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Topic: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-08-29 10:19:01 and read 17710 times.




Map generated by the Great Circle Mapper - copyright © Karl L. Swartz



Background
My friend Satchmo and I had been planning to go on a short spotting trip to Istanbul for a long time. ln late February we decided to go in mid-April - right at the beginning of the busy Easter vacation period, but we couldn't find alternative travel dates suitable for both of us. Of course we wanted to get some new airlines, so we had a look at Aegean Airlines, Olympic Air and Turkish Airlines. I'd have preferred to fly Munich-Istanbul on Turkish Airlines, but one-way flights were too expensive. So we decided to fly SunExpress to Istanbul-SAW for a reasonable price. I had already flown SunExpress in January, but I didn't mind too much about a second trip on that carrier. Then we added an Istanbul-Athens flight on Olympic Air and an Athens-Munich flight on Aegean Airlines, so I would get two new airlines in the end. The Aegean flight wasn't cheap, but the fare was still acceptable. Finally, we booked a room at an Istanbul city hotel and a room at an Istanbul airport hotel.





Monday, April 2011
Munich (MUC) - Istanbul (SAW)
SunExpress XQ877
Scheduled times: 14:15-17:45
Actual times: 14:20-17:49
Flight duration: 02:12 (hrs)
Distance: 1002 miles
Economy Class, seat 26C

Boeing 737-8HC
TC-SNO (s/n 3273)
Delivered in 05/2010


1st flight on TC-SNO
21st 737-800 flight
31st 737NG flight
56th 737 flight



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Photo © Jussi Kettunen
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Photo © Martin Djupenstrom



The weather at MUC was beautiful on departure day, so Satchmo and I met at a spot near Terminal 1 where you have good views of planes taxiing to/from runway 08L/26R. I logged a few registrations and Satchmo took some pictures. Air France A320-212 F-GFKS in Skyteam colors:

Picture by Satchmo

SunExpress doesn't offer online check-in and we hadn't pre-reserved seats, so went back to Terminal 1 soon. Unfortunately, a long queue had already formed and we were stuck for the next 30 minutes. Finally, it was our turn. There were still plenty of seats in the rear section available and we chose row 26. After buying some more stuff, we lined up at passport control and security. We were stuck there for a while, but the situation was better than in January when I was heading to Adana:
Mountains, Meals & More: SunExpress Vs. Pegasus

Satchmo had already found out some hours earlier that our flight would be operated by TC-SNO, one of a batch of six Boeing 737-800s delivered factory fresh in 2010. I had been hoping to get one of these birds after flying on a much older sister ship in January:

Picture by Satchmo


TC-SNO is one of 25 737-800s in the SunExpress fleet:

Picture by Satchmo


A friendly female flight attendant welcomed us at the door, but two younger colleagues didn't consider it necessary to greet. The plane was equipped with new style leather seats which weren't more comfortable than the airline's older models:

Picture by Satchmo


Seat pitch was just as tight:



German and Turkish lifestyle and fashion magazines as well as tabloid papers had been placed on the seats throughout the cabin, but my favorite reading material was the inflight magazine. Here's the most interesting page:



New generation airshow:


There were only nine open seats on the flight, according to the check-in agent - and one of them was the aisle seat in our row, so we could stretch out.  thumbsup 

We left the gate five minutes behind schedule and taxied to runway 08R. Royal Jordanian A320 behind us:

Picture by Satchmo


Goodbye MUC, goodbye good weather...

Picture by Satchmo


This is Lufthansa territory:

Picture by Satchmo


Beautiful Austrian scenery:

Picture by Satchmo


All those without a window could at least enjoy the 3D airshow:

Picture by Satchmo


Half an hour after takeoff, non-alcoholic drinks and snack boxes were offered free of charge. The latter ones contained a warm bread roll, a slice of spice cake...



...as well as pasta, chicken pieces and vegetable sauce:


Unlike the curry chicken on my MUC-Adana flight, the main course was served cold this time, but it tasted very good, nevertheless. And the dessert tasted fine, too. Well done, SunExpress!  thumbsup 

The cabin was packed:

Picture by Satchmo


As forecasted, thick clouds were hanging over Turkey:

Picture by Satchmo


The weather was really nasty:

Picture by Satchmo



We touched down after a flying time of 2 hours and 12 minutes and many passengers started clapping...  Yeah sure

Picture by Satchmo

20 minutes after leaving the plane, we took a bus to Taksim Square in the heart of Istanbul. The ride usually takes 60 to 90 minutes, but due to heavy traffic we were stuck in the bus for more than two hours. It was still raining strongly when we got off and took a taxi to our hotel. The driver wasn't able to find it at first, but we finally arrived after he had asked a few people. The Adora Hotel is quite small, but the rooms were clean and the staff was very friendly and helpful.


Istanbul Spotting
After checking out on the next morning, we took a train to a station near Atatürk Airport. It was still raining, so we didn't try to find a spot under the approach path and instead took a taxi to the Fly Inn shopping mall where you have excellent views of landing and departing aircraft. However, the mall hadn't opened yet, so we went to the Tarkim Flight Academy where we were granted access to a kind of break room with terrace:


Students, teachers and other employees permanently walked in and out in order to smoke, but I didn't mind considering that I could log one registration after the other:



One of the newer Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-300ERs accelerating on runway 35L - magnificent plane, awesome sound:



At midday we walked back to the Fly Inn Mall where you find a nice terrace - unfortunately, it was too cold outside:



Picture by Satchmo


Let's zoom in a bit:



We sat down at a table inside - next to the glass front of course - and had lunch. Numerous self-service restaurants offer something for every taste. Here's my dessert - raspberry chocolate cake:



The weather remained quite bad all day, but Satchmo still managed to take many great pictures. Turkish Airlines Boeing 777-3F2ER TC-JJI waiting for takeoff clearance:

Picture by Satchmo


Turkish Airlines A330-343E TC-JNH - well known to fellow trip reporter 717Flyer:

Picture by Satchmo


Turkish Airlines Boeing 737-8F2 TC-JHF in FIBA 2010 colors:

Picture by Satchmo


Atlasjet A321-131 TC-ETN:

Picture by Satchmo


Azerbaijan Airlines A320-214 4K-AZ79, formerly operated by Air Berlin as D-ABDJ:

Picture by Satchmo


LOT (Charters) Boeing 737-4Q8 SP-LLL:

Picture by Satchmo


Qatar Airways A321-231 A7-AIB:

Picture by Satchmo

I logged a total of 113 new registrations until sunset (71 ones belonging to Turkish Airlines) which was a very good result. After having dinner, we took a taxi to the (average) WOW Airport Hotel.




Wednesday, April 2011
Istanbul (IST) - Athens (ATH)
Olympic Air OA316
Scheduled times: 10:35-11:55
Actual times: 10:28-11:49
Flight duration: 00:54 (hrs)
Distance: 334 miles
Economy Class, seat 27A

Airbus A320-214
SX-OAU (MSN 4193)
Delivered in 02/2010


1st flight on SX-OAU
37th A320 flight
68th A32X flight
114th airline



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Photo © Wingnut
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Photo © Tim Chase



One the next morning we took the hotel shuttle to the airport about 2.5 hours before departure. After our luggage had been screened, we found out that the Olympic Air counters were still closed, so we took a seat in a corner of the check-in hall. While waiting there, we noticed a large, high quality backpack which someone had apparently left unattended. We asked all the people around us, but nobody turned out to be the owner. That was strange - and after a short discussion we decided to report it to somebody. Even though all bags get screened at the terminal entrance, you can never be sure, can you?

We didn't see a police officer or other officials anywhere around us, so I went to the nearest ticket counter. I told a male sales agent about the unattended backpack, but he didn't show any interest and just suggested that we should go to an information desk.  irked  So we started walking to the other side of the building and soon passed some of the entrance security checkpoints. A young female screener was watching the proceedings at a checkpoint and I took this opportunity to tell her about the situation. However, she didn't show any interest either and just said that we should go to an information desk.  irked   irked  Two minutes later, we finally arrived at such a desk. It was Satchmo's turn this time, but guess what! Both ladies gave the impression that they really couldn't care less and just suggested that we should go to a police office on the other side of the terminal.  irked   irked   irked  Well, honestly, we were pissed off now. "This is the third time that we are sent away!", Satchmo said and I added: "This is a security issue!" Finally, one of the ladies called somewhere and then she said: "It's okay, the police will check." Of course we offered to wait for the officers so that they would be able to find the backpack immediately, but the lady declined and said that this wasn't necessary. Anyway, we decided to wait for the police near the backpack.

So what did happen? Nothing at first. When we came back to the seating area, the backpack still hadn't been removed and police officers hadn't shown up either. The Olympic Air counters had meanwhile opened and we decided to line up, because we would be able to watch the seating area from there. Some minutes later, a man quickly approached the backpack, grabbed it and disappeared. I guess he was the owner and I can only wonder why he had left his belongings there. Shortly afterwards, about 15 minutes after the phone call, two police officers showed up, slowly walked around the seating area and disappeared again soon.

Luckily, it turned out to be false alarm, but all these airport employees and the police have reacted absolutely unprofessionally. Turkey has been facing terrorism for a long time, so unattended bags at public places should be taken serious at any time. Relying on the security checkpoints at the terminal entrance is not enough, in my opinion.  redflag 

Anyway, only few people had lined up in front of us, so a friendly male agent soon handed out our boarding passes. We had asked for seats in the second last row and got 26A and 26B. Unfortunately, airside spotting options are limited because only passengers of the very flights have access to the individual gates. Shortly after our gate had been opened, SX-OAU arrived from Athens:

Picture by Satchmo


SX-OAU, delivered factory fresh in February 2010, is one of five A320s in the fleet:



A female flight attendant in the 30s, apparently the purser, received us at the door with a warm smile. "Hello, welcome aboard, sir!", she said and I was impressed.  thumbsup 

The gray fabric seats already looked a bit worn, but they were quite comfortable:

Picture by Satchmo




Legroom was sufficient, too:



Inflight magazine:


After all passengers had taken their seats, another friendly female flight attendant walked down the aisle with a basket and offered candies. I asked her if boarding had been completed and if I could move to the window seat in the empty last row. "Yes, of course!", she replied with a smile.

The captain made a short announcement which included a "warm welcome". Btw, if I have understood correctly, his name was Metaxa.  Wink

SX-OAU left the gate seven minutes ahead of schedule, taxied to runway 17R...



Picture by Satchmo


...and climbed out into a gray, rainy sky:



Unlike the purser, the other flight attendants didn't wear a jacket. Interestingly, their dresses were sleeveless - I had never seen a uniform like that. Actually it looks quite sexy:



The friendliest flight attendants in the team (the one in the picture above) soon handed out a tray with a nice cold meal and even said "Enjoy!"  thumbsup  I hadn't expected to get so much on that short flight:


The salad (with dressing) and the chicken and cheese sandwiches tasted good, even though I found a piece of chicken bone. However, the (very sweet) dessert consisting of chopped and caramelized nuts wasn't to my taste.

I asked for a beer and the same flight attendant (the one in the picture above) offered two different ones. After I had failed to understand the brand names for the second time, she quickly grabbed two cans from the trolley and showed them to me. Amstel or Fischer? I chose the latter:


French beer on a flight between Istanbul and Athens on a Greek carrier? Well, the Fischer brewery was taken over by Heineken in 1996 which helps to explain the brand's distribution. It tasted okay, but I'd have preferred a Greek beer.

Satchmo's cabin shot reveals numerous empty seats:

Picture by Satchmo


Descent commenced shortly after the flight attendants had finished their service:



Here you can see the former Ellinikon International Airport:









Hillside mine near Koropi:



Koropi is one of many suburbs in the Athens metropolitan area:







We touched down after a flying time of 54 minutes and quickly taxied to the terminal. Just like during boarding, pleasant pop music was played again. Parked next to us was SX-OAG, one of three remaining A319s in the fleet:



Even though the plane had been parked in front of the terminal, we had to deboard via stairs - I didn’t mind, of course. Goodbye, SX-OAU!






Wednesday, April 2011
Athens (ATH) - Munich (MUC)
Aegean Airlines A3 806
Scheduled times: 15:20-17:00
Actual times: 15:31-17:04
Flight duration: 02:11 (hrs)
Distance: 944 miles
Economy Class, seat 28F

Airbus A320-232
SX-DVY (MSN 3850)
Delivered in 04/2009


1st flight on SX-DVY
38th A320 flight
69th A32X flight
115th airline



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Photo © Dahup Buhambwe
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Photo © Tony Marlow [Airplane-Pictures]



We walked straight to the check-in hall, entered our data into a kiosk, chose seats in row 28 and printed our boarding passes. Landside spotting options are limited at ATH, so we passed security and took seats in an area from where we had a limited view of runway 03R and parts of the apron. Taking pictures was difficult, but I managed to log 34 new registrations in a few hours (mostly Aegean and Olympic).

Boarding commenced on time and a bus brought us to SX-DVY, delivered factory fresh in April 2009:


I would have preferred a plane with a name, but SX-DVY was still better than one of a few ex-Olympic Air A320s recently transferred to Aegean.

The welcome on board was not as warm and friendly as on Olympic Air and the classic boarding music wasn't as pleasant as OA's pop music. Last but not least, Aegean's leather seats were quite hard, definitely less comfortable than OA's fabric seats:



Legroom was identical:



Inflight magazine:



Can you find the mistake here?



Despite the high load factor (85 to 90 percent), the aisle seat in our row remained empty, so we could stretch out again. The captain made a short welcome speech and announced a flying time of 2 hours and 25 minutes.

We left the gate 11 minutes behind schedule and started taxiing to runway 03L. The 3D airshow had already been activated before takeoff:



Rain in Istanbul, rain in Athens...time to fly back to sunny Bavaria, let's go!



Here you can see a Hellenic Imperial Boeing 747-200, one stored ex-Olympic Airlines A340-300 and an ex-Olympic Airlines Boeing 737-200 which is used as a fire trainer:



Two more Hellenic Imperial Boeing 747-200s and the rest of the former Olympic Airlines A340-300 fleet:



Will these A343s ever fly again? I can only hope so.



The whole terminal complex:





Last shot of ATH:



I was really glad that Aegean didn't show anything else but the airshow throughout the whole flight:







Satchmo took a cabin picture shortly after the flight attendants had started their service. And what can you see in the distance?

Picture by Satchmo


Yes, sleeveless dresses again - those seem to be popular among Greek carriers. Here's a close-up:


The flight attendants weren't as friendly as on Olympic - the slim blond one in the middle even appeared to be quite stressed - but their dresses were nice, nevertheless.  Wink

I was quite hungry and glad to see that hot meals were handed out - but I was irritated when I got this tray without any question and further comments:


Well, I eat fish of any kind, but seeing pieces of octopus tentacles in my meal wasn't a great experience in the first moment...actually I had never tried it and I decided that it would be a good opportunity now. So how did it taste? Average, I would say - not too bad, but not really good either. However, the noodles and the spice bun tasted okay. My favorite was the delicious (nut-based) halva bar.
Of course I'd have preferred a different main course, but probably they had run out of the alternative. The worst part of the catering was Aegean's coffee - it tasted burned, just awful.  Embarrassment

The remaining flight was uneventful - on approach to MUC:



I have already taken many pictures on approach to MUC, so I mostly kept my camera off this time. However, I made an exception to get a decent shot of the Allianz Arena:


We touched down on runway 08R earlier as originally announced, exactly 2 hours and 11 minutes after takeoff. Not even 15 minutes later we headed to the S-Bahn and left the airport - and it would take me four months to return to MUC, but simply because the next two trips would originate and terminate at Nuremberg.


Conclusion
I had already read numerous positive comments about Aegean Airlines and Olympic Air and now I can confirm them. While Aegean is a step ahead in terms of hardware (e.g. IFE screens and 3D airshow), Olympic impressed me with an incredibly friendly and service orientated crew. I may have had bad luck with my Aegean meal, but it's good to see that the carrier still offers hot meals on two hour flights. However, what I found very impressive was the cold meal on Olympic considering that many airlines don't serve any food or just a small item on one hour flights. Olympic was my personal winner, but I would happily fly on both carriers again. I really hope Olympic will remain an independent company after the failed merger with Aegean. However, it has transferred some routes and planes to Aegean recently, so who knows what the carrier will look like in the medium term.

Flying SunExpress was a bit more enjoyable than in January, mostly because the plane was equipped with an advanced airshow. Seating comfort hasn't been improved on the newer birds, but I was very satisfied again with the catering. No doubt, I would fly SunExpress again.

Last but not least, the trip was very successful from an enthusiast's perspective even though it only consisted of three flights: I flew on two new carriers, passed through two new airports and logged a total of 178 new registrations.


Best Regards,
PlaneHunter



P.S.: Just in case you missed them - my previous trip reports:
Exploring A Virgin: VS A343/A346 & Dubai Delights
Superb Stübli & Crew: LAS-LAX-ZRH-MUC, LX J Class
Grand Canyon & More: Scenic Flight On Dornier 228
San Francisco Sunshine...and A Frontier Fiasco
Fully Flat Bed to SFO: SWISS' New Business Class
Mountains, Meals & More: SunExpress Vs. Pegasus
Crossing Two Oceans: AKL-SFO-MUC, NZ 777 & LH A346
Bad Weather & Other Bad Luck: Touring New Zealand
Trans-Tasman Treat: Aerolineas Argentinas A340-200
Detours To Sydney: Wildlife, Tiger, REX & QFLink
Thai Fails To Impress: MUC-BKK-BNE On 744 & 777
Painful Delay & My 100th Airline: AF A380, VO F100
Fifth Freedom Tidbit: Kuwait Airways A300-600
Ship Vs. Plane: Porto Santo Line & Sata Air Açores
Awesome Approach, Splendid Scenery: LIS, FNC & TAP
Guernsey, Ash Cloud Alarm & Mostly Empty SQ 77Ws
Totally Thrilling: Scenic Flight On Lufthansa A380
Cirrus D38, Adria CRJ & Captain Niki Lauda On Duty
Monarch Hot Meal, E195 & More: PMI-ALC-MAN-MUC
Premium Meal & Palma Spotting: MUC-PMI, DE 757-300
The Dead Slow Transfer: PEK-MUC On Air China A332
Cancellation Brings Joy: HKG-PEK on Dragonair A330
A380 Cacophony, 777 Star Livery: DXB-SIN-HKG on SQ
The Next 5* Carrier? MUC-MCT-DXB, Oman Air A330
Turkey For 1.5 Hrs: Daytrip To AYT On Sky Airlines
CO Scores Again: ATL-IAH-EWR-FRA On ERJ, 752 & 764
Riding The Ultra Long-Haul Twin: Delta 777-200LR
Pacific Coast Jaunt: 3 Carriers, E120, E140 & Fog
The Ultimate 737: LHR-IAH-PDX On CO 777 & 739ER
Bye Bye, Hell! TRD-OSL-TXL-NUE - DY/AB/HE DH4
My Trip To Hell: NUE-CPH-OSL-TRD On Cimber & SAS
SFO-YUL-FRA: Map- & Sleepless On Air Canada's 77W
Sin City Gloss & Virgin America's Chic First Class
Seat Dilemma & Canyon Glamour: FRA To LAX, AC 763
On Par With Air France? DTW-AMS-MUC, KLM A330
Goodbye, Red Tails! DC-9-40/50 & Chicago Tour
Champagne & World Of Coke: Air France A340 To ATL
"Mission A380": Disappointing Legs On BA/BD/EI
Delights Of Doha, 773 & 77W: DOH-DXB-LHR On EK
A380 Really a Step Forward? LHR-DXB-DOH On EK
Quality & Style: HKG-LHR On Air New Zealand 744
Taiwan Trio: TransAsia, UNI Air And The Taipei 101
"The Wings Of Taiwan": EVA Air A332, 744 Combi
SHA-SZX, Shanghai 757: Delayed By The Military
PEK-SHA, China Eastern A330 & Shanghai At Night
Striking Newcomer: Berlin-Beijing On Hainan A330
Short & Splendid: MXP-MUC On Air Dolomiti's 146
3 Hours On Blue1: HEL-MXP On The MD-90
Winglets On A Classic: MUC-RIX-HEL On Air Baltic
BCN-MAD-ZRH-MUC: UX Shuttle Meets Swiss Quality
MUC-MAD-BCN: Star MD-87 & The Pain Of Vueling
Low Fares, Lovely Island: AK & Best Of Langkawi
4 Stars Or 5 Stars? FRA-KUL-FRA, Malaysia 777s
First And Last Time? JFK-FCO-MUC, Alitalia 777
JFK For 1 Day: Transatlantic Hop On CSA's A310
Sardinian Sun, Shiny New 73Gs & Cramped Mad Dog
Top And Flop: KIX-HEL-MUC, Finnair A320 & MD-11
The 524-Seat Twin-jet: HND-ITM On ANA 777-300
Kobe For 1 Hour: 767-Quickie On ANA & Skymark
Rocketing To Tokyo: FUK-HND On JAL (ex-JAS) 777
Oddities & Okinawa: JTA 734 & JAL 744D(Domestic)
MUC To Nagoya: Finnair E170 & (Old) "New" A340
Mad Dog, A320 Tech Delay & Best Of Lanzarote
Canaries Prop-Hopping: Islas Airways & Naysa
Canaries And Confusion: LH CRJ900 & Spanair A321
Hubbing For 162 Miles: HOQ-FRA-STR Ret On IQ/EW/LH
BOS-JFK-AMS-MUC: SSSS-Check And KLM 777
ATL-PIT-JFK-BOS: FL B717, JetBlue E190 And Delays
MUC-AMS-MEM-ATL On NWA A332 And 40-year-old DC-9
FRA-BKK-FRA Via CMB: SriLankan A332 & A343
BNE-SIN-DXB-MUC On Emirates B772ER & B773
2 Hours In Paradise: Hamilton Island (JQ/DJ)
BNE-SYD-BNE: Domestic Run On QF’s Oldest B747-400
Testing Qantas: SYD-MEL-SYD-BNE (B738, B763, A332)
Going Down Under: MUC-DXB-SYD On EK A332 & A345
9/11 Review: Failed Trip To LAX - Fuel Dump Pics
Surprised By NIKI's Newest A320 & Screw-up By AB
Leisure Vs. Full Service: Condor & SN Brussels
"betterFly" On LH: Business Class For 99 Euro
Weekend Transatlantic Trip (2): US A321 & B762
Transatlantic For A Weekend (1): MUC-DCA On US


[Edited 2011-08-29 10:47:51]

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: Widebodyroga
Posted 2011-08-29 11:06:39 and read 17549 times.

What a great TR, PH! I've always preferred A3 over the old OA but nowadays the new OA is on par with A3.

I can't believe that A3 served octopus! That's why I love them! Having said that, they should have thought that most northern Europeans are not accustomed to such a meal. Maybe A3 didn't do the octopus justice but if you ever go back to Greece, try some octopus on the grill or vinegar-marinated octopus. It is out of this world. On the other hand if you happen to be in Spain, try it a la gallega. You will be converted to an octopus-lover for life  

Greeks it seems love their airline food, even on short routes. I am convinced that Greece will be the last place in the world (or at least Europe) where hot-meals will stop being served on board airplanes. Whenever I have to choose between a Greek and a non-Greek airline for an intra-European route, I always choose the Greek one (if the price is the same) because I know I will be fed well.

SunExpress looks like a very solid carrier.

Thanks for sharing this with us PH. Looking forward to your next TR already.

WBodyroga

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-08-29 11:18:43 and read 17513 times.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 1):
What a great TR, PH!

Hi Widebodyroga, many thanks for your fast reply!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 1):
I've always preferred A3 over the old OA but nowadays the new OA is on par with A3.

Yes, there's not much left from the old OA.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 1):
I can't believe that A3 served octopus! That's why I love them!

Ah, I see...  

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 1):
Maybe A3 didn't do the octopus justice but if you ever go back to Greece, try some octopus on the grill or vinegar-marinated octopus. It is out of this world. On the other hand if you happen to be in Spain, try it a la gallega. You will be converted to an octopus-lover for life

Well, I'm not sure about that...But I will keep you updated!  

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 1):
Greeks it seems love their airline food, even on short routes. I am convinced that Greece will be the last place in the world (or at least Europe) where hot-meals will stop being served on board airplanes.

Interesting thought. Would be interesting to see what TK serves between IST and ATH.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 1):
Whenever I have to choose between a Greek and a non-Greek airline for an intra-European route, I always choose the Greek one (if the price is the same) because I know I will be fed well.

I hadn't heard that yet.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 1):
SunExpress looks like a very solid carrier.

  

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 1):
Thanks for sharing this with us PH. Looking forward to your next TR already.

Expect a series about a rather crazy long-haul trip...  



PH

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: luxair747SP
Posted 2011-08-29 11:33:58 and read 17447 times.

Hi PH,

as usual very nice TR with many good pictures.
The flight on XQ looked very average too me, their service is still not bad for their "holiday-low-cost" operations, actually I dont really know where to put them.
The OA flight surprised me, first of all, such a nice presented meal in Y class on such a short flight, you get hardly that on a c-class flight here in central Europe.
And then I never expected to see Fischer served on an airplane, but its nice to see the local brews in the air, even not on the "right" carrier  .
The Aegean flight looked normal with exception of the rather interesting meal, do you know what the other choice was?
Thanks again for this nice report.
Cheers and servus
Johannes

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: eco
Posted 2011-08-29 11:34:10 and read 17438 times.

Hi PlaneHuter,
Thank you for this wonderful trip report. It was real pleasure reading about 2 of mine favorite airlines - OA & A3.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Olympic impressed me with an incredibly friendly and service orientated crew.

This had really impressed me on my first OA flights but last year I was disappointed - maybe because I expected too much from OA.

Greetings
Eco

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-08-29 11:52:02 and read 17372 times.

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 3):
as usual very nice TR with many good pictures.
Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 3):
Thanks again for this nice report.

Servus Johannes, thanks for your comments!

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 3):
The flight on XQ looked very average too me, their service is still not bad for their "holiday-low-cost" operations, actually I dont really know where to put them.

Well, they are also aiming at the large Turkish community in Germany and have introduced many nonstop flights to secondary destinations in Turkey.

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 3):
The OA flight surprised me, first of all, such a nice presented meal in Y class on such a short flight, you get hardly that on a c-class flight here in central Europe.

That's true!

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 3):
And then I never expected to see Fischer served on an airplane, but its nice to see the local brews in the air, even not on the "right" carrier

I can only agree.

Quoting luxair747SP (Reply 3):
The Aegean flight looked normal with exception of the rather interesting meal, do you know what the other choice was?

No, I guess they ran out of it.

Quoting eco (Reply 4):
Thank you for this wonderful trip report.

Hi Eco, thanks a lot for your feedback!

Quoting eco (Reply 4):
It was real pleasure reading about 2 of mine favorite airlines - OA & A3.

That's nice to hear!

Quoting eco (Reply 4):
This had really impressed me on my first OA flights but last year I was disappointed - maybe because I expected too much from OA.

Well, one crew member alone can already make a difference.


PH

[Edited 2011-08-29 11:52:57]

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: akhmad
Posted 2011-08-29 11:58:58 and read 17352 times.

Hi PH,

Just as I began to wonder how to spend boring cold Summer evening, your report popped up. Beautiful pictures, exciting flights, nice story, just everything I needed.

I am quite shocked that TK airport authority did not seem to take matters seriously regarding abandoned backpack. Kudos to you and Satchmo for making a point!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
New generation airshow

Awesome!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Half an hour after takeoff, non-alcoholic drinks and snack boxes were offered free of charge

The service still wows me.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
and many passengers started clapping..

Well, just wish them joy of it!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
so we went to the Tarkim Flight Academy where we were granted access to a kind of break room with terrace:

Who came up with the idea? A hidden gem you discovered here!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Let's zoom in a bit:

Lovely! You can really compare old and new TK livery!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Azerbaijan Airlines A320-214 4K-AZ79, formerly operated by Air Berlin as D-ABDJ:

Could it be among the A320’s I spotted last year in DUS?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
the other flight attendants didn't wear a jacket. Interestingly, their dresses were sleeveless
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Here's a close-up

Kind of pity that male flight attendants did not wear sleeveless shirt as well. 


Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
tray with a nice cold meal and even said "Enjoy!"

She reminds me of Mrs. Grochulski from Lufthansa!  


Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Amstel or Fischer? I chose the latter

Good choice! Amstel is so… Dutch!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Can you find the mistake here?

A319 with an A320 picture?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Well, I eat fish of any kind, but seeing pieces of octopus tentacles in my meal wasn't a great experience in the first moment

Now I understand what you were talking about. To be honest, I would have got excited about the tentacles. I just love the yummy chewy sensation of it!


Thanks for enjoyable evening after such a good read! By the way, why did Satchmo not join us last 9th July?

Best wishes,
Suryo

[Edited 2011-08-29 12:00:27]

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: Doona
Posted 2011-08-29 12:04:13 and read 17328 times.

Great trip report, thanks for a interesting read!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Parked next to us was SX-OAG, one of three remaining A319s in the fleet:

This caught my eye, the fact that the A319 pictured has two (four in total, I suppose) overwing emergency exits. I knew that Easyjet's A319's had that, but looking on airfleets.net I see that SX-OAG began life with Hamburg International. Anyone know the story on that? Is it simply an option available to airlines who want max out the number of Y seats?

Cheers
Mats

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-08-29 12:17:57 and read 17295 times.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
Just as I began to wonder how to spend boring cold Summer evening, your report popped up. Beautiful pictures, exciting flights, nice story, just everything I needed.

Hi Suryo, many thanks for your kind words! I'm glad you enjoyed the report.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
I am quite shocked that TK airport authority did not seem to take matters seriously regarding abandoned backpack. Kudos to you and Satchmo for making a point!

Yes, the mentioned people should have reacted immediately.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
Who came up with the idea? A truly hidden gem you discovered!

Well, you can find information about it on spotter websites. But access is restricted, I guess we were lucky.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
Lovely! You can really compare old and new TK livery!

  

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
Could it be among the A320%u2019s I spotted last year in DUS?

I think so, yes, it was among the planes which had been stored there for a while.

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
Kind of pity that male flight attendants did not wear sleeveless shirt as well.

 

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
A319 with an A320 picture?

Yes! 100 points!   

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
Now I understand what you were talking about. To be honest, I would have got excited about the tentacles. I just love the yummy chewy sensation of it!

Ah, I see...  

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
Thanks for enjoyable evening after such a good read!

You're welcome!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 6):
By the way, why did Satchmo not join us last 9th July?

I guess he already had other plans on that day.

Quoting Doona (Reply 7):
Great trip report, thanks for a interesting read!

Thank you, Doona!

Quoting Doona (Reply 7):
This caught my eye, the fact that the A319 pictured has two (four in total, I suppose) overwing emergency exits. I knew that Easyjet's A319's had that, but looking on airfleets.net I see that SX-OAG began life with Hamburg International. Anyone know the story on that? Is it simply an option available to airlines who want max out the number of Y seats?

Yes, it's an available option. Air Berlin and Cebu Pacific also come to mind.


PH

[Edited 2011-08-29 12:20:52]

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: FLIEGER67
Posted 2011-08-29 12:35:40 and read 17232 times.

Hi, PH,

well worth the switch to A.net a couple of minutes ago, thanx for the advice.

Really nice pictures and a good idea to catch these combination.
Not that much greek stuff seen here lately, maybe according to the bad strike situation there.
Good pictures also, nothing else expected.
OA looks like really up to date, a really nice impression.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: deltamartin
Posted 2011-08-29 12:49:03 and read 17175 times.

Hi PH!

Nice tripreport, a very enjoyable read.

Both Greek airlines you flew looks nice. I wonder what the future of these two companies will show, after the failed merger.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
New generation airshow:

Looks nice!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
handed out a tray with a nice cold meal and even said "Enjoy!" I hadn't expected to get so much on that short flight:

Looks nice, and that dessert actually looks right up my alley!  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
However, I made an exception to get a decent shot of the Allianz Arena:

Nice capture. A truly beautiful arena.

Martin

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: OA260
Posted 2011-08-29 13:01:21 and read 17144 times.

Hey great report really enjoyable and nice to see Olympic Air still offering a decent professional product. I am about to book some more OA flights myself.  

I agree about the A3 and OA differences. Ive just chosen SK over A3 for my flight home from ATH. A3 just don't do it for me and OA don't fly to the route Im flying so SK won. Ive had nicer interiors on OA A/C though . I don't like the grey fabric personally. The OA catering was always good even in the old OA that I flew on very frequently. Greeks love their food.

I don't like the A3 offering of Octopus though and a bad choice for a carrier to offer with an international customer base. I have to say I like the A3 seats though I prefer a firmer seat similar to LH/LX/BD ( new interiors). A3 crew are not the friendliest either one thing Im really happy that Olympic Air excel on .

Thanks for the update on products and who knows what will happen in the future. If a merger happens then I hope they merge the good points of both carriers and keep with the plan of keeping the Olympic brand. Despite the years of decline of the old OA the Olympic brand is strong and worth keeping IMHO. MIG have done wonders with the new airline and I hope this never changes.

Philip  

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-08-29 13:10:15 and read 17113 times.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
well worth the switch to A.net a couple of minutes ago, thanx for the advice.
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
Really nice pictures and a good idea to catch these combination.
Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
Good pictures also, nothing else expected.

Servus Markus, many thanks for your comments!

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 9):
Not that much greek stuff seen here lately, maybe according to the bad strike situation there.

The last few weeks haven't been perfect for a visit to Greece. However, we were also concerned about possible strikes during our trip.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 10):
Nice tripreport, a very enjoyable read.

Thanks for your feedback, Martin!

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 10):
I wonder what the future of these two companies will show, after the failed merger.

Yes, it will be interesting to see what happens. The economic situation in Greece may have bad effects on the two carriers.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
Hey great report really enjoyable and nice to see Olympic Air still offering a decent professional product.

Hi Phil, thanks for your comments!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
I am about to book some more OA flights myself.

Good to hear!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
Ive had nicer interiors on OA A/C though .
OA got numerous planes from different sources within a short period of time, that may be reason for the differences.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
. The OA catering was always good even in the old OA that I flew on very frequently.

Interesting, I never had the chance to try the old OA.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
I don't like the A3 offering of Octopus though and a bad choice for a carrier to offer with an international customer base.

  

Quoting OA260 (Reply 11):
If a merger happens then I hope they merge the good points of both carriers and keep with the plan of keeping the Olympic brand. Despite the years of decline of the old OA the Olympic brand is strong and worth keeping IMHO.

That's what I hope, too!


PH

[Edited 2011-08-29 13:11:57]

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: burj
Posted 2011-08-29 17:22:18 and read 16757 times.

Very neat!

So is octopus something that is eaten a lot in Greece? Where do they even GET octopus? Is there any in the Mediterranean sea or do they get it from the Atlantic ocean?

There are plenty of Greek places here in the U.S. but I've never seen them serve octopus!

Of course I'm in AWE that you get fed meals on European flight!

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: 767747
Posted 2011-08-29 18:29:59 and read 16682 times.

Thanks, PH for your latest report!

Looks like a fun few days of flying; Sun Express looks not too bad, and Olympic seems to have really stepped up its game from only a few years ago ...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We touched down after a flying time of 2 hours and 12 minutes and many passengers started clapping...

Never understood when this ritual of clapping on landing began ... Seems to happen only sporadically, but I always find it funny.

Best,

Matthew

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: Widebodyroga
Posted 2011-08-29 19:36:02 and read 16587 times.

Quoting burj (Reply 13):
So is octopus something that is eaten a lot in Greece? Where do they even GET octopus? Is there any in the Mediterranean sea or do they get it from the Atlantic ocean?

There are plenty of Greek places here in the U.S. but I've never seen them serve octopus!

Time to show off my knowledge of all things Greek. 

Octopus is very common in Greece (it's a Greek word after all; it means "Eight legs"). In fact you won't find a restaurant in Greece (especially in towns by the sea) that DOESN'T serve octopus. Every time I am there (and that's pretty much every time I go to Europe since I fly there to get to Southern Bulgaria) I don't miss the opportunity to have some octopus, mussels and calamari. In the US, with the exception of a few selected places, Greek restaurants serve food that has been "Americanized" to a large degree, and in the process of doing so many dishes have been eliminated, one of them being octopus. In Chicago if one wants to eat good authentic Greek food, they should avoid Greektown and go instead to some lesser known Greek restaurants in the near north side.

Another reason I am surprised A3 served octopus is that octopus is typically rather expensive meat. It's like serving venison or crawfish on a flight.

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: aflyingkiwi
Posted 2011-08-29 21:02:24 and read 16514 times.

Thanks PH for another great report!

All of the carriers you flew seemed to have a very solid product. As you said OA seemed to be the most impressive, I wonder what kind of meals they offer on their longer flights (ATH-LHR, ATH-CDG etc). Also interesting to see that you got octopus on your A3 flight, I guess it's not to your taste but that looks very nice in my opinion.

Thanks for the report

Regards,
aflyingkiwi

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: The777Man
Posted 2011-08-29 22:26:04 and read 16448 times.

Hi !

Very nice report with very nice pictures ! Amazing how you keep adding carriers !!!

SunExpress looks nice and especially nice with the new generation airshow map! Very nice with a map on a narrowbody aircaft!

Amazing place you found to do spotting from ! It seems perfect and nice that you got so many new numbers ! The shopping mall spotting area seems nice too!

OA seems very nice and surprising that they served a meal on such a short flight. I like the dress for the FAs as well!

A3 seems nice as well but a very odd choice by serving octopus as a dish ! You were very brave to try it!

Looks a very nice short trip with new carriers, nice flights and lots on new registrations!

Looking froward to your next report!

The777Man

[Edited 2011-08-29 23:15:26]

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-08-29 22:46:40 and read 16434 times.

Quoting burj (Reply 13):
Very neat!

Hi Burj, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting burj (Reply 13):
So is octopus something that is eaten a lot in Greece? Where do they even GET octopus? Is there any in the Mediterranean sea or do they get it from the Atlantic ocean?
Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 15):
Octopus is very common in Greece (it's a Greek word after all; it means "Eight legs"). In fact you won't find a restaurant in Greece (especially in towns by the sea) that DOESN'T serve octopus. Every time I am there (and that's pretty much every time I go to Europe since I fly there to get to Southern Bulgaria) I don't miss the opportunity to have some octopus, mussels and calamari. In the US, with the exception of a few selected places, Greek restaurants serve food that has been "Americanized" to a large degree, and in the process of doing so many dishes have been eliminated, one of them being octopus. In Chicago if one wants to eat good authentic Greek food, they should avoid Greektown and go instead to some lesser known Greek restaurants in the near north side.

Thanks for the detailled answer, Widebodyroga!

Quoting burj (Reply 13):
There are plenty of Greek places here in the U.S. but I've never seen them serve octopus!

In contrast, it's a common dish in Greek restaurants in Germany.

Quoting burj (Reply 13):
Of course I'm in AWE that you get fed meals on European flight!

Yes, but is used to be better in the past. I fear that the pressure by LCCs will continue to force legacy carriers to cut down.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 14):
Thanks, PH for your latest report!

Thanks for your reply, Matthew!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 14):
Looks like a fun few days of flying; Sun Express looks not too bad, and Olympic seems to have really stepped up its game from only a few years ago ...

Yes, OA is quite different from its precedessor.

Quoting 767747 (Reply 14):
Never understood when this ritual of clapping on landing began ... Seems to happen only sporadically, but I always find it funny.

It mostly happens on typical holiday flights.

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 16):
Thanks PH for another great report!

Hi Aflyingkiwi, many thanks for your comments!

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 16):
All of the carriers you flew seemed to have a very solid product.

  

Quoting aflyingkiwi (Reply 16):
As you said OA seemed to be the most impressive, I wonder what kind of meals they offer on their longer flights (ATH-LHR, ATH-CDG etc).

Unfortunately, OA sold its slots at CDG and LHR to A3. Several planes have been transferred, too. Olympic has withdrawn almost entirely from Western Europe, only AMS is left as far as I know. The focus is on regional and domestic flights. I'm sure OA used to serve nice meals on these longer flights. I think there have been a few reports here, I remember one in particular by OA260.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
Very nice report with very nice pictures !

Hi Lars, many thanks for your comments! Good to hear you enjoyed reading.

What do you think about the security issue at IST?

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
Amazing how you keep adding carriers !!!

16 new ones so far in 2011, more to follow...

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
SunExpress looks nice and especially nice with the new generation airshow map! Very nice with a map on a narrowbody aircaft!

Yes, but it's even better to have PTVs with that kind of airshow! You know what I mean.  

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
Amazing place you found to do spotting from ! It seems perfect and nice that you got so many new numbers ! The shopping mall spotting area seems nice too!

I'd love to go there again in a few years.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
A3 seems nice as well but a very odd choice by serving octopus as a dish ! You were bery brave to try it!

Well, I was hungry...  

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
Looks a very nice short trip with new carriers, nice flights and lots on new registrations!

Yes, I cannot complain!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 17):
Looking froward to your next report!

Well, it won't be a report about a 77W, but its (ex-)main competitor will show up...  


PH

[Edited 2011-08-29 22:48:48]

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: The777Man
Posted 2011-08-29 23:22:30 and read 16387 times.

Hi !

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18):
What do you think about the security issue at IST?

I think it was handled very badly. It should not have been too difficult for the first person you contacted to call the police, especially with the security situation in Turkey.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 18):
16 new ones so far in 2011, more to follow...

Wow! That's very very impressive. I have two new carriers this year.......But I'm still very happy with my 777 flying. Perhaps I should start to try to fly on new airlines as welll ?  

The777Man

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: OA260
Posted 2011-08-29 23:23:18 and read 16391 times.

In the good old days of the Olympic Airways B747 and A300 on the LHR-ATH-LHR routes the catering was the best compared to BA/VS etc... You got Smoked Salmon with Greek salad, hot meals consisting of beef/chicken and a lovely dessert. Hot rolls were handed out and a free bar with a few coffee rounds. Used to love that service. You got proper cutlery and served on nice dishes and cups. I will have to dig out some old pics and that was in Economy !

A meal from Y class LHR-ATH from Olympic Airlines before it was taken over by MIIG. ( still pretty decent ) .

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-08-29 23:46:34 and read 16360 times.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 19):
I think it was handled very badly. It should not have been too difficult for the first person you contacted to call the police, especially with the security situation in Turkey.

That's what I thought, too. One short phone call would have been enough.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 19):
Wow! That's very very impressive. I have two new carriers this year.......But I'm still very happy with my 777 flying. Perhaps I should start to try to fly on new airlines as welll ?

Well, you could also start flying 787 operators?

Quoting OA260 (Reply 20):
In the good old days of the Olympic Airways B747 and A300 on the LHR-ATH-LHR routes the catering was the best compared to BA/VS etc... You got Smoked Salmon with Greek salad, hot meals consisting of beef/chicken and a lovely dessert. Hot rolls were handed out and a free bar with a few coffee rounds. Used to love that service. You got proper cutlery and served on nice dishes and cups. I will have to dig out some old pics and that was in Economy !

Very nice, good old days!

Quoting OA260 (Reply 20):
A meal from Y class LHR-ATH from Olympic Airlines before it was taken over by MIIG. ( still pretty decent ) .

Yes, I agree. But what is that item on the left in the dessert bowl?


PH

[Edited 2011-08-29 23:47:10]

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: The777Man
Posted 2011-08-30 00:05:11 and read 16327 times.

Hi !

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
Well, you could also start flying 787 operators?

No, I'm The777Man and will leave 787 flying for someone else. That said, I will try to get on a UA 787 early on, hopefully they will fly it to LAX as a part of crew training.

I think I will start flying more aircraft tyoes (which is what I was doing originally before 777 flying) and try new airlines. Besides there are still a couple of more 777 carriers to be flown in Gaurda and Biman Bangladesh and perhaps some more later ?

The777Man

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-08-30 00:13:45 and read 16313 times.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 22):
No, I'm The777Man and will leave 787 flying for someone else.

Alright, that's a clear message!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 22):
That said, I will try to get on a UA 787 early on, hopefully they will fly it to LAX as a part of crew training.

Sounds good!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 22):
I think I will start flying more aircraft tyoes (which is what I was doing originally before 777 flying) and try new airlines.

Yes, why not.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 22):
Besides there are still a couple of more 777 carriers to be flown in Gaurda and Biman Bangladesh and perhaps some more later ?

I'm sure there will be a few more - and we shouldn't forget that Boeing may enhance the type and develop new versions.


PH

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: sultanils
Posted 2011-08-30 00:30:56 and read 16298 times.

Hi there PH,

What an interesting story comparing the 2 main airlines from Greece. I remember Olympic Airlines flying to BRU back in the days, then Aegean came also and Brussels Airlines as well has a long history flying into the ancient city. Toom much competition has forced also the 'new' Olympic to bail out of BRU sadly enough. However I am pleasantly surprised to see the new product looks decent enough. Hopefully it can give them the boost they need!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
TC-SNO is one of 25 737-800s in the SunExpress fleet:

Smart aircraft!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The weather was really nasty:

Indeed, sure you're in Turkey?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
as well as pasta, chicken pieces and vegetable sauce:

By the looks of it (in the cardboard) box in doesn't seem to be tasty. Good it proved otherwise.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
we were granted access to a kind of break room with terrace:

How nice of them to let you in, I like the interior as well  

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Luckily, it turned out to be false alarm, but all these airport employees and the police have reacted absolutely unprofessionally. Turkey has been facing terrorism for a long time, so unattended bags at public places should be taken serious at any time.

That's not professional at all. At BRU they have these recorded announcements every now and then about not leaving bags unattended. They don't at IST?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
his name was Metaxa.

I assume he was not drunk  

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I hadn't expected to get so much on that short flight:

Impressive!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
and the rest of the former Olympic Airlines A340-300 fleet:

 

Only too bad to see these nice classic birds sitting idle there...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Last but not least, the trip was very successful from an enthusiast's perspective even though it only consisted of three flights: I flew on two new carriers, passed through two new airports and logged a total of 178 new registrations.

Congrats on that PH!

   Sultanils

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-08-30 00:39:30 and read 16297 times.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
What an interesting story comparing the 2 main airlines from Greece.

Hi Nils, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
Toom much competition has forced also the 'new' Olympic to bail out of BRU sadly enough.

It seems only AMS is left in Western Europe.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
Hopefully it can give them the boost they need!

I hope so, too.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
Smart aircraft!

The new livery is so much better than the old one.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
Indeed, sure you're in Turkey?

I was wondering about that for three days...

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):

By the looks of it (in the cardboard) box in doesn't seem to be tasty.

That's what I thought, too.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
How nice of them to let you in, I like the interior as well

These airline seats are great, aren't they?

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
At BRU they have these recorded announcements every now and then about not leaving bags unattended. They don't at IST?

No, haven't heard those.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
I assume he was not drunk

I hope so!  

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
Only too bad to see these nice classic birds sitting idle there...

Yes, it's a shame. I guess they are in bad shape.

Quoting sultanils (Reply 24):
Congrats on that PH!

Thanks!


PH

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: SPLTA
Posted 2011-08-30 06:23:36 and read 15911 times.

Hello PH,

Great read, as always. Very good pictures as well (both yours and Satchmo's)

I have found it especially interesting, since all 3 airlines are pretty exotic for me. It looks you had good experience on each of them. The meals you got were, if not impressive, much more substantial than what you would have gotten when travelling on "northern" carriers.

I remember from one of the previous (your or Markus') TRs covering flight on one of the Turkish budget/charter airline (possibly also Sun Express) that the vast majority of passengers were Turkish. Was it also the case on your recent trip to IST?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We touched down after a flying time of 2 hours and 12 minutes and many passengers started clapping...

Haha, clapping used to be a common practice on LO's flights when I was a kid back in 80's.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Aegean's leather seats were quite hard, definitely less comfortable than OA's fabric seats:

They look much better than OA's dull, grey ones, though.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but their dresses were nice, nevertheless.

Never seen sleevless FA's uniforms before, but I got to say I like them.

Thanks a lot for sharing.

Best regatds,
SPLTA

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-08-30 08:42:47 and read 15745 times.

Quoting SPLTA (Reply 26):
Great read, as always. Very good pictures as well (both yours and Satchmo's)

I have found it especially interesting, since all 3 airlines are pretty exotic for me.

Hi SPLTA, many thanks for your comments! I'm glad you liked it!

Quoting SPLTA (Reply 26):
I remember from one of the previous (your or Markus') TRs covering flight on one of the Turkish budget/charter airline (possibly also Sun Express) that the vast majority of passengers were Turkish. Was it also the case on your recent trip to IST?

I think Markus mentioned that in his Adana report. I also noticed something similar on my flight to ADA. However, it was different on the flight to SAW - many German tourists on board. However, I'd say there was a majority of Turkish passengers.

Quoting SPLTA (Reply 26):
Haha, clapping used to be a common practice on LO's flights when I was a kid back in 80's.

Interesting, probably it was more common in these days.


PH

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: dkdaviator
Posted 2011-08-30 12:45:26 and read 15464 times.

hi PH,

Nice report there, and some really good pictures as well.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Here's my dessert - raspberry chocolate cake:

Wow, that looks really nice.

I also like the 3D Airshow, looks pretty nice.

It is so strange about the lack of interest when you tried to report the mysterious bag. Especially when you hear or read about airports that clear an entire terminal over such a thing!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After having dinner, we took a taxi to the (average) WOW Airport Hotel.

Hehe, how ironic a hotel with such a name would turn out to be "average".

dkdaviator

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: SloAir
Posted 2011-08-30 23:17:18 and read 15270 times.

Hi PH,

nice to see a report about a trip to Istanbul, just spent the weekend there and enjoyed it very much. A trip report to follow shortly for sure.

My friend, also an aviation enthusiast, joined our group in Istanbul directly from his holiday in Greece and he flew CFU-ATH-IST with Aegean on the first sector and Olympic on the second, so it was very interesting comparing your experience with what you have told me.

In his view Aegean was not a pleasant experience - bad seats and legroom, the FAs forgot to handed out breakfast to him, the landing was rough. The Olympic experience was much better according to him with one of the best airline meals for him so far.

Nice to see you are clearing your backlog of reports, I look forward to more.

Blaž

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-08-30 23:27:01 and read 15266 times.

Quoting dkdaviator (Reply 28):
Nice report there, and some really good pictures as well.

Hi dkdaviator, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting dkdaviator (Reply 28):
Wow, that looks really nice.

Well, it looked better than it tasted, though...  

Quoting dkdaviator (Reply 28):
It is so strange about the lack of interest when you tried to report the mysterious bag. Especially when you hear or read about airports that clear an entire terminal over such a thing!

Yes, I'm still wondering about that.

Quoting dkdaviator (Reply 28):
Hehe, how ironic a hotel with such a name would turn out to be "average".

I can only agree. And it wasn't cheap either...

Quoting SloAir (Reply 29):
nice to see a report about a trip to Istanbul, just spent the weekend there and enjoyed it very much. A trip report to follow shortly for sure.

Hi Blaž, thanks for commenting! I'm looking forward to your report!

Quoting SloAir (Reply 29):
In his view Aegean was not a pleasant experience - bad seats and legroom, the FAs forgot to handed out breakfast to him, the landing was rough.

Sounds pretty bad. I guess he didn't have a look at the registration, did he?

Quoting SloAir (Reply 29):
The Olympic experience was much better according to him with one of the best airline meals for him so far.

That's good to hear!

Quoting SloAir (Reply 29):
Nice to see you are clearing your backlog of reports, I look forward to more.

Lots of work ahead...


PH

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: burj
Posted 2011-08-31 03:14:28 and read 15196 times.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 15):
Time to show off my knowledge of all things Greek.

WOW! Thanks for the info! I get so much from a.net! That is why I love this site and the people here!

Quoting SPLTA (Reply 26):
Never seen sleevless FA's uniforms before, but I got to say I like them.

Sleeveless may look good on a young thin FA...but plenty of women who are not at all over weight still have flabby arms you don't wan to see...

And no matter what...in a sleeveless uniform if they raise their arms, like to close an overhead bin...they flash their armpits to everyone...not the classiest look...

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: airbuseric
Posted 2011-08-31 03:37:42 and read 15165 times.

Hi PH!

that's is something I waited for... nice report on IST spotting and the 2 Greek airlines!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
My friend Satchmo and I had been planning to go on a short spotting trip to Istanbul for a long time.

Good choice. Did the same last year myself, fantastic variation of traffic from East and West.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We were stuck there for a while, but the situation was better than in January when I was heading to Adana:

Seems some improvement done?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
TC-SNO is one of 25 737-800s in the SunExpress fleet:

Impressive fleet already!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Half an hour after takeoff, non-alcoholic drinks and snack boxes were offered free of charge. The latter ones contained a warm bread roll, a slice of spice cake...

Well... that doesn't look promising at first...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
as well as pasta, chicken pieces and vegetable sauce:

...but this does change my opinion. Great meal for this carrier!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
nstead took a taxi to the Fly Inn shopping mall where you have excellent views of landing and departing aircraft. However, the mall hadn't opened yet, so we went to the Tarkim Flight Academy where we were granted access to a kind of break room with terrace
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Luckily, it turned out to be false alarm, but all these airport employees and the police have reacted absolutely unprofessionally. Turkey has been facing terrorism for a long time, so unattended bags at public places should be taken serious at any time. Relying on the security checkpoints at the terminal entrance is not enough, in my opinion.

Unacceptable. No wonder these countries still face terrorist attacks or bombings from time to time. They just don't take good care, although they 'think' they do!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The gray fabric seats already looked a bit worn, but they were quite comfortable:

Not my taste to be honest... Boring cabin interior

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
a tray with a nice cold meal

Wow, that's impressive for a 1 hour flight

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Amstel or Fischer? I chose the latter:

Good choice. I don't like Amstel personally, so every other choice might be better 
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I was really glad that Aegean didn't show anything else but the airshow throughout the whole flight:

Nice IFE  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I was quite hungry and glad to see that hot meals were handed out - but I was irritated when I got this tray without any question and further comments:

Well, I eat fish most of the time, but octopus is also not my choice usually...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The worst part of the catering was Aegean's coffee - it tasted burned, just awful.

Can imagine! I had terrible coffees in Greece too, especially the coffee served on the Hellenic Seaways ferries is just disgusting!  

All together, great report, nice pics, also from Satchmo! A3 is on my planning too, in 1,5 week from now. A short flight for me, and wondering if there will be any kind of service for me. Maybe next year I should definitely give OA a try to visit my favourite place in Greece.

Regards
Eric

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: ba319-131
Posted 2011-08-31 04:58:48 and read 15094 times.

Hi PH,

Nice report and pictures, did enjoy the read whilst having a spot of lunch today  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Unlike the curry chicken on my MUC-Adana flight, the main course was served cold this time, but it tasted very good, nevertheless. And the dessert tasted fine, too.

- Not a bad airline meal in this day and age.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
the Fly Inn shopping mall where you have excellent views of landing and departing aircraft. However, the mall hadn't opened yet

- This looks a great place for spotters, what time does it open and did you have any issues there?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
so we went to the Tarkim Flight Academy where we were granted access to a kind of break room with terrace:

- Cool, how did you manage to get access if not training?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I logged a total of 113 new registrations until sunset (71 ones belonging to Turkish Airlines) which was a very good result.

- Very impressed!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Some minutes later, a man quickly approached the backpack, grabbed it and disappeared. I guess he was the owner and I can only wonder why he had left his belongings there. Shortly afterwards, about 15 minutes after the phone call, two police officers showed up, slowly walked around the seating area and disappeared again soon.

- As you point our, very poor from a security view point.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Unfortunately, airside spotting options are limited because only passengers of the very flights have access to the individual gates

- Interesting, I flew in with LX a few years back and stayed as transit, had great views, perhaps a different part of the airport?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The gray fabric seats already looked a bit worn, but they were quite comfortable:

- They look very drab!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The salad (with dressing) and the chicken and cheese sandwiches tasted good, even though I found a piece of chicken bone. However, the (very sweet) dessert consisting of chopped and caramelized nuts wasn't to my taste.

I asked for a beer and the same flight attendant (the one in the picture above) offered two different ones. After I had failed to understand the brand names for the second time, she quickly grabbed two cans from the trolley and showed them to me. Amstel or Fischer? I chose the latter:

- Impressive service for such a short flight!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Well, I eat fish of any kind, but seeing pieces of octopus tentacles in my meal wasn't a great experience in the first moment...actually I had never tried it and I decided that it would be a good opportunity now. So how did it taste? Average, I would say - not too bad, but not really good either. However, the noodles and the spice bun tasted okay. My favorite was the delicious (nut-based) halva bar.
Of course I'd have preferred a different main course, but probably they had run out of the alternative. The worst part of the catering was Aegean's coffee - it tasted burned, just awful

- Yuck, not a great ,meal, poor choice IMO as many people don't like this kind of seafood, ,myself included. Airplane coffee is usually poor, nobody seems to make that good a job of it, bar Swiss.

Cheers

Mark

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-08-31 05:38:41 and read 15049 times.

Quoting burj (Reply 31):
Sleeveless may look good on a young thin FA...but plenty of women who are not at all over weight still have flabby arms you don't wan to see...

I agree with that. But I guess there are various dressing options. The purser on the OA flight wore a light jacket.

Quoting burj (Reply 31):
And no matter what...in a sleeveless uniform if they raise their arms, like to close an overhead bin...they flash their armpits to everyone...not the classiest look...

Yes, I thought about that, too. But it depends...  

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 32):
that's is something I waited for... nice report on IST spotting and the 2 Greek airlines!
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 32):
All together, great report, nice pics, also from Satchmo!

Hi Eric, thanks a lot for your feedback!

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 32):
Good choice. Did the same last year myself, fantastic variation of traffic from East and West.

I remember you told me about it. IST is indeed great for spotting.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 32):
Seems some improvement done?

Well, I'm not sure, but I hope so.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 32):
Impressive fleet already!

There are three more 738s operated by SunExpress Deutschland.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 32):
Great meal for this carrier!

  

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 32):
Good choice. I don't like Amstel personally, so every other choice might be better

Interesting, I have never tried Amstel. Is it something like the Dutch Warsteiner?  

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 32):
Can imagine! I had terrible coffees in Greece too, especially the coffee served on the Hellenic Seaways ferries is just disgusting!

Ah, that doesn't sound good.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 32):
A3 is on my planning too, in 1,5 week from now. A short flight for me, and wondering if there will be any kind of service for me.

Interesting, I'm looking forward to the report.

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 32):
Maybe next year I should definitely give OA a try to visit my favourite place in Greece.

Absolutely!

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 33):
Nice report and pictures, did enjoy the read whilst having a spot of lunch today

Many thanks for your comments, Mark! Good to hear you enjoyed reading.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 33):
Not a bad airline meal in this day and age.

  

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 33):
This looks a great place for spotters, what time does it open and did you have any issues there?

If I remember correctly, it opens at 10. But you can also see the planes from the sidewalk.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 33):
Cool, how did you manage to get access if not training?

We kindly asked and a nice lady said yes. I guess we were really lucky.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 33):
Interesting, I flew in with LX a few years back and stayed as transit, had great views, perhaps a different part of the airport?

Possibly, yes. Honestly, I didn't check all accessible areas.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 33):
Airplane coffee is usually poor, nobody seems to make that good a job of it, bar Swiss.

Air Dolomiti and Alitalia served excellent coffee a few years ago, I don't know if that has changed. Lufthansa usually serves good coffee, too.


PH

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: airbuseric
Posted 2011-08-31 06:12:38 and read 15026 times.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 33):
This looks a great place for spotters, what time does it open and did you have any issues there?

I was send away by security staff after making just a few pictures through the glass from the seating area. No discussion possible. After that I found the flight academy which let me in, but make sure to have some money to give to these nice people running the bar and give you a good, private spot to make your pictures without being warned by police or security.

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-08-31 06:19:45 and read 15019 times.

Quoting ba319-131 (Reply 33):
- This looks a great place for spotters, what time does it open and did you have any issues there?
Quoting airbuseric (Reply 35):
I was send away by security staff after making just a few pictures through the glass from the seating area. No discussion possible. After that I found the flight academy which let me in, but make sure to have some money to give to these nice people running the bar and give you a good, private spot to make your pictures without being warned by police or security.

We didn't face any problems at the mall. Not a single police officer or security guard showed up. It's very odd that you were sent away - the seating area and the terrace have apparently been placed there so that people can watch the planes. It doesn't make sense then to stop anyone taking pictures from there.


PH

[Edited 2011-08-31 06:31:56]

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: djb77
Posted 2011-08-31 10:01:57 and read 14929 times.

Is it just me or do the gray OA seats look rather cheap and nasty and, well, doomed to look grubby very quickly?

@ OA260 - I look forward to your SK report to ATH. I seem to remember one of your SK reports from the past...

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: FlyingFinn76
Posted 2011-08-31 12:10:49 and read 14868 times.

Hi PH,

A very nice report on your little Mediterranean spotting journey, too bad the weather was not really up to par. Your comparison of OA and A3 reminds me of my little trip to Athens back in January, although I flew both carriers on somewhat longer segments. I couldn't pinpoint a clear winner, both of them were much better than the European norm with hot meals and free flowing drinks in economy and friendly crews. Sad to see OA changing their strategy and withdrawing from the longer routes, though.

Hope both carriers come out OK from the maelstrom that is the Greek economy right now.

I think I should try SunExpress again as well, my sole flight with them was SXF-SAW red eye, which I spent asleep  .

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
My friend Satchmo and I had been planning to go on a short spotting trip to Istanbul for a long time. ln late February we decided to go in mid-April -

I have a hard time following these trips of yours as they have such a lag - I keep getting confused that you actually traveled over four months ago...  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
New generation airshow:

Nice, Pegasus has the same.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
...as well as pasta, chicken pieces and vegetable sauce:

That looks very good to me! Well done, SunExpress!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Azerbaijan Airlines A320-214 4K-AZ79, formerly operated by Air Berlin as D-ABDJ:

Wow, I really like that livery. Very classy.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Luckily, it turned out to be false alarm, but all these airport employees and the police have reacted absolutely unprofessionally

That's quite worrying, but unfortunately confirms the idea I have about the security measures being of not much real use in many countries where there really is a reason for having them (and of course in countries like Finland where there's hardly a need for security it is of course done in a very pedant manner...).

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Btw, if I have understood correctly, his name was Metaxa.  

(Hic)!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Interestingly, their dresses were sleeveless - I had never seen a uniform like that. Actually it looks quite sexy:

Oh yes, I remember this. Quite surprising actually, but very nice. Me like.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The friendliest flight attendants in the team (the one in the picture above) soon handed out a tray with a nice cold meal and even said "Enjoy!"    I hadn't expected to get so much on that short flight:

Looks impressive for a flight less than an hour of duration!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Can you find the mistake here?

It's quite obvious, isn't it?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Rain in Istanbul, rain in Athens...time to fly back to sunny Bavaria, let's go!

Now there's something wrong in that. But this summer the things were reversed...  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Well, I eat fish of any kind, but seeing pieces of octopus tentacles in my meal wasn't a great experience in the first moment..

Well, like I told you I like octopus and don't find it so strange. This actually brings me into the topic that should airlines try to offer generic "one dish fits all" kind of meals or are they allowed to represent their home countries, at the expense that some picky eaters (Markus, are you listening?  ) might not like it. I mean you can get the same kind of Big Mac in Buenos Aires, New York, Tokyo and Athens, so why not make at least the airline food representative of the carrier's home country? Greek traditionally eat a lot of octopus, so why not? AY does some amazing reindeer meat dishes in business class and that has caused a lot of controversy with some (foreign) people complaining that "We can't eat Rudolph". Well, reindeer is a traditional Finnish delicacy, so why not?

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: OA260
Posted 2011-08-31 12:36:28 and read 14860 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 21):
But what is that item on the left in the dessert bowl?

It was a mixed salad , quite crispy and nice .

Quoting airbuseric (Reply 32):
especially the coffee served on the Hellenic Seaways ferries is just disgusting!  

LOL... Well thats like going to Milan and having a Cappuchino in McDonalds   Always best to get a small cafe in a non tourist area.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 34):
I have never tried Amstel.

Amstel is quite popular in Greece. I had a few cans over the years especially on a hot summer day.

Quoting djb77 (Reply 37):
Is it just me or do the gray OA seats look rather cheap and nasty and, well, doomed to look grubby very quickly?

Yes I was disappointed to see those they look 10 years old already . Much prefer the grey leather.

Quoting djb77 (Reply 37):
@ OA260 - I look forward to your SK report to ATH. I seem to remember one of your SK reports from the past...

Thanks yes I did DUB-CPH-CDG once on the MD-80 and A320. Im looking forward to a nice long MD80 flight again .

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: MSS658
Posted 2011-08-31 13:57:54 and read 14819 times.

Hi PH

Finally found time to reply  , another wonderfull report you typed there.
A pitty the combination with TK did not work out well, that would have been an interesting read. But seems like SunExpress did treat you well  . Nice that you got warm meals on all flights. However, the inkt on the ATH-MUC leg is not my taste either.


Greetings
Marc

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: RvXKaz
Posted 2011-08-31 20:47:25 and read 14711 times.

Hi PH!

I don't know why but I enjoyed your TR very much! I'm sure the high quality pictures and interesting commentary didn't hurt.  

Looks like you've had a wonderful spotting trip over in Turkey and Greece and what a bounty of new registrations you've got in Istanbul alone! The Azerbaijan Airlines A320-214 perked my curiosity most! But really awesome shots you took at the academy!

The meals on all your flights look great as well (though I couldn't help but laugh at the tentacles staring from its nest at the corner of the mealtray!) Glad that your meals tasted good in general and the tentacles weren't as nasty as they look.

Also, wonderful shots of the scenes out of the window, especially during descent into Athens.

As usual, most comprehensive and I've enjoyed reading your experience onboard three different airlines! Thanks very much!

RvXKaz

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: ronerone
Posted 2011-09-01 00:21:54 and read 14657 times.

Hi PH,

Congratulations on yet another great report! It was the best way to fight my extremely rough jet-lag  
I read it with great interest, as it provided a very concise comparison between Greece's two airlines. However, clearly it seems that Aegean has the hardware while Olympic gets the software. And in my books software always gets a higher weighting  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Royal Jordanian A320 behind us:

Nice shot   Have you flown RJ before?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
This is Lufthansa territory:

And do not mess with Lufthansa! I'm dead serious  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Unlike the curry chicken on my MUC-Adana flight, the main course was served cold this time, but it tasted very good, nevertheless. And the dessert tasted fine, too. Well done, SunExpress! thumbsup

Quite a substantial offering for this flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
but I didn't mind considering that I could log one registration after the other:

Very nice view of the airport!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
LOT (Charters) Boeing 737-4Q8 SP-LLL:

I quite like this livery! I doubt i will ever see this one in the UAE though  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
One the next morning we took the hotel shuttle to the airport about 2.5 hours before departure. After our luggage had been screened, we found out that the Olympic Air counters were still closed, so we took a seat in a corner of the check-in hall. While waiting there, we noticed a large, high quality backpack which someone had apparently left unattended. We asked all the people around us, but nobody turned out to be the owner. That was strange - and after a short discussion we decided to report it to somebody. Even though all bags get screened at the terminal entrance, you can never be sure, can you?

We didn't see a police officer or other officials anywhere around us, so I went to the nearest ticket counter. I told a male sales agent about the unattended backpack, but he didn't show any interest and just suggested that we should go to an information desk. irked So we started walking to the other side of the building and soon passed some of the entrance security checkpoints. A young female screener was watching the proceedings at a checkpoint and I took this opportunity to tell her about the situation. However, she didn't show any interest either and just said that we should go to an information desk. irked irked Two minutes later, we finally arrived at such a desk. It was Satchmo's turn this time, but guess what! Both ladies gave the impression that they really couldn't care less and just suggested that we should go to a police office on the other side of the terminal. irked irked irked Well, honestly, we were pissed off now. "This is the third time that we are sent away!", Satchmo said and I added: "This is a security issue!" Finally, one of the ladies called somewhere and then she said: "It's okay, the police will check." Of course we offered to wait for the officers so that they would be able to find the backpack immediately, but the lady declined and said that this wasn't necessary. Anyway, we decided to wait for the police near the backpack.

So what did happen? Nothing at first. When we came back to the seating area, the backpack still hadn't been removed and police officers hadn't shown up either. The Olympic Air counters had meanwhile opened and we decided to line up, because we would be able to watch the seating area from there. Some minutes later, a man quickly approached the backpack, grabbed it and disappeared. I guess he was the owner and I can only wonder why he had left his belongings there. Shortly afterwards, about 15 minutes after the phone call, two police officers showed up, slowly walked around the seating area and disappeared again soon.
This is very irresponsible, and consequences could have been very very serious! I cannot believe that the airport staff were all so indifferent to this issue.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The gray fabric seats already looked a bit worn, but they were quite comfortable:

Those are some ugly seats!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
soon handed out a tray with a nice cold meal and even said "Enjoy!" thumbsup I hadn't expected to get so much on that short flight:

Very nicely presented!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Aegean's leather seats were quite hard, definitely less comfortable than OA's fabric seats:

Looks nicer than OA's though  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Here you can see a Hellenic Imperial Boeing 747-200

Oh man! I am just dying to get on this!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Will these A343s ever fly again? I can only hope so.

One questions. These A340's seem to be parked at aerobridge stands. So is this 'terminal' where they are all parked not in use or something? Seems like a lot of aerobridges put to waste otherwise.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Well, I eat fish of any kind, but seeing pieces of octopus tentacles in my meal wasn't a great experience in the first moment...actually I had never tried it and I decided that it would be a good opportunity now. So how did it taste? Average, I would say - not too bad, but not really good either. However, the noodles and the spice bun tasted okay. My favorite was the delicious (nut-based) halva bar.

I still do not think octopus is a meal to be offered in-flight. Perhaps it can work if there was an option to choose from, but not as a standard offer.

I have tried octopus before, and it tastes almost like calamari to me, but i will never ever be in any mood to eat either of these while on a flight.


Many thanks for sharing this with us! Looking forward to more!

Cheers,
Roni

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: 717Flyer
Posted 2011-09-01 01:25:18 and read 14639 times.

Hi PH,

Yet another amazing read - guaranteed "PH-quality". I enjoyed every minute of it!
Also very nice comparison between A3 and OA. Both seemed to offer good quality, so I understand it's hard to pick a winner. I guess you should then rely on the service (+1 to OA) and the price you paid.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I'd have preferred to fly Munich-Istanbul on Turkish Airlines, but one-way flights were too expensive

Thanks for the information, I didn't know TK offers one way tickets but as you say you can book MUC-IST for 100 EUR. They don't sell one way tickets on all routes - HEL-IST is 285 EUR and HEL-IST-HEL is 244 EUR, so go figure...

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
So we decided to fly SunExpress to Istanbul-SAW for a reasonable price. I had already flown SunExpress in January, but I didn't mind too much about a second trip on that carrier. Then we added an Istanbul-Athens flight on Olympic Air and an Athens-Munich flight on Aegean Airlines, so I would get two new airlines in the end. The Aegean flight wasn't cheap, but the fare was still acceptable.

Hey, I remember your earlier Sun Express report. Not that I had a username on the forums back then, but anyway.
May I ask what you paid for the flights?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
I had been hoping to get one of these birds after flying on a much older sister ship in January:

I think the new Sun Express livery looks very smart!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
...as well as pasta, chicken pieces and vegetable sauce:

That looks really impressive. I'd like to send that dish to Finnair so they could develop their new "deli" style catering further. They made a lot of fuss about launching a new modern catering concept which in most of the cases means no free food on short flights and then some tasteless vacuum-packed sandwiches on longer European flights.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We touched down after a flying time of 2 hours and 12 minutes and many passengers started clapping...  

Well, that's standard on leisure oriented routes. That makes me remember a flight KGS-HEL about a year ago, a 757 packed full of tourists. As we touched down in Helsinki not a single passenger clapped which made the steward ask "Why no applause?". But then again we landed at 05.00 a.m, some four hours late and that Finnair leisure flight was otherwise also one of the worst flights I've ever experienced.
So, I guess the airline needs to deserve the applause before they get it.  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Here's my dessert - raspberry chocolate cake:

I just said that the new XQ livery looks smashing. But that piece of cake...
No words to describe it.   

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Turkish Airlines A330-343E TC-JNH - well known to fellow trip reporter 717Flyer:

Thanks! The DXB-IST flight I experienced on that bird actually remains one of the best flights ever and made me promise to fly TK again at some stage.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
After having dinner, we took a taxi to the (average) WOW Airport Hotel.

So no wow impression this time?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Well, honestly, we were pissed off now. "This is the third time that we are sent away!", Satchmo said and I added: "This is a security issue!"

That's absolutely ridiculous! Not only should they be aware of what's happening in the terminal building and keep airport security at a good level - but they should also be VERY thankful that someone else is paying attention!
I'd definitely send them a letter, you know.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
A female flight attendant in the 30s, apparently the purser, received us at the door with a warm smile. "Hello, welcome aboard, sir!", she said and I was impressed

It's all about first impression, isn't it?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The gray fabric seats already looked a bit worn, but they were quite comfortable:

I wonder if OA has ever heard about something called a headrest cover?

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The friendliest flight attendants in the team (the one in the picture above) soon handed out a tray with a nice cold meal and even said "Enjoy!"    I hadn't expected to get so much on that short flight:

It seems the crisis in Greece and EU hasn't taken away everything!   

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
We touched down after a flying time of 54 minutes and quickly taxied to the terminal. Just like during boarding, pleasant pop music was played again.

Pop music is better than classic music, but even smooth tunes are nice as long as they are only played on the ground. (Note to Finnair: on my latest flight with you it wasn't particularly nice to hear the smooth tunes while rotating and climbing).

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Yes, sleeveless dresses again - those seem to be popular among Greek carriers. Here's a close-up:

So Greece carriers distribute candy before take off, but they offer eye candy all flight? Now I'm impressed.  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Well, I eat fish of any kind, but seeing pieces of octopus tentacles in my meal wasn't a great experience in the first moment...actually I had never tried it and I decided that it would be a good opportunity now. So how did it taste? Average, I would say - not too bad, but not really good either.

Here comes my opinion.
1. As long as those who are allergic (to eg. seafood) can preorder their meal before the flight and are that way guaranteed a meal they can eat, everything is alright.
2. You should thank Aegean for getting to know octopus better!  -))
3. Greece is a country that is pretty much about sea food (and octopus for that matter). Alright, I find it a nice touch they are proud of their origin and serve something traditional. Just as P. said in his comment, I'd be covered in rage if Finnair would stop serving reindeer!
The best solution would be to have one "international choice" and one "local choice". Kudos to TK for doing that! (I really enjoyed the Turkish dishes they served).

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The worst part of the catering was Aegean's coffee - it tasted burned, just awful


Alright, then I won't fly Aegean....  
No, but serving bad coffee is way worse than serving no coffee at all. Ask any Finn, I'm sure they'll agree.

Thanks again for sharing!

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: Departurex
Posted 2011-09-01 11:56:14 and read 14536 times.

Hi PH,

nice to read your already mentioned report about Sun Express. The whole report was great and very interesting. A really nice combination of three interesting airlines - I would join that routing immediately   .


Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Unlike the curry chicken on my MUC-Adana flight, the main course was served cold this time, but it tasted very good, nevertheless.

The meal box and its content looks quite good. However really strange that the main content is served cold especially as it totally looks like a hot main meal. I had a similar box meal last summer on a Hamburg International flight from Antalya to Munich. The main course really tasted great - too sad that this nice charter airline went bankrupt only one month after I flew with them   . The meal can be seen here (posted all down as user "Alex"): http://www.airlinemeals.net/browse.php?id=2073&start=1&x=1

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
All those without a window could at least enjoy the 3D airshow:

I had that new version of Airshow on one of my recent Condor flights too. Really a nice improvement to the older airshow versions!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
The friendliest flight attendants in the team (the one in the picture above) soon handed out a tray with a nice cold meal and even said "Enjoy!" thumbsup I hadn't expected to get so much on that short flight:

Such a nice meal In Economy on that short flight - almost unbelievable those days!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Well, I eat fish of any kind, but seeing pieces of octopus tentacles in my meal wasn't a great experience in the first moment..

I hope they even had another choice of main dish in the first rows. Because only offering octopus to all passengers might be quite a risk!

Regards,
Departurex

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: FlyKev
Posted 2011-09-01 15:57:29 and read 14443 times.

Hi PlaneHunter. Thanks for taking the time to share your recent trip with us; it looks like you had a great time and some good flights and the photos were great too.

Must admit, I'm not entirely sure on the octopus being served as a meal option on-board a plane; certainly one of the strangest options I have seen - how does it rank compared to the man airline meals you have consumed?

Thanks for the entertaining read and I look forward to your next report,

Kev.

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: Palmjet
Posted 2011-09-04 00:30:33 and read 14209 times.

Hello PH. I read your report last week and have been meaning to post a comment. I really enjoyed it plus your pics (and those of Satchmo's) are their usual excellent quality!

I was interested to read about your security situation in Turkey. Seems pretty shambolic to me, especially as you say, Turkey has had its fair share of security related issues in recent times. I had a similar experience in Rome (Ciampino) in 2006, although before security turned up, the owner of the bag returned to claim it - this was less than 12 months after the London bombs in 2005 so people on this London bound flight were naturally concerned about the abandoned bag. If only I could have spoken some harsh words to the owner (who turned out to be Italian) - it beggars belief how in this day and age, with all the security announcements that get made about unattended luggage, that some people still leave their bag and go off wandering!!

Looks like a nice experience on OA especially. Amazing!

Nice pics from IST as well - shame the weather was not kinder to you. Looked brilliant in MUC though for your departure.

Thanks again - P/jet

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-09-04 08:59:57 and read 14098 times.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 38):
A very nice report on your little Mediterranean spotting journey, too bad the weather was not really up to par.

Hi P., thanks for your feedback!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 38):
Your comparison of OA and A3 reminds me of my little trip to Athens back in January, although I flew both carriers on somewhat longer segments.

Yes, I remember you made a comparison, but I'm amazed it was in January already. Well, you get confused by the lag of my reports, I get confused by the abundance of FlyingFinn76 reports...  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 38):
Sad to see OA changing their strategy and withdrawing from the longer routes, though.

Hopefully that strategy will work out.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 38):
Hope both carriers come out OK from the maelstrom that is the Greek economy right now.

  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 38):
I have a hard time following these trips of yours as they have such a lag - I keep getting confused that you actually traveled over four months ago...

The lag used to be bigger in the past...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 38):
It's quite obvious, isn't it?

Not for the guys who put that magazine together...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 38):
AY does some amazing reindeer meat dishes in business class and that has caused a lot of controversy with some (foreign) people complaining that "We can't eat Rudolph".

Well, people shouldn't complain as long as they have alternatives.

Quoting OA260 (Reply 39):
It was a mixed salad , quite crispy and nice .

I meant the left item in the bowl in the middle - that was the dessert bowl, wasn't it?

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 40):
Finally found time to reply , another wonderfull report you typed there.

Hi MSS658, many thanks for replying!

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 40):
A pitty the combination with TK did not work out well, that would have been an interesting read.
TK remains high on my list...

Quoting MSS658 (Reply 40):
But seems like SunExpress did treat you well

  

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 41):
I don't know why but I enjoyed your TR very much! I'm sure the high quality pictures and interesting commentary didn't hurt.
Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 41):
As usual, most comprehensive and I've enjoyed reading your experience onboard three different airlines! Thanks very much!
Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 41):
Also, wonderful shots of the scenes out of the window, especially during descent into Athens.

Hi RvXKaz, thanks a lot for your nice comments!

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 41):
Looks like you've had a wonderful spotting trip over in Turkey and Greece and what a bounty of new registrations you've got in Istanbul alone! The Azerbaijan Airlines A320-214 perked my curiosity most! But really awesome shots you took at the academy!

Yes, it was a great trip. The cool and rainy weather was a bit annoying, though.

Quoting RvXKaz (Reply 41):
Glad that your meals tasted good in general and the tentacles weren't as nasty as they look.

  

Quoting ronerone (Reply 42):
Congratulations on yet another great report! It was the best way to fight my extremely rough jet-lag

Hi Roni, many thanks for your nice words! I guess we can soon expect to read the first part of another amazing series?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 42):
However, clearly it seems that Aegean has the hardware while Olympic gets the software. And in my books software always gets a higher weighting

I agree with that.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 42):
Have you flown RJ before?

No, but I really want to try it one day. However, I'm not keen on a narrowbody flight from FRA or MUC.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 42):
And do not mess with Lufthansa! I'm dead serious

That's true.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 42):
I quite like this livery! I doubt i will ever see this one in the UAE though

Who knows?

Quoting ronerone (Reply 42):
Those are some ugly seats!

  

Quoting ronerone (Reply 42):
Oh man! I am just dying to get on this!

The question is how long this airline will survive. Just recently the plans to acquire two former GF A343s were canceled.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 42):
. These A340's seem to be parked at aerobridge stands. So is this 'terminal' where they are all parked not in use or something? Seems like a lot of aerobridges put to waste otherwise.

I'm not sure whether it's an actively used terminal. But it seems the aerobridges weren't attached to the planes.

Quoting ronerone (Reply 42):

I still do not think octopus is a meal to be offered in-flight. Perhaps it can work if there was an option to choose from, but not as a standard offer.

  

Quoting ronerone (Reply 42):
Many thanks for sharing this with us! Looking forward to more!

Lots of stuff to follow!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 43):
Yet another amazing read - guaranteed "PH-quality". I enjoyed every minute of it!

Hi 717Flyer, thanks a lot for your feedback! I'm glad you enjoyed reading.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 43):
I guess you should then rely on the service (+1 to OA) and the price you paid.

  

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 43):
May I ask what you paid for the flights?

See my PM.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 43):
I'd like to send that dish to Finnair so they could develop their new "deli" style catering further. They made a lot of fuss about launching a new modern catering concept which in most of the cases means no free food on short flights and then some tasteless vacuum-packed sandwiches on longer European flights.

That sounds really bad. AY used to impress with its catering on European flights.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 43):
I just said that the new XQ livery looks smashing. But that piece of cake...
No words to describe it.

Well, it looked better than it tasted...

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 43):
Thanks! The DXB-IST flight I experienced on that bird actually remains one of the best flights ever and made me promise to fly TK again at some stage.

Yes, must have been really nice to be on this relatively new A333 with TK's new interior.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 43):
So no wow impression this time?

Definitely not.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 43):
That's absolutely ridiculous! Not only should they be aware of what's happening in the terminal building and keep airport security at a good level - but they should also be VERY thankful that someone else is paying attention!

  

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 43):
I wonder if OA has ever heard about something called a headrest cover?

Good point.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 43):
It seems the crisis in Greece and EU hasn't taken away everything!

Not yet, fortunately.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 43):
Note to Finnair: on my latest flight with you it wasn't particularly nice to hear the smooth tunes while rotating and climbing

Music during takeoff? That's odd!

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 43):
So Greece carriers distribute candy before take off, but they offer eye candy all flight?

 

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 43):
2. You should thank Aegean for getting to know octopus better!

Well, I cannot deny that.

Quoting 717Flyer (Reply 43):
3. Greece is a country that is pretty much about sea food (and octopus for that matter). Alright, I find it a nice touch they are proud of their origin and serve something traditional. Just as P. said in his comment, I'd be covered in rage if Finnair would stop serving reindeer!
The best solution would be to have one "international choice" and one "local choice". Kudos to TK for doing that! (I really enjoyed the Turkish dishes they served).

Yes, there should be a choice.

Quoting Departurex (Reply 44):
nice to read your already mentioned report about Sun Express. The whole report was great and very interesting. A really nice combination of three interesting airlines - I would join that routing immediately

Thanks for your comments, Departurex!

Quoting Departurex (Reply 44):
too sad that this nice charter airline went bankrupt only one month after I flew with them . The meal can be seen here (posted all down as user "Alex"):

That looks quite good, thanks for the link. At least you were able to try this airline.

Quoting Departurex (Reply 44):

I had that new version of Airshow on one of my recent Condor flights too. Really a nice improvement to the older airshow versions!

  

Quoting Departurex (Reply 44):
Such a nice meal In Economy on that short flight - almost unbelievable those days!

Yes, hopefully OA won't cut down.

Quoting Departurex (Reply 44):
I hope they even had another choice of main dish in the first rows. Because only offering octopus to all passengers might be quite a risk!

I guess they ran out of the alternative, but who knows.

Quoting FlyKev (Reply 45):
Hi PlaneHunter. Thanks for taking the time to share your recent trip with us; it looks like you had a great time and some good flights and the photos were great too.
Quoting FlyKev (Reply 45):
Thanks for the entertaining read and I look forward to your next report,

Hi Kev, thanks for your feedback! Good to hear you liked it.

Quoting FlyKev (Reply 45):
Must admit, I'm not entirely sure on the octopus being served as a meal option on-board a plane; certainly one of the strangest options I have seen - how does it rank compared to the man airline meals you have consumed?

Well, it doesn't rank very high on the list...

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 46):
Hello PH. I read your report last week and have been meaning to post a comment. I really enjoyed it plus your pics (and those of Satchmo's) are their usual excellent quality!

Hi Palmjet, thanks a lot!

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 46):
I was interested to read about your security situation in Turkey. Seems pretty shambolic to me, especially as you say, Turkey has had its fair share of security related issues in recent times. I had a similar experience in Rome (Ciampino) in 2006, although before security turned up, the owner of the bag returned to claim it - this was less than 12 months after the London bombs in 2005 so people on this London bound flight were naturally concerned about the abandoned bag. If only I could have spoken some harsh words to the owner (who turned out to be Italian) - it beggars belief how in this day and age, with all the security announcements that get made about unattended luggage, that some people still leave their bag and go off wandering!!

Yes, such a behavior is absolutely crazy.

Quoting Palmjet (Reply 46):
Nice pics from IST as well - shame the weather was not kinder to you. Looked brilliant in MUC though for your departure.

Oh, it was indeed brilliant - and it didn't change in the next few days. The sun kept shining in Bavaria, while it kept raining in Istanbul...


PH

[Edited 2011-09-04 09:04:29]

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: IL62Mdakar
Posted 2011-09-04 09:44:49 and read 14065 times.

Thanks for the nice report.

Is the balcony in the mall accessibly to everyone? What about security and police if you spend hours there taking photos.

I read about the academy building before but never heard of the mall. Did it open only recently


It somehow looks to good to be true.

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: mxp
Posted 2011-09-04 12:09:49 and read 14003 times.

Hi PH
thanx for this new trip report. Like all yours i enjoy every sentences of it
Just a question about spotting: how is airside in the airport, it is possible or due to every gate having his own security it is difficult?
And im interested also regarding the mall
thanx
Alberto

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: ROGERBCN
Posted 2011-09-04 12:34:51 and read 13994 times.

Hola PH!

Great TR as usual.

I love reading your impressions on all those carriers.

I was most impressed by both caterings on Greek airlines.... The OA one is what you would get in C in Spanish carriers, at least that is what I got on IB 'Pont Aeri' BCN-MAD route, The one on A3 seemed pretty adventurous to me, I do not think many Central or Northern Europeans would like to see something like octopus 35,000 feet from the ground.

Nice to see as well that both carriers had nice crews and the new 3D airshows.

Pretty good trips despite the weather. Thanks God you soon reached back sunny Bavaria  

Salut!

Roger

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-09-07 09:50:18 and read 13644 times.

Quoting IL62Mdakar (Reply 48):
Thanks for the nice report.

Thanks for your comments!

Quoting IL62Mdakar (Reply 48):
Is the balcony in the mall accessibly to everyone? What about security and police if you spend hours there taking photos.

Yes, it's a public area. We didn't face any problems.

Quoting IL62Mdakar (Reply 48):
I read about the academy building before but never heard of the mall. Did it open only recently

No, I don't think so.

Quoting IL62Mdakar (Reply 48):

It somehow looks to good to be true.

Well, it's still recommended to be discrete.

Quoting mxp (Reply 49):
Hi PH
thanx for this new trip report. Like all yours i enjoy every sentences of it

Buongiorno Alberto, many thanks for your nice comments! I'm glad you enjoy my reports.

Quoting mxp (Reply 49):
Just a question about spotting: how is airside in the airport, it is possible or due to every gate having his own security it is difficult?

There are some accessible areas where you can take picures.

Quoting mxp (Reply 49):
And im interested also regarding the mall

It's accessible for everyone, a great place for spotting.

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 50):
Hola PH!

Great TR as usual.

I love reading your impressions on all those carriers.

Hola Roger, many thanks, good to hear from you!

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 50):
The one on A3 seemed pretty adventurous to me, I do not think many Central or Northern Europeans would like to see something like octopus 35,000 feet from the ground.

  

Quoting ROGERBCN (Reply 50):
Pretty good trips despite the weather. Thanks God you soon reached back sunny Bavaria

Well, the sun disappeared soon in Bavaria...  




PH

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: Lufthansa747
Posted 2011-09-07 14:28:04 and read 13553 times.

Great stuff PH as always!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
Would be interesting to see what TK serves between IST and ATH.

Since you asked... Same as any euro flight. MK_INT_IST_YC_HM1 or HM2.  In other words the same hot meal you get on any euro flight. Minced beef with eggplant or vegetarian pasta, or minced beef and chicken breast with rice or vegetarian pasta. The menu says "Who's in the kitchen today?", I'd rather ask ask "who was in the kitchen 3 years ago?". Nice food but it's either of those 2 menus every single time, and I have 148k status miles this year.

Regards,

Lari

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: nipoel123
Posted 2011-09-08 00:44:12 and read 13464 times.

Hi PH,

I've started to scan the threadstarter list in the TR section for your username, as your TRs are such a joy to read!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 2):
Expect a series about a rather crazy long-haul trip...

Can't wait...

Nick

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-09-10 03:49:04 and read 13198 times.

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 52):
Great stuff PH as always!

Thanks, Lari!

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 52):
In other words the same hot meal you get on any euro flight. Minced beef with eggplant or vegetarian pasta, or minced beef and chicken breast with rice or vegetarian pasta.

Sounds very good...

Quoting Lufthansa747 (Reply 52):
Nice food but it's either of those 2 menus every single time, and I have 148k status miles this year.

...but some variety would be nice indeed for frequent flyers.

Quoting nipoel123 (Reply 53):
I've started to scan the threadstarter list in the TR section for your username, as your TRs are such a joy to read!

Hi Nick, many thanks for your comments! I'm glad you enjoy my reports!


PH

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: LXM83
Posted 2011-09-11 13:28:40 and read 13022 times.

Hi PlaneHunter

Thanks for your report. Nice comparison of OA and A3. I continue to be amazed about the nice OA service. Never flown them myself, but they always seem to get great reviews.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Two more Hellenic Imperial Boeing 747-200s and the rest of the former Olympic Airlines A340-300 fleet:

I wonder why they are parked on a satellite with passenger boarding bridges!

Best regards,
LXM83

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: EuroWings
Posted 2011-09-11 14:13:38 and read 12999 times.

Hello PlaneHunter,

Superb report with fantastic pictures.

It's nice that you made the comparison between OA and A3. Although, I haven't flown on the new OA, I have tried out A3 when they flew STN-ATH a few years ago. I was rather impressed actually, since the fare was very reasonable at the time (around the same price as EZY from LGW). If I remember correctly, they served a fairly good lamb dish. The cabin crew were efficient managing about 3 or 4 drinks rounds, pleasant but not overly friendly.

I wouldn't have minded trying the octopus actually!

Thanks
EuroWings

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: infodesk
Posted 2011-09-12 02:41:02 and read 12910 times.

Hi PH,

An enjoyable read. It seems the greek carriers are offering a good service - the seats do look very worn on Olympic but your good meal made up for it. I'm surprised at Aegean offering octopus, quite exotic and probably not to everyone's liking.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Here's my dessert - raspberry chocolate cake

Mmm, mouthwatering!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Metaxa

I thought that was a drink  
Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
Yes, sleeveless dresses again - those seem to be popular among Greek carriers. Here's a close-up:

I personally think something with a little sleeve looks that bit more professional. I mean, can you imagine check-in agents in sleeveless tops?

Your rucksack story is quite alarming. I am always grateful for hints from passengers about suspect baggage and never hesitate in contacting the police. However, I've lost count of the number of time passengers, mainly from the Balkan countries, simply leave things lying around, go off and have a coffee and wonder why the police have removed the offending item.

Happy flying
Infodesk   

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: tk747
Posted 2011-09-15 03:55:59 and read 12676 times.

Great trip report as always  .

That is great that both airlines offer complimentary meals its a shame to think that this is now so rare in Europe.

I didn't know about that place to spot in Istanbul I will definitely pay it a visit when I am there next.

TK747

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: nkops
Posted 2011-09-15 06:34:51 and read 12637 times.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
many passengers started clapping...

That drives me nuts for some reason, especially on a routine flight..

very nice report though!!

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: N1120A
Posted 2011-09-19 11:30:06 and read 12235 times.

I wish A3 would serve something other than beef or lamb on a flight I have with them. Since I don't eat red meat and since Aegean are awful at catering special meals, I'm often stuck with bread and dessert.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Thread starter):
It tasted okay, but I'd have preferred a Greek beer.

Have you had Mythos or Alfa? If so, I think you'd be happy not to have Greek beer  

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-09-20 06:04:25 and read 12090 times.

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 55):
Thanks for your report. Nice comparison of OA and A3.

Hi LXM83, thanks for your comments!

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 55):
Never flown them myself, but they always seem to get great reviews.

Hopefully they will keep up that service level.

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 55):
I wonder why they are parked on a satellite with passenger boarding bridges!

It seems the aerobridges weren't attached to the planes - and I'm not sure whether that building is used for regular operations.

Quoting EuroWings (Reply 56):

Superb report with fantastic pictures.

Many thanks, EuroWings!

Quoting EuroWings (Reply 56):
If I remember correctly, they served a fairly good lamb dish.

Sounds good!

Quoting EuroWings (Reply 56):
I wouldn't have minded trying the octopus actually!

I wouldn't have minded about getting lamb instead of octopus...  

Quoting infodesk (Reply 57):
An enjoyable read.

Hi Infodesk, thanks for your feedback!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 57):
I mean, can you imagine check-in agents in sleeveless tops?

Yes, absolutely!  

Quoting infodesk (Reply 57):
However, I've lost count of the number of time passengers, mainly from the Balkan countries, simply leave things lying around, go off and have a coffee and wonder why the police have removed the offending item.

Unbelievable - I'm wondering where that attitude comes from.

Quoting tk747 (Reply 58):
Great trip report as always

Thanks a lot, tk747!

Quoting tk747 (Reply 58):
I didn't know about that place to spot in Istanbul I will definitely pay it a visit when I am there next.

Yes, I'm sure you'll like that place.

Quoting nkops (Reply 59):

very nice report though!!

Thanks, nkops!

Quoting N1120A (Reply 60):
Since I don't eat red meat and since Aegean are awful at catering special meals, I'm often stuck with bread and dessert.

That sounds quite bad.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 60):
Have you had Mythos or Alfa? If so, I think you'd be happy not to have Greek beer

I have never had those - and I would still try them, despite your warning.  




PH

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: lewis
Posted 2011-09-20 18:14:27 and read 11990 times.

Cool trip report. I was always happy with Aegean, never saw anything bad about them. I have only flown OA domestic on a very short leg.

Was surprised about the octopus, usually they offer something more "generic". I am a fan of grilled octopus but I hate the cooked version, with sauce etc.

Quoting N1120A (Reply 60):
Have you had Mythos or Alfa? If so, I think you'd be happy not to have Greek beer

Both not bad, but nothing special, can't see the difference between them and Heineken for example. On the other hand, Fix Beer has made a comeback and it is quite good with a distinct flavor!

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-09-29 09:54:33 and read 11459 times.

Quoting lewis (Reply 62):
Cool trip report.

Thanks for your comments, lewis!

Quoting lewis (Reply 62):
Was surprised about the octopus, usually they offer something more "generic". I am a fan of grilled octopus but I hate the cooked version, with sauce etc.

Probably I should try grilled octopus one day.

Quoting lewis (Reply 62):

Both not bad, but nothing special, can't see the difference between them and Heineken for example. On the other hand, Fix Beer has made a comeback and it is quite good with a distinct flavor!

I'd definitely try all these Greek beers.


PH

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: 777way
Posted 2011-10-05 20:21:15 and read 11030 times.

Octopus meal thats a first, very nice report and pics. BTW why are the OA A340s gated?

Quoting SPLTA (Reply 26):
Never seen sleevless FA's uniforms before, but I got to say I like them.[/quote]

It was fairly popular back in 60s and 70s with a few airlines.

[Edited 2011-10-05 20:32:41]

Topic: RE: Greek Quality: Aegean, Olympic & Istanbul Spotting
Username: PlaneHunter
Posted 2011-10-07 11:45:53 and read 10857 times.

Quoting 777way (Reply 64):
Octopus meal thats a first, very nice report and pics.

Hi 777way, thanks for your feedback! I hadn't seen an airline meal with octopus before that trip either.

Quoting 777way (Reply 64):
BTW why are the OA A340s gated?

The jetways aren't attached to the planes, the building seems to be unused.


PH

[Edited 2011-10-07 11:46:22]


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