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Africa 6: LX ZRH-ATH, A3 ATH-LCA. A Greek Tragedy  
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Posted (2 years 8 months 15 hours ago) and read 10444 times:

Africa 6: LX ZRH-AND CURRENT: Athens - Eleftherios Venizelos (Spata) (ATH / LGAV), Greece">ATH, A3 AND CURRENT: Athens - Eleftherios Venizelos (Spata) (ATH / LGAV), Greece">ATH-LCA, Business Class

Hi everyone,

Welcome to part 6 of my Africa trips. This report will cover my flights from Zurich to Athens with Swiss, and Athens to Larnaca with Aegean, both in Business class.

This report’s map:
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/mapzrhlca.gif

The previous reports:

Africa Part 1: BD LHR-CMN, TP CMN-LIS, SN LIS-BRU in Y and C
Africa Part 2: SN BRU-BJM, SA BJM-KGL, Business to Burundi and Rwanda
Africa Part 3: ET KGL-EBB-ADD-DAR-ZNZ, A to Z with Ethiopian Airlines in C
Africa Part 4: Fly 540 DAR-ZNZ in Y
Africa Part 5: Dar es Salaam – Nairobi – Zurich with Swiss First

The final report, up soon:

Africa 7: Larnaca-London with British Airways 767 in Business

I’ll pick up where I left off last time, in a frozen Zurich, heading back to the airport.
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I got back to ZRH with over 2 hours to go before my flight to Athens. I headed up to the observation deck above the new pier.
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I hadn’t realised that you had to pay to get out to the deck. Given the very low temperature (about -15C), and the fact that there didn’t look like there was much happening, I decided not to pay, and instead headed for security.
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What a lovely building
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I headed off to check out the Senator lounge which I hadn’t seen before…wasn’t too interesting, so I walked up and over though the Smokers lounge, and back into the Business lounge (it’s an interesting layout – you can go round and round in circles), before finding a member of staff to open the door to the First Class lounge.
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I decided to have a quick snack before going to meet Infodesk on one of her breaks.
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I headed off to meet Infodesk via the proper entrance
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After a nice, albeit brief, chat with Infodesk, I headed back to the lounge for lunch before my flight. There is a proper dining area with waiting staff. However, there are only 8 tables so at peak times there isn’t much space. Indeed, I had to sit at the bar. I think they could do with expanding this area. I asked if they had any of the nice champagne they had onboard, but they didn’t – can’t remember what this is, but it didn’t taste as nice.
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There was a short but interesting menu for lunch. I decided to start with the prawns and cucumber.
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And follow with the club sandwich. Both were pretty tasty. It was the first time for me to ever have any proper preflight dining in a lounge.
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I finished off with some tea and dessert in a quieter side room with some views of the tarmac
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A slight delay for the AND CURRENT: Athens - Eleftherios Venizelos (Spata) (ATH / LGAV), Greece">ATH flight. NCE has been delayed from 1250 to…1250
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Nice artwork
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Half an hour before departure, I left the lounge, and headed for the gate
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There were a lot of people having around the gate, with the line blocking the corridor quite successfully – the flight looked pretty full. Boarding started at 1245. There was no priority line, so I just went up to the desk with a few other people and we were scanned on. When did LX/LH stop doing any form of priority boarding?

February 2012
Zurich (ZRH) – Athens (AND CURRENT: Athens - Eleftherios Venizelos (Spata) (ATH / LGAV), Greece">ATH)
Swiss LX 1838
Scheduled: 1255-1635 (2h40m)
Actual: 1325-1644 (2h19m)
Airbus A320 HB-JLP
Business



There were just 3 rows of business on this flight, with 8 people. I was lucky enough to have an empty seat next to me. Economy seemed totally full.
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As the Finn says, you can’t have a report without a 717
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A welcome drink and towel
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And a paper
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It hasn’t warmed up much
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Outside scenes
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We finally took off some 30 minutes late
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A queue for LX longhual
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Some lovely winter Alp scenes
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Reasonable legroom
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A nice picture of the world’s 6th smallest country (I’m pretty chuffed I recognised it from the air – I’m the geography king!). Liechtenstein actually only takes up around 10% of the photo. The bottom left up to near the shiny river is Austria, and right of the big river is Switzerland. Only the small hill in the middle is in Liechtenstein.
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The Y class trolley makes an appearance


Shortly, I’m offered a drink. A G&T and a water will do nicely
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I smell something tasty – my dinner? No, it’s the hot meal served in Y – looks good
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A few minutes later I’m handed a tray with bread, salad, cheese and dessert
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I’m then offered a choice of two meals, one meat, one veg. I go with the meat which is acceptable.
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Over Austria, then Slovenia
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The meal was tasty, but I’m glad I had something proper in the lounge beforehand. I have a peppermint tea and some tasty Swiss chocolates afterwards
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Empty row
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I ask for some water, and am presented with a glass of sparkling, and two bottles of still. Very nice
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Continuing down the Balkans
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An hour or so after dinner, I decided to try the champagne. It’s not bad, but a serious comedown from the previous flight. Half way through the bottle, a passing steward from Y proactively picks up the bottle, and tops up my glass. He then carries on to the galley. On the way back, he tops up my water glass (unfortunately with still rather than sparkling), but the effort is appreciated anyway.
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Magazine


Unfortunately “Ich spreche kein Deutsch“ so i canna be a flight attendant


Safety card


Once again a shorthual flight trumps SN business class longhual offerings
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Not far from Athens now
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Doesn’t look very welcoming down there – not what I was expecting from Greece
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When we finally touch down ten minutes late, it’s drizzling
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I’m off the plane pretty quickly, and head down to the carousel
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I was hoping that my “First Class/HON” tags from Swiss would help my bags come out first, but alas, they came out about half way. So much for priority handling.
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I follow the signs towards the metro, picking up a city map on the way. The route I took (following the signs) made me do a big loop, before walking down an uncovered path to the trains station some 500 m from the terminal. Not very impressed with that. Luckily I get to the covered part again just before the heavens really open.
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After some fussing around to buy the correct ticket, I get on the train – nice and empty, but not for long as at the next stop the train fills right up with drenched commuters. I ended up squashed with most of my luggage on my lap.
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It’s the start of my Greek Tragedy….

I managed to struggle off the train at a very (very) busy metro station in central Athens. The previous two stations were closed (due to strikes?), but luckily not this one. I got up to ground level where I found it still pouring with rain. Should I wait and see if it stops, or just go? It was a 500 m walk to the hotel. I decided (thankfully correctly) to just walk. It wasn’t a nice walk. The pavements were very narrow/non existant, and often used for parking. All the gutters were overflowing, and there were rivers everywhere. Urgh. Finally made it to the hotel, and was given my room. Phew. http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/CIMG2317.jpg

By this time I was pretty drenched, and the lack of sleep the night before was catching up so all I wanted to do was climb into bed. I unpacked nearly all my stuff so it could dry, and started to get ready for bed. Meanwhile outside the rain had turned to hail and lightning. At almost the exact same moment, my ceiling started leaking (I was 2 floors from the top!), and water started coming under the balcony door. Feck it.
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Very reluctantly I trudged down to reception, and ended up moving all my stuff to a different room two floors down. Finally bed!

The next morning dawned bright and clear
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Unfortunately I couldn’t see it very well…during the night I appear to have been bitten by something. It looked like I’d gone a few rounds with Mike Tyson such was the reaction to the bite. As such, the first stop on my Athens sightseeing was a pharmacy. So, I’ve had biblical flooding, and awkward allergic reactions. What’s next? Well of it being 2012 in Greece of course it’s time for a strike (although thankfully no violence). With some very helpful translations of the Greek press by Widebodyroga (thank you so much!) I found out that not only was a lot of the public transport down (including the airport train) but every single tourist attraction in the city was shut. Is three tragedies enough? Not quite. My camera charger decided to take this morning to finally die on me, leaving me with precious little battery life in my camera. Thankfully, I still have my phone willing to help me out. Most of the rest of the photos are therefore phone ones.

One positive thing was that when I checked in for my evening flight on Aegean, the business class cabin seemed nice and empty.
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Well, with the rain gone, I might as well have a walk around the city. I was pleasantly surprised by the amount of stuff you can see without having to go inside anywhere. Maybe I’ll return to Athens once it’s been reincarnated as new South Deutschland or when the New Drachma is in operation.
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I hope the strikers found it worthwhile http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0205.jpg
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The gift shop will have to do rather than a museum
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I’m ashamed to say that this was actually the first time I’d ever eaten Greek food. Was very tasty. Below is a soutzoukakia, a tasty tomatoey kebab with chips, perfect for a cold wet day.
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As the trains weren’t running I ended getting a taxi to the airport. The hotel booked me one for EUR 40, which seemed reasonable. At least the taxi to the airport was a nice comfy Mercedes – the driver spoke some English too!
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I arrived at the quite nice terminal two hours before the flight. Three was no queue for the business class check in. the lady manning the desk asked if I was in business. Once confirmed she became a (little) bit more friendly, tagged my bags, gave me my boarding pass and issued a lounge voucher. The voucher was for the Olympic lounge. I asked about the location of the Lufthansa lounge, and the lady told me that’s it was in the Schengen area…aren’t I going to Schengen? Nope, to my surprise Cyprus is outside the Schengen zone. Interesting.


http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
31 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 1, posted (2 years 8 months 15 hours ago) and read 10515 times:

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FIDS
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I made my way through passport control, then down to the lounge. AND CURRENT: Athens - Eleftherios Venizelos (Spata) (ATH / LGAV), Greece">ATH splits Schengen and non-Schengen up right after check in, so no chance of checking out the other lounges. The only non-Schengen lounges are OA and BA. At the door was a guy trying to persuade the lounge agent to let him in %u2013 his documentation was a Y boarding card on TK and a Gold AF card%u2026. never going to happen. The agent was kind/poorly trained enough to make a few phone calls to the AF and TK desks to see if he was allowed in.


The lounge was fairly empty when I went in. I was pretty impressed with the lounge %u2013 some hot food, lots of snacks, and good drinks selection.
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I didn%u2019t know Tuborg made water?
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OA magazine


Despite there being quite a few empty tables, a loud Russian (?) guy came an sat at my table, and yapped away on his phone. Still feeling a bit under the weather (I still couldn%u2019t see properly) I %u2018helpfully%u2019 positioned this sign so he could see. Eventually he got the message and disappeared outside.


Half an hour before the flight I left the lounge and headed to the gate. There was a security check before I arrived thankfully there was no queue for the fast track. Unfortunately, there was no priority boarding (that I could see).
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0276.jpg

February 2012
Zurich (ZRH) %u2013 Athens (AND CURRENT: Athens - Eleftherios Venizelos (Spata) (ATH / LGAV), Greece">ATH)
Aegean A3 908
Scheduled: 1845-2030 (1h45m)
Actual: 1858-2010 (1h12m)
Airbus A320 SX-DVR
Business



This was my first time on Aegean, and I wasn%u2019t sure what to expect, not having done much research on them before hand so I was interested to see what would happen. The C cabin only had 4 people spread over 16 seats, so plenty of space. It turned out that the guy in the row in front of my was the ex-president of Cyprus (or something like that), my second political %u201Ccelebrity%u201D of the trip. Y seemed pretty full.

Good legroom
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0283.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0284.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0286.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0298.jpg

A boiled sweet before take off
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0287.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0285.jpg

A rainy tarmac
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0278.jpg


Ooh, nice surprise, a choice of pre departure drinks trumping BA/TP/SN/LX (business) and on par with ET/LX (first).


What%u2019s this? A menu?
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0300.jpg

AND a separate wine list? On a 1 hour flight? NOW I%u2019m impressed!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0302.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0305.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0307.jpg

With the glasses collected by the serious looking senior purser, we pushed back.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0310.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0312.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0315.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0317.jpg


Bad news
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0322.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0324.jpg

A nice hot towel
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0326.jpg

Table cloths
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0327.jpg

And also an extra cloth on the middle table!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0328.jpg

Jetting towards Cyprus
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0329.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0331.jpg

Very nice! The main course was really good, much better than the LX meal
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0333.jpg


More water and a G&T. as I was driving on arrival, I just had a half.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0335.jpg

Skirting around Turkey
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0337.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0338.jpg

Cabin
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0339.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0340.jpg

I didn%u2019t finish everything, but it was tasty.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0341.jpg

I folded my table away, not expecting anything else%u2026I%u2019d forgotten about dessert though! Table out again. Now this was really tasty, but the sugar overload was a bit too much so I just ate the fruit.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0342.jpg

Completely against my SOP, I ordered an espresso as I was falling asleep. The purser (who became much friendlier once up in the air) actually came around with a tray with another short of gin ready to go. I had to decline (unfortunately), but thumbs up to him. Really excellent service!


I%u2019m completely full


Agh, this flight is going so fast!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0344.jpg

A printed timetable


Safety card


Aegean magazine
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0349.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0350.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0352.jpg

Just over fifteen minutes til touchdown, a trolley with after dinner spirits was rolled out of the galley. I once again had to decline, and just took a few chocolates.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0354.jpg

Final approach
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0356.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0358.jpg


With the cabin secured, and lights off, we did a big loop over Larnaca, before landing
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0364.jpg
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http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0378.jpg

Seconds til touchdown


Welcome to Cyprus!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0384.jpg

I was a bit disappointed to see that we were given a remote gate given the terminal was almost completely deserted.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0386.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0388.jpg

As we disembarked, one of the other C pax asked if we would share a bus with the VIP. He was told no, there would be another bus for business passengers. I assumed that meant the normal bus with the economy passengers too. I was shocked when the doors shut and we headed off on the next bus with just the 3 of us! Four business class passengers, 2 full sized buses! Well done Aegean!
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0389.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0390.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0392.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0393.jpg

Immigration was understandably fast. By the time the bags appeared, the first of the Y pax were drifting down towards the carousel.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0395.jpg
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0397.jpg

I fear that MA flight will be permanently cancelled
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0398.jpg

I was picked up by a Budget Rent-a-car agent in the arrivals hall, and driven off to their depot. I finally made my way to a cheap (and not terribly cheerful) hotel for the night.
http://i129.photobucket.com/albums/p207/shefgab/africa4/IMAG0399.jpg


I%u2019ll leave this penultimate section here. The final part with my Cyprus photos and return flight on BA in Club Europe will be out soon!

Conclusion? Swiss business class was pretty good. Nothing overly exceptional, but nothing untoward either. Athens%u2026..well, aside for my four tragedies, the city seems nice%u2026.i%u2019ll give it a while before I return though. And finally, Aegean%u2026what a wonderful airline! I just couldn%u2019t believe the level of service and catering for a flight taking only just over an hour. I cannot wait for my next flight with then in C!

All comments and questions welcome!

Some of my other TRs:

Africa Part 5: Dar es Salaam %u2013 Nairobi %u2013 Zurich with Swiss First
Africa Part 4: Fly 540 DAR-ZNZ in Y, and Zanzibar photos
Africa Part 3: ET KGL-EBB-ADD-DAR-ZNZ, A to Z with Ethiopian Airlines in C
Africa Part 2: SN BRU-BJM, SA BJM-KGL, Business to Burundi and Rwanda
Africa Part 1: BD LHR-CMN, TP CMN-LIS, SN LIS-BRU in Y and C
A.net meeting in snowy Tallinn. U2/FR STN-TLL-LTN
easyJet and bmi up to Aberdeen, LTN-ABZ-LHR
The Costa del Sol with British Airways. LGW-AGP-LCY
Mysterious Moldova (and Transnistria). Lufthansa LHR-MUC-KIV
BA to the Austrian Alps. LHR-MUC, INN-LGW
I can't get no Jetisfaction: LH LGW-FRA inaugural
Colombia Part 4: Colombia to London via FRA/MUC/HEL on LH & BA
Colombia Part 3: Colombia with Avianca (AV). SMR-BOG-MDE-BOG
Colombia Part 2: Colombia with Avianca (AV). BOG-MDE-CTG
Colombia Part 1: London to Colombia via ARN/MUC/FRA on BA & LH
USA and Mexico Part 4, British Airways Mexico City %u2013 London, World Traveller Plus
USA and Mexico Part 3: Around Mexico with Aereo Calafia Cessna 208B & Viva Aerobus B733
USA and Mexico Part 2: Sightseeing tour of San Diego Airport, and American Airlines San Diego - LA %u2013 Dallas - San Jose Cabo
USA and Mexico Part 1: easyJet Luton to Paris, and BA Paris to San Diego via LHR in World Traveller Plus
British Airways to Scandinavia (LHR-CPH,GOT-LHR)
Where%u2019s my bag? British Airways, Milan to London
What airline am I flying again? Bmi/Lufthansa Italia LHR-MXP
Albania and Macedonia: Austrian LHR-VIE-TIA, Macedonian Airlines SKP-ZRH, Swiss ZRH-LCY
Part 1, Lufthansa London-Munich-Frankfurt-Nanjing, Economy Class A321 and A343
Part 2, Cathay Pacific Shanghai to Tokyo via Hong Kong, Business Class A330 and B747-400
Part 3, ANA Boeing B767 Tokyo to Shanghai, & Air China Airbus A340 Shanghai to Beijing, Business Class
Part 4: Chinese domestics, inc. Joy Air Xi%u2019an MA60, Tianjin Airlines ERJ, and China Express Airways CRJ
Part 5: Lufthansa Beijing-Frankfurt-London City, Economy Class A388 and E90
5 Countries, 5 Flights, 5 Days, with Ryanair (FR)
bmiFriday: Welcome to Sunny Norway, London to Bergen, A319)
Royal Jordanian, London to Aqaba via Amman. A330 and A320
Royal Jordanian, Amman to London, A330
London City to Antwerp with Cityjet and the Fokker 50
Croatian Airlines, LHR-ZAG,PUY-ZAD-ZAG-LHR, A319 and Dash 8
British Airways, Iberia & Binter to Tenerife and Gran Canaria, LHR-MAD-TFN-LPA-MAD-LHR, A320,ATR, A321
British Airways, London To Amsterdam, LGW-AMS-LHR, B737 & A321
British Airways up to a snowy Glasgow, with a change of flights and delay, LHR-GLA-LCY A321 and E90
Turkish Airlines Business Class from London to Istanbul. From Terrible To Fantastic
Turkish Airlines Business Class from Istanbul to Batumi (Georgia). Not again!
bmi Business Class, Tbilisi to London via Azerbaijan
Tallinn to London, with Estonian Air and BA, via ARN
Cuba! BA/IB London-Madrid-Havana, Business Class
Aerocarribean, Baracoa to Havana
Asia Trip, Pt 1: Qatar Airways Business Class (LHR-DOH-ICN)
Asia Trip, Pt 2: China Southern and Hainan Airlines (A321/A346)
Asia Trip, Pt 3: Malaysia Airlines, Hong Kong to Penang
Asia Trip, Pt 4: Qatar Airways Economy (HKG-DOH-LHR)
A weekend in Transylvania with Blue Air (LTN-SBZ)
Helsinki for the weekend on BA and KF
Easter in Ukraine with Austrian
UAE and Oman with BA and Air Arabia. Y & Y
HKG-LHR-HKG Air New Zealand, Premium Economy and Economy
US Airways LGW-DCA-MSP-LGA-LGW
London Heathrow - Zurich - Venice on Swiss Business for the weekend
Chasing the Eclipse on China Eastern
Taiwan: EVA Air (HKG-TPE rtn), UNI Airways (TSA-HCN), Daily Air (TTT-KYD rtn)
UA HKG-SIN-HKG Y Class, SQ KUL-SIN C Class
Bangkok to Beijing, Egyptair Business Class
Air China Beijing to Harbin, B777 Economy outbound, A330 First Class return
Tiger Airways, Singapore to Darwin return
A selection of Chinese Domestics; China Eastern, Air China and Shenzhen Airlines
Hong Kong to London on Singapore Airlines (744/380/77W)
Qatar Airways Beijing-Doha-London Heathrow (A330/A340)
Air China First Class. Beijing-Guilin via Xi%u2019an
Round Asia Trip. URC-HTN,OSS-FRU,ALA-URC-LHW-KMG-JHG-KMG-SYX,HAK-NKG-PEK-NRT-LHR,
Hainan Airlines, China Eastern, China Southern, Lucky Air, ANA, Economy and Business Class.

SAS and Lufthansa Business Class, LHR-OSL-FRA-FRA, B73G and B744



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User currently offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 2, posted (2 years 8 months 14 hours ago) and read 10342 times:

Hey Gab, what a great TR. I've always been curious about Cyprus so I'm already looking forward to part 7  

I'm sorry you had such bad luck on this segment of your trip. The timing seems to have been pretty unfortunate. Strikes, floods, bugs... Athens is not the best city to deal with heavy rainfall. That's what you get when you build over ephemeral streams, creeks and other seasonal river beds...

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I follow the signs towards the metro, picking up a city map on the way. The route I took (following the signs) made me do a big loop, before walking down an uncovered path to the trains station some 500 m from the terminal. Not very impressed with that.

Ha, that's exactly what happened to me in my first (and also second) visit to ATH   I'm glad to hear that I'm not the only one...

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
What’s next? Well of it being 2012 in Greece of course it’s time for a strike (although thankfully no violence). With some very helpful translations of the Greek press by Widebodyroga (thank you so much!) I found out that not only was a lot of the public transport down (including the airport train) but every single tourist attraction in the city was shut.

You're very welcome   I'm glad that my limited knowledge of the Greek language came in handy for once  
Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
I folded my table away, not expecting anything else%u2026I%u2019d forgotten about dessert though! Table out again. Now this was really tasty, but the sugar overload was a bit too much so I just ate the fruit.

That's Greek airlines for you. The old OA used to give away those rich syrupy desserts (even in Economy) and I know that A3 does too. It's the only time I don't finish my food on a plane; not because they are bad, but because they are so rich.

Most trip reports of A3 on A.net have been extremely positive and I don't think it's a coincidence. I personally love A3. Every time I have to choose between SKG or SOF (they are equidistant from my Bulgarian hometown), I often choose the former just for the sake of flying A3.

Thanks again for a great TR. Looking forward to more. I hope your time in Cyprus compensated for your adventures in ATH.


WBodyroga

[Edited 2012-02-25 06:42:09]


Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 3, posted (2 years 8 months 14 hours ago) and read 10281 times:

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 2):
Hey Gab, what a great TR.

Thanks Stojan!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 2):
I'm sorry you had such bad luck on this segment of your trip. The timing seems to have been pretty unfortunate. Strikes, floods, bugs... Athens is not the best city to deal with heavy rainfall. That's what you get when you build over ephemeral streams, creeks and other seasonal river beds...

Is that the issue? Shame they didn't come up with better sewerage

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 2):
You're very welcome I'm glad that my limited knowledge of the Greek language came in handy for once

Yes, it was must useful!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 2):
Thanks again for a great TR. Looking forward to more. I hope your time in Cyprus compensated for your adventures in ATH.

Yes, my adventures in Cyprus made up for dissapointing Greek episode



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1168 posts, RR: 12
Reply 4, posted (2 years 8 months 13 hours ago) and read 10093 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Been reading all your africa trip reports and enjoying every one of them!
Can't wait to read the last part 7. Keep up the good work!

cheers,
adamspotter


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 5, posted (2 years 8 months 12 hours ago) and read 10070 times:

Hey Gaby Chew Chew, thanks for the report!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
so I walked up and over though the Smokers lounge, and back into the Business lounge (it%u2019s an interesting layout %u2013 you can go round and round in circles), before finding a member of staff to open the door to the First Class lounge.

Interesting, couldn't the staff at the main reception have them let you in the FCL? Also were you able to re-enter the SEN Lounge from the bar or did you have to pass through the reception?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I decided to have a quick snack before going to meet Infodesk on one of her breaks.

Food looked really nice, even forgot the fact that they offer proper dining in the lounge. Although food looked good, doesn't seem to be up to par with LH.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
The Y class trolley makes an appearance

I am chocked to see LX installing the NEK seats on their fleet as well. I think the older Recaro seats suit the airline better, and besides it's nice to have some differentiation between the products on different airlines.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I’m then offered a choice of two meals, one meat, one veg. I go with the meat which is acceptable.

Must say the food really seems to have been improved in Short Haul J. Those Biz saver fares really seem to offer some good value for the money, might try them soon!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Table cloths

Were those cloths made of fabric or just napkins?

//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 6, posted (2 years 8 months 10 hours ago) and read 9740 times:

Quoting adamspotter (Reply 4):
Been reading all your africa trip reports and enjoying every one of them!

Thanks, glad you've enjoyed them

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
thanks for the report!

No problem

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
Interesting, couldn't the staff at the main reception have them let you in the FCL? Also were you able to re-enter the SEN Lounge from the bar or did you have to pass through the reception?

From the main entrance, you can get into either the Senator or Business lounge. They both have entrances to the long bar, so you can easily go from one to the other. The First lounge entrance is is a different place some distance from the others, however, from the back of the Business lounge there is a door leading to the entrance of the F lounge although it's mostly locked.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 5):
Were those cloths made of fabric or just napkins?

Just cheap paper ones



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineThe777Man From United States of America, joined Jul 1999, 6596 posts, RR: 55
Reply 7, posted (2 years 8 months 9 hours ago) and read 9594 times:

Hi Gabriel !

Thanks for another great report with great pictures!

Food and service looks really good on both carriers. Very impressive of A3 for such a short flight! It seems you picked a very bad time to visit Athens.......

Looking forward to part 6.

The777Man



Need a Boeing 777 Firing Order....Further to fly....CI, MU, LX and LH 777s
User currently offlinelxa333 From United States of America, joined Nov 2008, 283 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (2 years 8 months 8 hours ago) and read 9387 times:

Nice report, I flew LX last week JFK-LHR via GVA going, via ZRH coming, contemplating whether I should do a report. In that pic over FYROM, you are practically somewhere over my fathers town btw.


SWISSAIR-Worlds most refreshing airline
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 9, posted (2 years 8 months 7 hours ago) and read 9312 times:

Quoting The777Man (Reply 7):
Thanks for another great report with great pictures!

No problem!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 7):

Food and service looks really good on both carriers. Very impressive of A3 for such a short flight!

Yeah, A3 were really good

Quoting The777Man (Reply 7):
It seems you picked a very bad time to visit Athens.......

Yeah, wasn't the greatest!

Quoting The777Man (Reply 7):
Looking forward to part 6.

This was part 6...next is 7!  
Quoting lxa333 (Reply 8):
Nice report

Thanks!

Quoting lxa333 (Reply 8):
I flew LX last week JFK-LHR via GVA going, via ZRH coming, contemplating whether I should do a report.

The more reports the better



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5173 posts, RR: 55
Reply 10, posted (2 years 8 months 6 hours ago) and read 9154 times:

Hi, Gabriel,

well done. Another good read around you´re Africa travel stories.
Also nice pixtures.
Not that much seen from Athens and Aegean lately.
Looking for the final part now.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 11, posted (2 years 8 months 4 hours ago) and read 9011 times:

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 10):
well done. Another good read around you´re Africa travel stories.

Thanks Markus

Quoting FLIEGER67 (Reply 10):
Not that much seen from Athens and Aegean lately.

No, not much else



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1951 posts, RR: 24
Reply 12, posted (2 years 8 months 3 hours ago) and read 8931 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Nice report, gabrielchew!

LX looks nice as always, but Aegean looks amazing for such a short flight ! Menu, hot towels, desert following the meal. Looks like the way to travel!  

Thanks for sharing!

Matthew


User currently offlineakhmad From Netherlands, joined Sep 2005, 2486 posts, RR: 53
Reply 13, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 8610 times:

Hi Gabriel,

Nice continuation of your series. I really like your pictures of the sights in Athens. Such a pity that you were not able to visit any of them.

Aegean is a truely a gem of Mediterranean. Economy is good, but Business is even better. What a copious meal for a one hour flight. Did you regret having some food in the lounge beforehand?   


Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
No, it’s the hot meal served in Y – looks good

I can only agree. Hot meal on board of an intra-European flight? Only Greek airlines do that AFAIK. So, well done, LX!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Empty row

Where did the guy with the laptop go?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Unfortunately “Ich spreche kein Deutsch“ so i canna be a flight attendant

But you can still learn German.   


Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
So, I’ve had biblical flooding, and awkward allergic reactions.

That’s awful. I hope you have recovered by now. Do you consider to visit a doctor for some allergy tests?

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
At the door was a guy trying to persuade the lounge agent to let him in %u2013 his documentation was a Y boarding card on TK and a Gold AF card%u2026. never going to happen.

Could the guy be our Jonas? 


Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 1):
It turned out that the guy in the row in front of my was the ex-president of Cyprus (or something like that), my second political %u201Ccelebrity%u201D of the trip.

Did you get any business card from him?


Thanks for sharing and have a nice Sunday.

Cheers,
Suryo



Friends forever
User currently offlineinfodesk From Switzerland, joined May 2006, 1461 posts, RR: 33
Reply 14, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 21 hours ago) and read 8591 times:

Hi Gab,

What a day you chose to fly to Athens. I'd forgotten just how sunny it was and you were treated to some wonderful views over the Alps by the looks of it.And then to find it overcast & wet in Greece, bit of a disappointment. Shame the strikes put paid to some of your sightseeing.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
There is a proper dining area with waiting staff. However, there are only 8 tables so at peak times there isn’t much space. Indeed, I had to sit at the bar. I think they could do with expanding this area. I asked if they had any of the nice champagne they had onboard, but they didn’t – can’t remember what this is, but it didn’t taste as nice.

They're very strict about the F lounge, only the staff that work there are allowed in. We got given a tour a few years back, but I've forgotten a lot about it.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
And follow with the club sandwich.

Looks delicious!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
A slight delay for the AND CURRENT: Athens - Eleftherios Venizelos (Spata) (ATH / LGAV), Greece">ATH flight. NCE has been delayed from 1250 to…1250

I don't know why they do that, I've seen it happen a few times.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
A queue for LX longhual

Good shot, busiest time of day.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
No, it’s the hot meal served in Y – looks good

Never seen pasta in Y on LX before, except on the longer Swiss/Edelweiss charters.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Unfortunately “Ich spreche kein Deutsch“ so i canna be a flight attendant

I hate the way they use the word "wanna". It's so unprofessional imo and doesn't suit LX at all.

As for Aegean, I can only say WOW! What a service on that flight, looks fantastic and you're right, better than LX.

Happy flying
Infodesk   



"Do nothing in haste, look well to each step and from the beginning think what may be the end" - Edward Whymper
User currently offlineKnightsofmalta From Malta, joined Nov 2005, 1836 posts, RR: 20
Reply 15, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 8331 times:

Hi Gabriel

Thanks for the interesting report.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I smell something tasty – my dinner? No, it’s the hot meal served in Y – looks good

The catering concept of SWISS on this flight is surprising to say the least. First of all I would not have expected them to serve a hotmeal in Economy Class on this sector and I think this must be relatively new. On the other hand, at least the quantity of the food served in Business Class seems to have been reduced. The salad certainly looks much smaller than what they used to serve until recently.

It's also interesting to see that LX appear to have downgraded their flights to Athens from an A321 to the smaller A320.

As for Aegean, I'm glad to see they're still at the top of their game. I also enjoyed my flight from LHR to ATH with them in C Class last summer so much and their desserts are simply to die for. Let's hope they survive this Greek Tragedy.

Cheers,
William


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 16, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 8290 times:

Quoting 767747 (Reply 12):
Nice report, gabrielchew!

Thanks!

Quoting 767747 (Reply 12):

LX looks nice as always, but Aegean looks amazing for such a short flight ! Menu, hot towels, desert following the meal. Looks like the way to travel!

Yes, A3 were a quailty act

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
I really like your pictures of the sights in Athens. Such a pity that you were not able to visit any of them.

Yeah, very bad timing!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):

Aegean is a truely a gem of Mediterranean. Economy is good, but Business is even better. What a copious meal for a one hour flight. Did you regret having some food in the lounge beforehand?

Yes, yes it did!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Where did the guy with the laptop go?

No sure...bathroom?

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
But you can still learn German.

True

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
That’s awful. I hope you have recovered by now. Do you consider to visit a doctor for some allergy tests?

My sister's a doctor so I spoke to her....never found out what it was though

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Could the guy be our Jonas?

Hahaha, didn't think of that!

Quoting akhmad (Reply 13):
Did you get any business card from him?

No, I didn't speak to him at all

Quoting infodesk (Reply 14):
What a day you chose to fly to Athens. I'd forgotten just how sunny it was and you were treated to some wonderful views over the Alps by the looks of it.And then to find it overcast & wet in Greece, bit of a disappointment. Shame the strikes put paid to some of your sightseeing.

Yeah, such a shame leaving sunny ZRH for wet ATH

Quoting infodesk (Reply 14):
Looks delicious!

It was!

Quoting infodesk (Reply 14):
I hate the way they use the word "wanna". It's so unprofessional imo and doesn't suit LX at all.

Yeah, slighlty odd

Quoting infodesk (Reply 14):
As for Aegean, I can only say WOW! What a service on that flight, looks fantastic and you're right, better than LX.

Yeah, very nice catering. Who'd have thought a Greek Airline would have Europe's best C class?

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 15):
Thanks for the interesting report.

No problem!

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 15):
It's also interesting to see that LX appear to have downgraded their flights to Athens from an A321 to the smaller A320.

Doesn't it vary from flight to flight? The a320 was pretty full

Quoting Knightsofmalta (Reply 15):
As for Aegean, I'm glad to see they're still at the top of their game. I also enjoyed my flight from LHR to ATH with them in C Class last summer so much and their desserts are simply to die for. Let's hope they survive this Greek Tragedy.

Fingers crossed!



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 999 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 16 hours ago) and read 8227 times:

Great report as usual Gabriel!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I hadn’t realised that you had to pay to get out to the deck. Given the very low temperature (about -15C), and the fact that there didn’t look like there was much happening, I decided not to pay, and instead headed for security.

Yeah, and you can see some of the action on the tarmac before the entrance as well.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
As the Finn says, you can’t have a report without a 717

You're lucky you catched it, I think the ZRH-HEL flight will be discontinued starting the summer season.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
And finally, Aegean%u2026what a wonderful airline!

Impressive indeed!


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7898 times:

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 17):
Great report as usual Gabriel!

Thanks!

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 17):
Yeah, and you can see some of the action on the tarmac before the entrance as well.

Yeah, hardly worth venturing out into the cold

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 17):
Impressive indeed!

Yes, quality flights



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineabrelosojos From Venezuela, joined May 2005, 5124 posts, RR: 55
Reply 19, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7878 times:

Finally catching up on your reports. Aegean seems to have a nice product indeed - actually, my one recent experience with Olympic (ATH-CAI) was rather good as well.

Greece is in really deep troubles. A colleague of mine was working for an investor group looking at potential buy of a Greek carrier and got caught in the protests which turned violent - he turned to get a bloody nose and was struck unconscious. We had to arrange a medical evacuation as the hospital doctors were on strike. All so sad. The investor did not invest in the airline. Uncertainty drives a lot of people away.

I really wish the country recovers fast.

Thanks for sharing.

Saludos,
A.



Live, and let live.
User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 20, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 7814 times:

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 19):
Aegean seems to have a nice product indeed - actually, my one recent experience with Olympic (ATH-CAI) was rather good as well.

Finally the Greeks seem to have something right!

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 19):
Thanks for sharing.

No problem

Quoting abrelosojos (Reply 19):
I really wish the country recovers fast.

Well, it;s got a lot of challenges - the whole country needs to pull together



http://my.flightmemory.com/shefgab Upcoming flights:LCY-ARN-AMS-LGW,STN-OTP-AMS-YUL,YQB-JFK-LAX-DUS-STN,LGW-DXB-BKK-HKG-
User currently offlineEL-AL From Israel, joined Oct 2001, 1313 posts, RR: 13
Reply 21, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 1 day 1 hour ago) and read 7672 times:

Hey,

Thank you for a great report. The Aegean service looks amazing! I wonder how is their YCL service.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I got up to ground level where I found it still pouring with rain. Should I wait and see if it stops, or just go? It was a 500 m walk to the hotel. I decided (thankfully correctly) to just walk. It wasn’t a nice walk. The pavements were very narrow/non existant, and often used for parking. All the gutters were overflowing, and there were rivers everywhere. Urgh. Finally made it to the hotel, and was given my room. Phew.

A british cought without an umbrella?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Meanwhile outside the rain had turned to hail and lightning. At almost the exact same moment, my ceiling started leaking (I was 2 floors from the top!), and water started coming under the balcony door. Feck it

Wow, unbeliavable. Lucky they weren't full!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Unfortunately I couldn’t see it very well…during the night I appear to have been bitten by something. It looked like I’d gone a few rounds with Mike Tyson such was the reaction to the bite. As such, the first stop on my Athens sightseeing was a pharmacy

What can I say, that never happened to me and I'm a guy who slept at falling huts in Laos for 3 USD a night. Hope you wrote all about this hotel in trip advisor, this place should be out of business.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Well of it being 2012 in Greece of course it’s time for a strike (although thankfully no violence). With some very helpful translations of the Greek press by Widebodyroga (thank you so much!) I found out that not only was a lot of the public transport down (including the airport train) but every single tourist attraction in the city was shut

What a diseppointment it must have been.

I am due to fly to Athens in a month, you forced me to re-think my destination...

Thx for shearing,
Jonathan



"In Israel, on order to be a realist, one's must believe in miracles" - David Ben Gurion.
User currently offlinesultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1744 posts, RR: 30
Reply 22, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 7535 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hello Gabriel!

Thanks for another good episode of your Africa series! To be honest, I’d rather see a tragedy unfold on stage in a theater than on a long trip abroad. Lucky for you, they were some minor annoyances. I guess the Greek have other things on their minds beside worrying about leaking roofs. Still kinda annoying, I understand.
Athens is indeed a nice city, but I guess right now is not the best time to got there, lucky for you you did not encounter any manifestations.
As for Swiss: a good job once again. The meal though lacks presentation: all bulky pieces of meat, veggies and potatoes.
As for Aegean: impressive indeed to provide such an extended service for such a short flight. Hopefully they can keep it up in these harsh times.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
NCE has been delayed from 1250 to…1250

Hopefully not next day.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
As the Finn says, you can’t have a report without a 717

How right you are. So they still operate to ZRH apparently?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Maybe I’ll return to Athens once it’s been reincarnated as new South Deutschland or when the New Drachma is in operation.

Wishful thinking my friend methinks  

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Below is a soutzoukakia, a tasty tomatoey kebab with chips, perfect for a cold wet day.

I had that dish as well once on holiday. Normally they serve this with rice; the chips are for the tourists  

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
It turned out that the guy in the row in front of my was the ex-president of Cyprus (or something like that), my second political %u201Ccelebrity%u201D of the trip.

Did he receive any special treatment or was he just on of the passengers?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Very nice! The main course was really good, much better than the LX meal

It looks very appetizing!

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 7483 times:

Hi Gabriel!

Nice report as usual!
Too bad about that bad experience in Greece, but at least it seems that A3 took very well care of you!
LX doesn't look too bad either.  

Martin


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 24, posted (2 years 7 months 4 weeks 15 hours ago) and read 7332 times:

Hi Gab,

Your epic journey is nearing its end, but the reports still keep up their quality. Very nice to read about A3's business class - looks that they have a very very good product there. I was quite impressed even with their economy service last year, they definitely are one of the better carriers in Europe! Hope they will survive the economic turmoil.

Shame about your problems and tragedies in Greece, but that country is a mess right now. Glad nothing major like an ATC strike or something happened, though.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
(it’s an interesting layout – you can go round and round in circles),

Good for any kids to burn of excess energy before a flight.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
There was a short but interesting menu for lunch. I decided to start with the prawns and cucumber.

Looks good.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
And follow with the club sandwich. Both were pretty tasty. It was the first time for me to ever have any proper preflight dining in a lounge.

And that looks excellent! If not restaurant then at least room service quality in a decent hotel.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
When did LX/LH stop doing any form of priority boarding?

They've never been consistent with this on shorthaul flights. The couple of last times I flew LH ex-HEL they actually did it here of all places, now that is not very typical!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
As the Finn says, you can’t have a report without a 717

Yes, fits perfectly, doesn't it? Although you just did have quite a long streak of reports without one...  
Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
A nice picture of the world’s 6th smallest country (I’m pretty chuffed I recognised it from the air – I’m the geography king!). Liechtenstein actually only takes up around 10% of the photo.

Hah, congratulations! Sometimes you get lucky.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I smell something tasty – my dinner? No, it’s the hot meal served in Y – looks good

Hot meal in economy? Quite impressive even though it looks like your usual plain pasta dish.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Doesn’t look very welcoming down there – not what I was expecting from Greece

Well, that's Greece these days I guess.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Unfortunately I couldn’t see it very well…during the night I appear to have been bitten by something. It looked like I’d gone a few rounds with Mike Tyson such was the reaction to the bite.

Oh dear. I hope it wasn't bed bugs.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
. So, I’ve had biblical flooding, and awkward allergic reactions.

Kinda ironic that nothing major happened during your couple of weeks in Africa, but as soon as you get back to "civilized and safe old" Europe everything starts going wrong.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
. Is three tragedies enough? Not quite. My camera charger decided to take this morning to finally die on me, leaving me with precious little battery life in my camera.

Ouch. That's bad. You couldn't find a new one from the shops in Athens?

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I’m ashamed to say that this was actually the first time I’d ever eaten Greek food. Was very tasty. Below is a soutzoukakia, a tasty tomatoey kebab with chips, perfect for a cold wet day.

Tsk tsk, you should be ashamed! Greek food is just amazing.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
As the trains weren’t running I ended getting a taxi to the airport. The hotel booked me one for EUR 40, which seemed reasonable. At least the taxi to the airport was a nice comfy Mercedes – the driver spoke some English too!

The airport buses weren't running either? Those buses at least used to present much better value than the train, although the price has gone up as part of these neverending austerity measures. I find that most Greek people excellent English.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
The lounge was fairly empty when I went in. I was pretty impressed with the lounge %u2013 some hot food, lots of snacks, and good drinks selection.

I was very impressed by the Swissport Athens lounge I was a year ago, that was in the non-Schengen part as well as I was flying to Heathrow.

I'll be checking out the Schengen A3 lounge in May (and maybe the LH one too but according to Phil it's quite crappy), should be good. Hoping for no flight disruptions, wildcat strikes or anything like that, though!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
I didn%u2019t know Tuborg made water?

Most of the breweries usually make soda etc. But it is quite rare to brand them with the same brand as their famous beers. Never seen that befoer.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
AND a separate wine list? On a 1 hour flight? NOW I%u2019m impressed!

Aeroflot had this in business class too, together with a choice between three (3!) main entrees - THAT was impressive too!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Very nice! The main course was really good, much better than the LX meal

Looks yummy.

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Agh, this flight is going so fast!

Certainly a sign of a good flight!

Quoting gabrielchew (Thread starter):
Four business class passengers, 2 full sized buses! Well done Aegean!

Excellent stuff.


25 Post contains images OA260 : Hey great report and I'm glad A3 impressed you. Something we can be proud of Having two decent carriers A3 and OA at a time of such economic problems
26 gabrielchew : Thanks for the comments! Yeah, very nice service on A3 I had an umbrella (of course!) but it was of limited use! I fear I brought it back with me from
27 MSS658 : Hey Gabriel Nice continuation of your trip report series. I did not realise that LX had installed the same NEK seating as found on SN, LH and OS! Serv
28 PlaneHunter : Hi Gabriel, interesting report and nice impressions from Athens! The food in the LX lounge looks great, but the on-board catering cannot impress me. A
29 signol : Nice again Gabriel. excellent report! They actually have a little more land, mountains, to the left of the hill. I once went on my only day's skiing e
30 Post contains images AustrianZRH : Excellent report, A3 looks gorgeous! This makes you one out of probably about 10 non-Rhine-Valley-born people knowing where Malbun is .
31 gabrielchew : Thanks for the replies! Thanks Yeah, it's a shame the NEK is spreading Yeah, was a nice surprise No problem Sure is Thanks Yeah, it was a bad 24 hours
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