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Aegean & Air Berlin: ATH-DUS-JFK W/pics  
User currently offlineSKYYBLUE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 13196 times:

After my wonderful time exploring Athens and Santorini, it was time to head back to New York City. After spending a long night on the floor, I freshened up and made my way to check-in. The staff was very friendly and helpful. Boarding started on-time and I was greeted by another very friendly cabin crew.




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Photo © Holger Frank



Flight: A3 840 ATH-DUS
Actual Departure: 1005
Actual Arrival: 1152
Flight Duration: 2h, 47m
Aircraft: A320
Registration: SX-DVK

My bed for the night  Smile

SX-DVK

The crew passed out boarding mints, the safety video played in the Greek/English combo and again in German and then we were on our way.

Adios Athina  crying 





Spiros Olympic Stadium

The seatbelt sign was soon turned off and the service began. I was very surprised to smell hot bread as the trolley passed by. First came the drink trolly and then came the big surprise, a hot breakfast tray! I was expecting this on my JFK-ATH flight, not my ATH-DUS segment.

The bacon was delicious, bread was hot, and the Greek yogurt with honey was a great "dessert". The eggs were a little on the tough side, but it was still a HOT breakfast! The flight attendants even came down the aisle offering more hot bread. Coffee and tea was offered more than once after the initial service. Impressive for a 2.5 hour flight.

After garbage collection, the crew came down selling Duty Free. The flight was full of German tourists and this crew worked hard -with a smile- the entire flight.






The Air Berlin transfer desk was conveniently located across from my gate. I got my boarding pass and made my way to passport control. The guy gave me a hard time about my Greece entry "stamp" which I didn't notice was barely visible. Made my way over to the gate and boarding started about 30 minutes later.

On the way to my gate, Iberia A319

Iberia 319 and Air France baby bus 318 in the background.

Air Berlin A330-200




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Photo © Stefan Sonnenberg



Flight: AB 3550 DUS-JFK
Actual Departure: 1341
Actual Arrival: 1522
Flight Duration: 7h, 41m
Aircraft: A330-200
Registration: D-ALPB

This flight was booked to about 90%. Thankfully, I was able to get the last aisle seat. The flight attendants of Air Berlin were another polished group. Not one looked frumpy or miserable. In fact, the most beautiful female flight attendant I've ever seen in my life was on this flight! Anyway, after take off the flight attendants came down the aisle selling headsets. I was a little surprised by this although not a big deal to me as I had my own. The legroom was average but the seats were above average in comfort. The only thing I didn't like about the plane was the lav setup. It looked like AB removed the rear lavs and bunched them together with the lavs at L3/R3. This made the bulkhead seats at L3/R3 undesirable because people were always standing there waiting in a line, therefore blocking the overhead/wall screens.

Boarding

Service started soon after level off. By the time the trolleys got to my section there was only one selection left, Swedish meatballs with mashed potatos, carrot salad, crackers and a wedge of cheese encrusted with herbs. Everything was delicious and the meal hit the spot. Liquor was complimentary with the meal service only so I enjoyed a glass of red. Air Berlin also offers a "Gourmet Menu" selection for sale in the coach cabin.



I was exhausted -and stuffed- so I settled back and watched "Friends" on the overhead screen which put me to sleep in no time! When I woke up we were being served again. This time we had yogurt and a delicious Pita stuffed with meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato. Another great meal.

Pre-Arrival Snack

I went to sleep again and didn't wake up until the wheels hit the ground at JFK. We deplaned in AA's beautiful new T8 and I quickly cleared customs and was on my way home. The end of a wonderful holiday in Greece. Thanks for reading and all comments are welcome.

17 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineAkhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2500 posts, RR: 53
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 12953 times:

Hi again,

Nice trip report and great pics! I especially like the photo of the reflection on the tarmac.

A3 seems a good airline offering decent products. Hot meal for breakfast becomes rarity in Y on intra European flights.

AB's intercontinental Y does not look bad at all.

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Thread starter):
After spending a long night on the floor,

Are you serious? How was your experience? Were there any other passengers doing the same?

Thank you for sharing.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8596 posts, RR: 54
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 12650 times:
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Hi,

Another nice journey on 2 not too reported carriers.

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Thread starter):
bed for the night

- Only done that a couple of times but always found a chair or bench.

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Thread starter):
I was very surprised to smell hot bread as the trolley passed by. First came the drink trolly and then came the big surprise, a hot breakfast tray! I was expecting this on my JFK-ATH flight, not my ATH-DUS segment.

- Nice, but it is almost a 3 hour flight so I'd kind of expect a decent breakfast.

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Thread starter):
Swedish meatballs with mashed potatos, carrot salad, crackers and a wedge of cheese encrusted with herbs

- Not bad, seen much worse meals on 'majors'.

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Thread starter):
Air Berlin also offers a "Gourmet Menu" selection for sale in the coach cabin

- What is this, upgraded meals?

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Thread starter):
This time we had yogurt and a delicious Pita stuffed with meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato. Another great meal.

- Sounds great!

Quite impressed with AB here, how much cheaper were they than say LH?

Regards

Mark



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlineSKYYBLUE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 12343 times:



Quoting Akhmad (Reply 1):
Nice trip report and great pics! I especially like the photo of the reflection on the tarmac.

Thank you very much the feedback is always appreciated!

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 1):
A3 seems a good airline offering decent products. Hot meal for breakfast becomes rarity in Y on intra European flights.

A3 is one of the best airlines out there in my opinion. The service was amazing, planes shiny and new, and the staff goes above and beyond.

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 1):
AB's intercontinental Y does not look bad at all.

Not bad at all. They offer a good "core" product and then if you'd like to "upgrade" your experience, you pay extra (i.e. liquor when its not meal time, headsets, gourmet meal).

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 1):

Are you serious? How was your experience? Were there any other passengers doing the same?

Well, Athens is a very beautiful and comfortable airport. I was one of probably a hundred people sleeping in the terminal that night. All the affordable airport hotels were booked solid. Only the Sofitel had rooms...for 250 EU, no thank you. I walked to the farthest, darkest corner I could find and set up my "bed" for the night...five minutes later come a group of ten loud teens. They fell asleep faster than I did so they weren't a big bother.

Quoting Akhmad (Reply 1):
Thank you for sharing.

Thanks for the feedback!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 2):
- Nice, but it is almost a 3 hour flight so I'd kind of expect a decent breakfast.

Well it was a huge surprise to me.  Smile

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 2):
- What is this, upgraded meals?

Yes. Prepared by a famous chef from a famous restaurant. Selections included Thai Chicken with Noodles, Vegetable Curry, Stir-Fry, Lamb IIRC, looked great but the complimentary meals hit the spot.

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 2):

Quite impressed with AB here, how much cheaper were they than say LH?

ATH-JFK on LH was about $1,500+ and AB was only $600. I wanted to fly on LH to get on a 744 but that was not an option. Air Berlin turned out to be a great choice and I will definitely consider them for my planned trip to Germany next year.


**Side note** I forgot to ask this in my TR. Does anyone know why there are no individual air vents on Air Berlin's 332's? The cabin did stay cool and I didn't have a problem, but I found that very odd. Never seen any airliner with no individual air vents.


User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 12308 times:

Hi there,

Fantastic report with great pictures, I enjoyed reading and watching!

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Thread starter):
First came the drink trolly and then came the big surprise, a hot breakfast tray!

Not bad, I wouldn't expect a hot breakfast on such a rather short flight either.

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Thread starter):
and this crew worked hard -with a smile- the entire flight.

Good to read that. A3 seems to be a great airline.

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Thread starter):
The guy gave me a hard time about my Greece entry "stamp" which I didn't notice was barely visible.

Some of the Federal Border Guard dudes in DUS are morons. I remember one guy who swiped my ID card approx. 10 times through his computer with integrated passport reader but my data didn't appear on his screen. I told him then that it would be a great idea to enter my ID card number number manually because I didn't want to miss my flight. He replied then: "Don't tell me how I have to do my job!". I didn't want to discuss with him so I let him do... in the end he entered my ID number manually.  Yeah sure

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Thread starter):
Swedish meatballs with mashed potatos, carrot salad, crackers and a wedge of cheese encrusted with herbs.



Quoting SKYYBLUE (Thread starter):
Pita stuffed with meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato. Another great meal.

These meals are looking great, I had never expected that from Air Berlin.

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Thread starter):
Liquor was complimentary with the meal service only

At least you get booze for free with the meals.

Patrick


User currently offlineBA319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8596 posts, RR: 54
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 12300 times:
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Quoting SKYYBLUE (Reply 3):
ATH-JFK on LH was about $1,500+ and AB was only $600



- That's quite a difference, looks like service was not that far off of LH anyway - free booze throught the fight apart!

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Reply 3):
**Side note** I forgot to ask this in my TR. Does anyone know why there are no individual air vents on Air Berlin's 332's? The cabin did stay cool and I didn't have a problem, but I found that very odd. Never seen any airliner with no individual air vents.

- I've been on a few planes over they years without vents, though the specific ones don't come to mind at the moment.



111,732,3,4,5,7,8,BBJ,741,742,743,744,752,762,763,764,772,77L,773,77W,L15,D10,30,40,AB3,AB6,A312.313,319,320,321,332,333
User currently offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6945 posts, RR: 77
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 12154 times:

Another interesting review, good to see an AB long-haul report.

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Thread starter):
The bacon was delicious, bread was hot, and the Greek yogurt with honey was a great "dessert". The eggs were a little on the tough side, but it was still a HOT breakfast! The flight attendants even came down the aisle offering more hot bread. Coffee and tea was offered more than once after the initial service. Impressive for a 2.5 hour flight.

Good stuff, nice idea to include such a kind of yogurt.

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Thread starter):
Anyway, after take off the flight attendants came down the aisle selling headsets.

These should be free of charge considering that it's not a typical holiday route.

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Thread starter):
By the time the trolleys got to my section there was only one selection left, Swedish meatballs with mashed potatos, carrot salad, crackers and a wedge of cheese encrusted with herbs. Everything was delicious and the meal hit the spot. Liquor was complimentary with the meal service only so I enjoyed a glass of red.

Looks quite good - a bit different from the usual long-haul catering.

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Thread starter):
. This time we had yogurt and a delicious Pita stuffed with meat, cheese, lettuce and tomato. Another great meal.

Another good idea to offer a Pita.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 4):
I told him then that it would be a great idea to enter my ID card number number manually because I didn't want to miss my flight. He replied then: "Don't tell me how I have to do my job!". I didn't want to discuss with him so I let him do... in the end he entered my ID number manually.

How ridiculous...  Yeah sure


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlineGjunnar From Germany, joined Sep 2001, 155 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 11959 times:

Great report!
Did you book the A3 and AB flights together? A3 as a Star Alliance member would be expected to cooperate with LH, right?


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5186 posts, RR: 55
Reply 8, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 11903 times:

Hey, SKYYBLUE,

good idea to connect A3 and AB. Interesting routing and report.
Away from the usual big hub airlines.

SX-DVK is also covered here during its early days on the MUC-ATH route and I agree, its
also one of my fav airlines.

Greetings,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineVHSMM From Australia, joined Jul 2008, 133 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 10 hours ago) and read 11574 times:



Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 8):
In fact, the most beautiful female flight attendant I've ever seen in my life

Please feel free to share a photo!



Flown: 727,737,747,757,767,777,DC9,DC10,A300,A319,20,21,A330,A340,A380,CRJ-200,BAe146,AVRO100,Saab340B,MD82,F100,Dash8
User currently offlineLewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3679 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 9 hours ago) and read 11543 times:



Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 4):
Not bad, I wouldn't expect a hot breakfast on such a rather short flight either.

I flew ATH-MUC-ATH for many weeks in a row for work. Sometimes my morning flights were A3 with a good hot breakfast. Lufthansa's breakfast was not bad, but it was just 2 pieces of cheese with a bit of ham. A3's breakfast was definately better.


User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6676 posts, RR: 55
Reply 11, posted (5 years 2 months 3 weeks 6 hours ago) and read 11384 times:

Excellent report! Interesting to hear about two lesser known airlines.

Too bad you had to sleep on the fleer at the airport in Athens......

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlineSKYYBLUE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 10931 times:



Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 4):
Fantastic report with great pictures, I enjoyed reading and watching!

Thank you for reading and commenting, I love feedback.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 4):
Some of the Federal Border Guard dudes in DUS are morons

Not only was this guy a moron, but he didn't speak English well. That should be a requirement at any large international airport. I kept having to ask him to repeat which ticked him off even more. He was a total jerk.

Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 4):

These meals are looking great, I had never expected that from Air Berlin.

Neither did I!

Quoting BA319-131 (Reply 5):
That's quite a difference, looks like service was not that far off of LH anyway - free booze throught the fight apart!

Hoping to try LH by next year!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 6):
Another interesting review, good to see an AB long-haul report.

Thanks for commenting again!

Quoting Gjunnar (Reply 7):
Great report!
Did you book the A3 and AB flights together? A3 as a Star Alliance member would be expected to cooperate with LH, right?

I booked last minute via Expedia.com I was actually given a choice for the same price. OA/LH or A3/AB. Since I'd never flown - or even heard of - Air Berlin, I chose that one.

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 8):
Hey, SKYYBLUE,

good idea to connect A3 and AB. Interesting routing and report.
Away from the usual big hub airlines.

Yes, connecting through DUS was a breeze. I didn't even have to go through security again which was a major plus.

Quoting The777Man (Reply 11):
Excellent report! Interesting to hear about two lesser known airlines.

Too bad you had to sleep on the fleer at the airport in Athens......

Sleeping on the floor in an airport is something I hope to never experience again. Thank you for the feedback.


User currently offlineOA260 From Ireland, joined Nov 2006, 27342 posts, RR: 60
Reply 13, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 5 days 2 hours ago) and read 10898 times:

Hey a nice end to your trip. Nice photos and also a rare insight into Air Berlin.

Time to plan your next trip to ATH !! Those photos have made me a bit home sick and I want to go to see my family very soon.

OA260


User currently offlineSabena332 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days 2 hours ago) and read 10595 times:



Quoting SKYYBLUE (Reply 12):
Not only was this guy a moron, but he didn't speak English well.

Pretty common for German cops in general. Do not start to laugh when one of them approches you at a German airport and babbles something like: "I vant to zee zhe passport and zerch zhe sutkase". Big grin

Quoting SKYYBLUE (Reply 12):
That should be a requirement at any large international airport.

I agree absolutely! Not only cops who work at an airport should speak fluent English but also every other cop in this country. The knowledge of the English language should be a basic requirement when applying for a job as a police or customs officer in this country.

Patrick


User currently offlineTaichen From Spain, joined Jul 2001, 219 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 4 days ago) and read 10548 times:

Nice report ! Yep, A3 seems impressive nowadays ... strongly remeber me of the breakfasts IB used to serve in European routes when it was still a full service carrier. As for AB, they seem OK but it is pretty lame to sell headsets. Still, these are the times we ought to live  Smile

User currently offlineLewis From Greece, joined Jul 1999, 3679 posts, RR: 5
Reply 16, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 12 hours ago) and read 10396 times:



Quoting Sabena332 (Reply 14):
Pretty common for German cops in general. Do not start to laugh when one of them approches you at a German airport and babbles something like: "I vant to zee zhe passport and zerch zhe sutkase".

I arrived in MUC every monday morning for the past ten weeks. I was well dressed (going straight to the office) and every single time I was pulled out of the passengers disembarking for passport check. I am curious to know how they 'profile' people, I ended up telling them to just print a photo of me and write "DO NOT CHECK AGAIN" and distribute it to all their staff. They laughed as well...


User currently offlineSKYYBLUE From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 17, posted (5 years 2 months 2 weeks 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 10279 times:



Quoting OA260 (Reply 13):
Time to plan your next trip to ATH !! Those photos have made me a bit home sick and I want to go to see my family very soon.

After my mom saw all the pics, she wants to go! Next time I'd like to spend more time so I can island hop!

Quoting Taichen (Reply 15):
Nice report ! Yep, A3 seems impressive nowadays ... strongly remeber me of the breakfasts IB used to serve in European routes when it was still a full service carrier. As for AB, they seem OK but it is pretty lame to sell headsets. Still, these are the times we ought to live

I thought so too, I even thought about sporting my blue 'OA' headsets but I slept instead :P


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