferred or reduced. An order for 767s was substituted for a few 737-400s. I'm impressed the A340s actually got delivered. Why not just buy thirty A320-family aircraft to replace the entire rust-ridden 727s, 737-200s, and a few A330s to replace the mid 70s-build A300B4s? The savings they'd make on maintenence and fuel would be astronomical, plus earn brownie points with the EU for buying Euro instead of US. They're not well, obviously. The 747-200 is my fave airliner of all time, and it's sad to see them start to fade from airline use, but at the same time it's embarrassing to see a European airline in such bad trouble that they can't afford to replace these old clankers (737-200s in frontline service! OA'll resurrect the 707s next).


fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineJWM AirTrans From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (15 years 1 month 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 1278 times:

Hi-

My best friend's Greek and he loves Olympic Airways... then again he speaks Greek. Funny thing is, like OA's fleet none of him or his family can make up its mind.

Jack M


User currently offlineHmmmm... From Canada, joined May 1999, 2104 posts, RR: 5
Reply 13, posted (15 years 1 month 5 days 5 hours ago) and read 1277 times:

I return the salute, sir. Thanks for your comments.


An optimist robs himself of the joy of being pleasantly surprised
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