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Greek Cypriot: ATH-SKG-ATH-FRA-HEL  
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 9555 times:

Disclaimer

This report contains a lot of politically incorrect jokes about the situation in Greece. I couldn’t care less about being PC, but if you are easily offended or simply lack a sense of humor stop reading now and go and watch the Disney Channel or something, it is safe, sterile and will not require you to tax your brain too much.

Rest assured I have nothing against the Greek as people, they are some of the warmest, most hospitable not to mention relaxed and good humored people that I have ever met. This is just my way of pointing out what a sorry mess the ruling class and “the way of the country” have brought the country into. The Greek people deserve so much better.

Introduction

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/title_2.jpg

This part picks up from where the first part started from. For the introduction and events leading up to this moment please refer to it: The Silk Road To Athens: HEL-AMS-MUC-ATH (by FlyingFinn76 May 26 2012 in Trip Reports)

So at the conclusion of the first part I had just stepped on the landside of Athens International Airport, having arrived from MUC onboard Air China’s fifth freedom widebody flight.

Saturday 19.5.2012

I have just an hour between my flights here, so I waste no time heading back upstairs to the departure level. The first sight on top of the escalators looks surprisingly familiar - they seem to be trying to lure Greek passengers (and Markus) using the Latvian blonde stereotype:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_1.jpg

Here’s one for all you Swiss fans:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_2.jpg

Having done OLCI and printed out my boarding pass at home there’s no need to visit any check in desk, just straight to the shopping area:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_3.jpg

In Athens the lounges are landside which is a bit of a pain since it makes it rather hard to estimate when to leave the lounge - more on this later. No, it is not yet time for the Aegean lounge:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_4.jpg

But this one instead - the Goldair Handling lounge:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_5.jpg

Two middle aged, rather friendly in that “seen it all, can’t really be shaken” style admit me in after a bit of a scrutiny of my documents. This lounge is okay but I don’t really like the polished steel look - I’d prefer something a bit more down to earth really:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_6.jpg

Around twenty minutes to spend here - perfect for a refreshing beer and some snacks. I really love the Greek lounges for these small and tasty sandwiches they always seem to serve:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_7.jpg

Upon gathering my trash to leave for the gate I notice that the front desk staff actually stamped my boarding pass with a FAST LANE stamp, meaning I can use the aforementioned facility - a very nice bonus:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_8.jpg

Not that it matters as I seem to have timed my exit just right - there’s nobody in either of the security lanes but I decide to use the fast lane anyway. The friendly girl there asks “Business class?” but is satisfied when I answer “No, but I have this stamp right here” and show it to her.

And here’s my ride today - my first encounter with Cyprus Airways - 5B-DCL “Pentadaktylos” (try saying that after five pints) - named after a mountain in Cyprus:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_9.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_10.jpg

Closeup:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_11.jpg

SK tail:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_12.jpg

My timing indeed was perfect - I have just enough time to shoot these photos and buy an incredibly cheap (wow, maybe those billions of support money has actually done something good like kept the price of essentials down) bottle of water from the adjacent kiosk before boarding is called.

ATH - SKG
CY622
A320 5B-DCL “Pentadaktylos”
Seat 22F
11.40 - 12.29

Three female FAs on this flight and a senior male purser. Two of the women and the purser seem nice enough, but one middle aged woman just turns her head away, avoiding any eye contact with passengers so she wouldn’t have to greet them. This kind of behaviour pisses me off to no end so while passing her I loudly exclame “Hello!”, not that she acknowledges it in any way.

I’m very surprised to see five rows of real business class seats, American F style:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_13.jpg

These seats look very comfortable, I’m regretting now that I didn’t shell out the 30 EUR for an upgrade via optiontown!

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_14.jpg

CY calls their economy class “Aphrodite Class” (apparently flying there makes you younger as swimming in her birthplace which I did as a kid but didn’t turn back into a toddler) - the seats are upholstered in blue cloth:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_15.jpg

Sitting in the last row, where else:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_16.jpg

Legroom is definitely less than what I had with CA on the previous flight, but okay for a flight of this duration:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_17.jpg

The load is surprisingly good, maybe 70% in economy. The whole last row for me, though. I’m not sure if there are any passengers in business class.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_18.jpg

On some planes you have the life vest under your seat, with CY you have... water:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_19.jpg

I get a minor shock when the last passenger boarding the plane turns out to be... Steve Jobs! The man is a spitting image of the Apple whizkid - so it must be him! I always knew he wasn’t dead, he just went to... Greece.

Next to us a Belgian visitor:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_20.jpg

...with a really peculiar name for a plane:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_21.jpg

Thanks, the same to you as well:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_22.jpg

The inflight mag, quite good actually with lots of articles about Cyprus and the Cypriot way of life:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_23.jpg

The obligatory shopping catalog:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_24.jpg

Safety demo is played from the drop down screens (which disappear right after it - no airshow, bugger):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_25.jpg

Safety card - very nice of them to print the registrations on it:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_31.jpg

The flight time is announced as 40 minutes with push back being ten minutes late - the boarding started rather late so I guess this was the reason for the delay.

Air France on the next gate:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_26.jpg

Hey, who’s that:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_27.jpg

Ahh, my inbound ride, leaving back to MUC:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_28.jpg

Hmm, never heard about this airline - another failed Greek enterprise perhaps:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_29.jpg

Amsterdam has the Fokker Farm, Athens has the Metroliner Mob:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_30.jpg

Taking off from 03R - the weather isn’t that nice actually:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_32.jpg

A large bunch of solar panels have been erected on the side of the runway - I don’t think these were there the last time I flew out of here, one and half years ago:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_33.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_34.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_35.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_36.jpg

Turning northwards and disappearing into the clouds:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_37.jpg

From the inflight mag - nothing like a bit of propaganda (well they are absolutely right here):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_38.jpg

The crew wastes no time getting the service commenced - we are handed a small tray with a piece of mocha cake - looks surprisingly close to to the Finnish “tiikerikakku”:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_39.jpg

Drinks service follows - the FA is a bit surprised when I ask whether they have any beer onboard but disappears into the back galley and comes back with a very nicely chilled can of Keo - a terribly tasty brew and hits the spot nicely:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_40.jpg

Thumbs up for this crew for their service mindedness, many crews on most airlines would’ve just told you to stick whatever they have in the trolley. The cake isn’t really that good, a bit dry and these aren’t my things anyway (baby) so I eat only half of it.

The crew hard at work - notice the much more conservative uniforms as opposed to the OA and A3 sleeveless dresses:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_41.jpg

Before I have finished my beer we are already descending and soon break the clouds - the weather over in North Greece seems to be far better. The first sight is a mansion far below, probably belonging to a train driver of the Greek National Railways (ok, maybe it is a resort):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_42.jpg

The narrow spit of land connecting the Kassandra Peninsula to the mainland:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_43.jpg

The northern coast of the Thermaic Gulf:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_44.jpg

The town of Kallikrateia:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_45.jpg

Beautiful colors on the fields here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_46.jpg

A motorway with a small airport:
http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_47.jpg

This intersection here looks to be quite overengineered but hey, you need to spend those EU monies somewhere:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_48.jpg

A tranquil looking village:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_49.jpg

Hmm, is it just me or do those two smaller houses lack an access road:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_50.jpg

Almost there:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_51.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_52.jpg

Landing is on runway 34, total flight time around 40 minutes. This is the famous Malév TU-154, former registration HA-LCR which landed here on its belly back in 2000 as the crew apparently “forgot to lower the undercarriage”, but in an amazing testimony to the robust Soviet engineering the pilots simply hit full thrust again and the plane took off, circled around the airport and landed this time with its gear down. The plane was written off, though - and left to rot here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_53.jpg

Austrian landing after us - I had no idea they flew to SKG and definitely not with such a big plane:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_54.jpg

Oh, is there any airport in the Mediterranean where Air Berlin doesn’t fly:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_55.jpg

The new but quite peculiar looking terminal building:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_56.jpg

Still flying:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_57.jpg

There are no jetways here and despite parking near the terminal it is of course bussing time - after all this job creation culture is going strong here - CY seem to be using a dedicated bus:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_58.jpg

Bye:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_59.jpg

Thessaloniki “Macedonia” Airport

After a short bus ride we are free to enter the terminal. I seem to be the only passenger without massive amounts of luggage so while all the others stop to wait at the luggage belt I make a quick pitstop and hurry outside to enjoy the sun in front of the terminal:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_60.jpg

It is very nice and warm, but far too many cars are idling outside so the air is thick with fumes (burning money, these Greekmen, something they are very good at!). I had hoped there would be some sort of outdoor cafe or terrace where I could grab a snack and a cold one but alas the only things I see are a couple of bus stops, a large parking area and tons of cars. After fifteen minutes there it starts to be a a bit too much for me so I retreat inside to look for a restaurant or bar.

Interesting - they don’t put these in milk cartons in Greece:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_61.jpg

The top floor has a rather nice restaurant with apron views and free wifi for paying (thru the nose) customers so I head there. The very first sight I see - yes, Ryanair has been conducting a Greek invasion during the recent years:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_62.jpg

Wow, this is nice - I really want to go island hopping on one of these things - I actually already found the perfect itinerary:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_63.jpg

The restaurant is horribly overpriced with similar prices one would expect to pay in Finland which is quite ridiculous as they should be serving me food and drinks for free, after all my tax money is keeping their country afloat! So instead of some tasty moussaka or whatnot I settle just for a Greek salad - the quality here doesn’t match the high price either:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_64.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_65.jpg

I’ve barely had enough time to finish eating when I spot my ride arriving from Athens:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_66.jpg

...closely followed by the competition:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_67.jpg

And of course the Orange vermins are here as well:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_68.jpg

It is the expected A319 - an interesting bird as SX-OAF was originally delivered to Hamburg International but spent only a couple of months there, presumably due to the carrier’s bankruptcy. Now in the firm hands of Olympic Air it will be the chariot for my 99th flight with the A319.

I pony up the money for the bill and head downstairs to go thru security. The whole thing is rather unorganized and chaotic, but luckily there aren’t too many people there - that Ezy flight is departing for Dortmund with seemingly a full load but all of their passengers are already queuing at the gate instead of blocking the security.

Airside the airport is sparkling clean, gleaming and generally very modern and nice:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_69.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_70.jpg

Never heard of this place - but upon looking it up it turns out to be quite an interesting island - named after the famed Icarus the winged man of all things:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_71.jpg

I again managed to time everything right - as soon as I get to the gate they call boarding. My OLCI boarding pass beeps and the friendly gate agent guy tells me that I have a new seat. My last row window seat 23F is now 6A. Bugger, I’d rather sat on the other side for the views over the city of Thessaloniki and the Mt. Olympos but what can you do. He almost forgets to give back my ID card so I ask “May I please have my ID card back too?”
“No, I will keep it!”

I remind him that he looks nothing like me at all so it would be kinda useless and after taking this in he decides to hand hand it back to me. Funny folks, these Greek.

Again the plane is parked just a stone’s throw away, but again there’s a need to support another job so a bus ride it is:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_72.jpg

Hello:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_73.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_74.jpg

Our plane seems to be taking a piss - a HOT piss:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_75.jpg

SKG - ATH
OA911
A319 SX-OAF
Seat 6A
14.15 - 14.57

A rather young and almost cross-the-street hot (to use Mark’s terminology here) female purser is greeting us on the front door, being very cordial and welcoming to everyone.

Business class on this bird is not so nice as on the flight over with CY. The middle seat is blocked... with a pillow:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_76.jpg

Excellent legroom here on row 6:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_77.jpg

You can see the sleeveless uniform here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_78.jpg

While waiting for a second busload of passengers I spot something rather rare arriving, a Jetstream 41 of Sky Express, operating the aforementioned Ikaria flight:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_79.jpg

I think I need to come back to fly this carrier, the Jetstream 41/42 is high on my missing planes list.

After the second bus has come and gone the load turns out to be around 80% in economy, nobody on the three rows of business class. An empty seat next to me with an university professor kind of guy on the aisle seat, fine with me.

Candies are distributed before we have left our parking position:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_80.jpg

Departure is bang on time this time, well with a turnaround time of 45 minutes you’d expect so. Taxiing for a runway 34 departure:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_81.jpg

Is this some sort of aviation museum:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_82.jpg

Interesting ATC tower - or maybe it is a spotter shelter:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_83.jpg

Rotate:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_84.jpg

Lovely sight - sun and the Aegean sea:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_85.jpg

Turning around - looks like some sort of runway extension is being built, although that construction site doesn’t look too active - maybe they ran out of money:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_86.jpg

Great overview of SKG:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_87.jpg

Part of the urban sprawl of Thessaloniki:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_88.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_89.jpg

Again this being a quick 40 minute flight the crew wastes no time commencing the service. A bag of peanuts and a glass of lukewarm 7-UP is the standard here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_90.jpg

Oh and don’t forget the refreshing towel, always have a towel with you!

Our route takes us right over the island of Skiathos and its airport - looks like an interesting place to fly to:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_91.jpg

After clearing some mountains we fly past the Attica Basin on the western side.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_92.jpg

Here’s the Airbase at Eleusis:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_93.jpg

And the western end of Greater Athens:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_94.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_95.jpg

We fly directly over Piraeus (hi, Phil!):

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_96.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_97.jpg

Here’s Ellinikon again:


32 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 1, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 9594 times:

A rather swanky looking resort:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_99.jpg

We seem to be landing on 03R:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_100.jpg

Yes, it’s an Ikea. Wonder if they serve those boring Swedish meatballs or the much tastier Greek variety:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_101.jpg

Notice the BA 767:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_102.jpg

This was a very quick flight, we spent only around 35 minutes in the air. Olympic line up - spot the impostor:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_103.jpg

Aegean also has a spy among its ranks:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_104.jpg

Nice European line up - and no, the Air France is NOT the same plane that was there when I flew out a couple of hours earlier, it is operating the carrier’s relatively new “regional” service ex-TLS:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_105.jpg

I guess we were a bit too early as there’s a bit of a wait for somebody come and guide us to the gate. By this time the short night I had is starting to get to me and I actually fall asleep for the five minutes or so we wait before getting tugged in.

Athens International Airport

A long walk from arrivals back to the departure level follows. As usual I did OLCI for my LH flights the previous day but didn’t have a chance to print out the BPs so to the joint LH/A3 checkin area is where I head next.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Olympic_106.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_1.jpg

A friendly girl at the Business Class counter is a bit worried that I have a window last row (hmmm) chosen for my FRA flight but I assure her it is fine and deliberate. For the HEL sector (which wasn’t yet open for OLCI when I tried) she asks “Is 6A a good seat for you?”.
I say: “Yes, unless you can give me 1A.”
She looks at me with a confused expression on her face.
“Business class, you know.”, say I, cracking a big smile.
“Oh, well here’s your boarding pass for 6A, sir.”.
Maybe these words were an omen...

The weather has turned for the better, it is actually sunny outside. I contemplate on going out to enjoy it for a while but my tiredness wins me over and I decide to head to the lounge to check out whether I they have some comfy sofas for me to lie on.

I retrace my steps from the morning, stopping for a bit of a shopping on the way. Jonas should come here to shop - you can earn miles for your A3 account since earning them by flying seems to be too darn hard:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_2.jpg

I skip LH’s own lounge as that didn’t look nice at all judging from Phil’s earlier report and head next door to the Aegean flagship lounge. This one is styled the same way as the Goldair one next door - not really my cup of tea with the bare steel and bright looks:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_3.jpg

Very nice of them to offer a printer for guests to use - very bad of them to place it on the smoker’s side:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_4.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_5.jpg

Fridges full of the famous and peculiar Tuborg water cans:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_6.jpg

Plenty of Nespresso - Jonas would be in heaven here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_7.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_8.jpg

Drinks:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_9.jpg

I find a nice sofa to lie down and do a bit of reading, drinking, eating and surfing using the wifi - generally lounging then!

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_10.jpg

The three or so hours pass really fast and soon I realize I better get to the gate. I didn’t get any fast track stamp this time and forgot to ask in the lounge. So I’m less than amused to find a huge security queue:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_11.jpg

Oh well, even the Fast Lane is kinda crowded and the regular queues feed two separate points instead of just one for the Fast Lane. It is a rather frustrating affair, but at least I can see my plane parked on the nearby gate and see some passengers with Lufthansa boarding passes behind me on the queue so I figure out they won’t leave me behind...

Here’s the A321 taking me to Frankfurt:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_12.jpg

D-AISU is a new entry for my log. Good to see that Lufthansa has christened her “Nördlingen” (after a town in Bavaria) despite it being a relatively new plane (under three years) for the fleet - many of the new planes in their fleet lack names.

ATH - FRA
LH1283
A321 D-AISU “Nördlingen”
Seat 38F
18.21 - 20.09

Most of the passengers have already boarded so it is a matter of walking directly onboard. Reaching my seat on the last row I think for a while that I struck the jackpot here as the seat next to me is empty, despite the plane otherwise appearing to be chock full. Alas it is not to be as the young Finnish (yeah, we are everywhere) couple who were stuck on the security queue behind me (and who I thought would be taking the Blue1 flight half an hour later) board last and proceed to grab the aisle and middle seat in front of me - at this point it turns out that the guy there on the middle seat actually should be sitting next to me. Oh well, this guy is a very funny Greek man, limited English skills but still we manage to chat this and that during the flight.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_13.jpg

The captain announces a lengthy flight time of 2h45mins tonight explained by some headwinds. Despite the slowish boarding process the crew are showing true German efficiency here and push back is only a minute after SDT - excellent considering that I boarded around five minutes before that!

Nice effect with the sun reflecting off the wing:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_14.jpg

Little sister from MUC:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_15.jpg

Cyprus with A319 this time:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_16.jpg

Take off is again from 03R ten minutes later.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_17.jpg

This looks like a spotting place:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_18.jpg

(Almost) nothing but blue:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_19.jpg

Turning back over the ground:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_20.jpg

Damn, a dam:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_21.jpg

I decide this flight is good for watching a movie. I choose “Alexander”, mainly because having visited the Greek Macedonia briefly today it feels quite an appropriate movie to watch (the fact that it happens to be the only movie currently on my IPad of course has nothing to do with it). The new LH seats make an excellent Ghetto IFE holder:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_22.jpg

(GhettoIFE © Kevin Marshall - see http://boardingarea.com/blogs/ghettoife/what-is-ghettoife/ for an explanation)

Of course occasionally I take a look (and photos) out of the window:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_23.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_24.jpg

Sarajevo again:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_25.jpg

The service on this flight is dog slow. The crew deliver the food trays to a few rows at a time, then go back and do the drinks service on the same rows, which often has them running back to the galley for resupplies. Additionally there’s a kid some ten rows ahead who causes some kind of scene, I’m not sure what happens but I think he throws up on his tray or something like that causing more hassle.

By the time we on the last row get served we have been flying for almost one and half hours, not impressed by this at all. The FA does apologize and explains it by the incident but still I find the whole thing quite uncoordinated and unacceptably slow - come on, Lufthansa - you are capable of much better!

I’m still somewhat surprised to get a hot meal - looks like Lufthansa hasn’t done away with these completely on European routes:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_26.jpg

What else could it be than another variation of the classic Lufthansa pasta dish:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_27.jpg

It is a kind of a lasagnette (vegetarian, no meat) and okay apart from the fact that there’s no pepper any more on the tray which always was a good way to bring some taste to the blandness. My seatmate agrees with me on this - and doesn’t have a bottle of hot sauce either (which would be even better)!

To wash it down both me and the seatmate have Warsteiners (I know, I know) - I’d desperately wanted a second one but no chance for that with this crew - as soon as we get these they head to the front of the cabin gathering the trash from those fortunate one to be served earlier.

Overflying Graz, with GRZ airport clearly visible:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_28.jpg

Not much views of the Alps on this flight - we fly quite an easterly flight path so the main peaks are left on our left hand side:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_29.jpg

Eventually an announcement is made that we will start our descent and there will be some turbulence to be expected as there are thunderstorms in the area we are flying through. The clouds sure are dark, but no major bumps are experienced.

City of Hanau and the Main river:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_30.jpg

Interesting effect here:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_31.jpg

Passing FRA on the eastern side - looks like the 07s are in use today:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_32.jpg

The Main and Rhine rivers glistening in the setting sun:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_33.jpg

Turning to line up:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_34.jpg

The giant Opel factory at Rüsselsheim - since it is this far we are landing on the new 07L runway:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_35.jpg

Sorry for a blurry photo but that thing in the middle of the roundabout looks like a V1 or one of those remote controlled drones the US troops are so keen on using nowadays:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_36.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_37.jpg

Landing - total time airborne 2h40mins:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_38.jpg

Of course there’s a bit of a taxi ahead of us. I see my first KE A380, too bad it was far away so the photo didn’t turn out very good:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_39.jpg

The captain announced a stand arrival with a bus transfer - what else. With this in mind I’m a bit surprised that we turn into the area between the upcoming A+ and A piers - for a while I’m hoping maybe FRA ops had pity on us and gave us a jetway, but no - looks like they now use the stands in front of A+ (now that is a really stupid name, BTW) for additional parking space:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_40.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_41.jpg

After stopping on our stand a further announcement is made that the Bundespolizei is here to inspect everyone’s papers (they seem to do this a lot in Frankfurt - this is the third or fourth time it has happened to me). This slows things down somewhat, especially for me considering that due to the lack of overhead space my stuff is stored somewhere ten rows ahead of me and I have to fight upstream to get my trash - both doors are used for disembarkation here.

Finally gathering my stuff I’m ready to wave my ID card to the female officer in the back galley but she takes one look at me, kind of shrugs and just waves me onwards, not bothering with my documentation. I guess I don’t fit their profile of whatever they were looking for which is probably illegal immigrants from the leaky Greece - Turkey border or Greek people escaping the country with heavy sacks full of money.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_42.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_43.jpg

Once we drive off in the bus I see a young woman (wearing the tiniest microshorts I’ve ever seen outside certain “establishments”) being detained by the Polizei so I guess they had a good cause to pull this stunt off!

Frankfurt Am Main Airport

“Schengen Arrivals B Ost” is something you learn to hate a lot if you frequent FRA. Well, this is exactly where we end today - once again. And once again the late night HEL flight is leaving from A (surprise, surprise), so another long walk thru the tunnel it is for me.

Before heading there I do some stocking up in the B Travel Value, next to a huge queue for leaving Schengen:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_44.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_45.jpg

Once arriving in the A pier I take a sneak preview of my flight:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_46.jpg

BTW is it just me or are there less of these terminals here now than there used to be some years ago?

After a long hike dodging the usual FRA masses I reach the A pier Lufthansa lounge complex and head into the Senator one. Again this is surprisingly quiet - I guess late Saturday night isn’t the most popular travel time, at least for frequent fliers!

As usual, this lounge offers great views of planes taxing past - those clouds don’t look too good:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_47.jpg

Hmm, maybe I should try an Air China widebody one day:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_48.jpg

Here’s a shot for PlaneHunter again:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_49.jpg

It has started to rain outside and lighting can also be seen and heard - this usually doesn’t bode well with airport operations, but surprisingly there are only a few delays posted on the screens. Since my flight isn’t one of those with a delay I decide to head to the gate around the original boarding time - but what do I see there - a huge scrum:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_50.jpg

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_51.jpg

It turns out that this gate still has a delayed flight to LYS so there are two A321fuls of confused passengers and the gate agents make repeated announcements that the Lyon-bound passengers should board now and the ones for Helsinki should take a seat and wait for a while. But of course it never works, more confusion follows...

Make sure you load lots of wine - it is France you are going to after all:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_52.jpg

I take a seat a bit further away and entertain myself watching the antics of people. Eventually they manage to pack up the Lyon passengers (the plane stays at the gate, though - not a good sign) and then announce that the HEL fight will now board. That is kinda confusing as there’s no other jetway on this gate - I guess they found some way to get buses here for us too.

As usual boarding is enforced using the self service gates, as usual half the pax have problems using them (bar code the wrong way around, afraid of machinery or just plain confused). Once it is my turn the machine beeps and spits out a small piece of cardboard - the same size as a boarding pass stub. I’ve never seen this happen before and take a look at the card - it reads (both in English and German): “New Seat, 1A, Business Class”! Wow, an operational upgrade - now in my experience these are very rare on Lufthansa especially for other airline’s Star Gold members so looks like I hit the jackpot today!

I wonder if my jokes about “1A” with the check in agent in Athens had anything to do with it?

After passing the gate I discover a whole new side to the A pier gates - there actually is a corridor with narrow stairs leading downstairs to a bus boarding gate where a bus (with the same driver who brought us from the ATH plane) is already waiting.

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_53.jpg

The drive to the plane is incredibly long - many people start commenting about the long drive and making nervous chuckles. Well, I know what happened here - our original gate was blocked by the late running LYS plane so the the HEL plane had to find a new parking position and I guess the only free ones were really far away, almost at the threshold of runway 18, a good ten minute bus ride away when you count in the waiting time for passing planes who for some reason seem to have priority in this airport...

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_54.jpg

Finally we reach the plane - still D-AIDI as shown by the system earlier and luckily another new registration for me. It is raining cats and dogs outside (luckily the lighting has passed) so the bus driver stops as close to the front stairs as possible and opens only the front door of the bus - a nice idea but a bit frustrating when you are sitting way back in the bus!

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_55.jpg

FRA - HEL
LH854
A321 D-AIDI
Seat 1A
23.19 - 2.27 (+1)

Despite the late hour the crew seems to be in good spirits and rather chirpy. The purser is a particularly nice, middle aged German woman, always smiling and joking with passengers. I settle on my bulkhead seat:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_56.jpg

Ahh - my first time flying up front with Lufthansa. Once some seven years ago I got really close as they gave me an upgrade for volunteering on an overbooked flight (this very same last flight of the day to HEL BTW) but even more passengers arrived and I traded it for a 500 EUR voucher and a night at FRA:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_57.jpg

I wonder why these new planes don’t have names - does it really take so long to come up with one:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_58.jpg

All the three rows of business class are full, as apparently is economy today. Out of the business class passengers just one or two look like the stereotypical business class travelers - i.e. businessmen in suits, all the others look more like upgradees. I know, I know you shouldn’t judge the book by its covers but my instincts are usually quite spot on...

Predeparture drinks are offered from a tray - a choice of water or OJ:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_59.jpg

Then the purser gets chatting to my seatmate, a middle aged Finnish woman and casually mentions the FRA curfew which is due in just half an hour from now. The woman and his husband on 2D say that they are well aware of this as some friends of theirs got stuck here overnight a couple of weeks because their plane was too late and failed to take off before the curfew sets at 23.00. I join the conversation and say “At least they got a hotel night courtesy of Lufthansa!” - the woman’s reply is a bit disturbing as she says that no, LH didn’t pay for a hotel night as “it was the airport’s fault that they have the curfew, not LH’s” and they ended up sleeping it rough! Oh dear, I definitely don’t want to have a second rough night in a row! No!

The captain makes a welcome speech where he mentions the same things - the curfew and that we now have around 25 minutes to get the hell out of Dodge, but due to the heavy rain there’s congestion everywhere and ATC is unable to assign us a wheels up slot at this time. This makes me more anxious - but as there’s nothing to do I decide to doze, taking the occasional look at my watch.

Fifteen very long minutes pass - there’s a lot of speculation on whether we can get out or not tonight going round in the cabin. Finally the captain makes another announcement - apparently there’s a clause in the curfew rules for bad weather and that card has now been played, extending it by one hour - i.e. to midnight. I’m very relieved to hear this - I will be sleeping in my own bed this night - at least half of it, that is! They still don’t know when our slot will be, but we will get out within the next 45 minutes, the captain promises.

Relieved I fall asleep, waking up half an hour later by the sound of our engines being started. There aren’t many times when that familiar sound has been so sweet and warmly welcomed! A couple of minutes later we leave our parking position, 54 minutes late.

A BA cargo 747-8 taking off before us - the spray of water was very impressive, unfortunately couldn’t get it on a photo:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_60.jpg

Taking off from 07C:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_61.jpg

The blue lights are a long convoy of some kind of emergency vehicles on the Autobahn - maybe the lighting caused a fire somewhere:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_62.jpg

Very nice views of Mainhattan all lit up in the darkness during our ascent:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_63.jpg

Pretty soon the meal service beings - too bad I’m not hungry at all and don’t really want to do anything else than sleep. Here’s the tray:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_64.jpg

There’s an appetizer with some nice jumbo shrimps, a piece of asparagus and I honestly don’t have the slightest clue what the thing in the middle is. There’s also a rather sinful chocolate mousse dessert and of course the main dish:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_65.jpg

Sorry for the blurry photo. It is some kind of meatballs, I think from chicken meat with potatoes and some sauce.

Warm bread is offered from a basket.

As I said - I’m too full and too tired to care much for the food - I manage to eat the tasty shrimps (love seafood) and the mousse - and that’s it.

The purser is very effficient though - right after she realizes I’m not in the mood for eating she clears my tray really fast and offers me a drink - I ask for champagne but apparently thanks to our high flying expert on international premium lifestyle, Jonas “Premium Class” LH4116 there’s no real champagne on LH European flights so I guess it is sparkling wine I get - it makes me feel a little bit less guilty for having the purser to open a whole bottle just for me - I don’t think anyone else wants it:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_66.jpg

Anyway the rest of the flight is spent in uneasy sleep - I like to stretch my legs straight when sleeping but the bulkhead in front of me makes it impossible. There’s plenty of legroom, but not enough for stretching out here. I keep waking every fifteen minutes or so.

Eventually we reach Finland and I guess the summer is finally here as the new day is clearly dawning over the eastern horizon when we are landing on runway 15 - despite it being barely half past two in the morning:

http://i895.photobucket.com/albums/ac154/FlyingFinn_photo/Greece_05_2012/Part_2/Lufthansa_67.jpg

After landing the purser welcomes us to Helsinki and says “As you can see the new day is already dawning here so I won’t say good night to you, but rather good morning!” - nice!

In my zombielike state I gather my trash, somehow manage to thank the crew for the flight and make it to the taxi rank, telling my address to the driver with the words “Wake me up when we are there!” and promptly sleep until home where I collapse in my bed around 2.50 AM, very much aware that in exactly 15 hours I’ll be departing HEL on another adventure, but that’s a whole different story!

Conclusions

I didn’t have high expectations on Cyprus Airways - some reports here seemed to be putting them down rather harshly. But the reality was completely different - I had a very good experience. A comfortable enough plane, very friendly crew (even the one member who refused to greet pax during boarding seemed to melt during the flight) and exceptionally good service for a short hop like this - I liked them a lot. Makes me want to fly them on a longer sector, maybe LHR-LCA with an optiontown upgrade into Business - should be sweet!

Olympic Air again provided a very nice short flight - comfortable, newish plane, nice young and happy crew and sufficient service for the short hop with on time departure and early arrival, coupled with an exceptionally good fare (okay, the cheapest A3 fares were still a bit cheaper) - nothing to complain here!

Lufthansa was a mixed bag again. The slow service on the first flight was quite annoying - I really feel things could be improved here. The hot meal of course was a nice surprise, so all in all this will go down as another nice LH flight, though. On the second flight as much as I appreciate the business class upgrade it was again a bit useless (no matter what Jonas says). After all I had eaten plenty in the lounges and just wanted to sleep, and the bulkhead seat wasn’t the most comfortable option for that. On a daytime flight I’d appreciated the meal and the service, but not like this.

Finally Greece - considering the picture painted in the media about the country nowadays as a warzone with massive demonstrations, clashes with the police, teargas and the works the reality was completely different: business as usual. In the airports you couldn’t really tell nothing was wrong with the country - things worked just fine, there were plenty of people around and nobody was acting more funnier than usual. I strongly urge everyone to go and visit Greece just to prove the popular image wrong - there’s nothing to be afraid of!


The very next day has me on the road again, this time heading in the opposite direction - far north! The route is HEL-ARN-OSL-LYR-TOS-OSL-ARN-HEL. Happy contrails!


User currently offlinegabrielchew From United Kingdom, joined Aug 2005, 3311 posts, RR: 12
Reply 2, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 9403 times:

Nice report FF76! Looks like you had some reasonable flights.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I’m very surprised to see five rows of real business class seats, American F style:

Wow, they look nice, but the seat pitch is a bit Y-esque. Can't imagine they fill them with many high-yielding pax

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
By the time we on the last row get served we have been flying for almost one and half hours, not impressed by this at all.

Not good

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
“New Seat, 1A, Business Class”! Wow, an operational upgrade - now in my experience these are very rare on Lufthansa especially for other airline’s Star Gold members so looks like I hit the jackpot today!

I've been upgraded twice with LH shorthual. Once when I was 16 and got IROPSed going MAD-FRA-LHR with no status. Second was to 1A on a full LHR-MUC flight. I was very happy with both!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I join the conversation and say “At least they got a hotel night courtesy of Lufthansa!” - the woman’s reply is a bit disturbing as she says that no, LH didn’t pay for a hotel night as “it was the airport’s fault that they have the curfew, not LH’s” and they ended up sleeping it rough! Oh dear, I definitely don’t want to have a second rough night in a row! No!

I'm very surprised LH didn't pay for a hotel. I'm also surprised that there is a blank "no flights" policy. I think LHR just fines late flights.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
There’s an appetizer with some nice jumbo shrimps, a piece of asparagus and I honestly don’t have the slightest clue what the thing in the middle is. There’s also a rather sinful chocolate mousse dessert and of course the main dish:

Looks quite tasty - shame you weren't hungry



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 offlineWidebodyroga From United States of America, joined Sep 2008, 613 posts, RR: 16
Reply 3, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 15 hours ago) and read 9313 times:

Hey Petteri,

Glad to see my honorary "home" airport in a report of yours. For my next visit to Bulgaria I plan to utilize it once more but given that this won't happen until November it was nice to see some photos of it now. What's more, I have been very curious about CY's product on the ATH-SKG route. In the past I have flown it with OA, A3 and ZF and I was planning to do a daytrip on that route with CY as well (just out of curiosity) but you beat me to it. Instead I may now try A2 (Astra Airlines)...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Turning around - looks like some sort of runway extension is being built, although that construction site doesn’t look too active - maybe they ran out of money:

I have been monitoring their progress on the extension of the runway and it seems that they will have it ready sometime in 2015 or something?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Our route takes us right over the island of Skiathos and its airport - looks like an interesting place to fly to:

Skiathos... the St.Martin of Europe. How stupid was I to visit the place and never go to the beach to wait for the Scandinavian 757s? You don't have to answer.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The town of Kallikrateia:

How nice. I remember when I was a kid my parents and I would drive from Bulgaria and spend a few days by the beach in (Nea) Kallikrateia. Not the best beach in the world (one can find some top-class ones just a few miles down the road) but the hotels were cheap enough even for us Bulgarians of the 80's/90's.


In any case, I'm glad to see that CY has a fine product for this short route. I wonder how their presence will affect OA and A3.

Once again a pleasure to read your reports,

WideBodyroga



Visit my aviation page: http://widebodyroga.weebly.com/
User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2442 posts, RR: 4
Reply 4, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 9121 times:

Great TR as always...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Aegean also has a spy among its ranks:



Just for the record, the spion is HERMES AIRLINES http://www.hermesairlines.gr/

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I didn’t have high expectations on Cyprus Airways - some reports here seemed to be putting them down rather harshly. But the reality was completely different - I had a very good experience. A comfortable enough plane, very friendly crew (even the one member who refused to greet pax during boarding seemed to melt during the flight) and exceptionally good service for a short hop like this



Unfortunately, flight CY622 is no longer bookable for the summer peak season- it seems CY is well reducing their Greek domestic schedule (due to the entrance of ASTRA AIRLLINES in the Greek market?!).

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Makes me want to fly them on a longer sector, maybe LHR-LCA with an optiontown upgrade into Business - should be sweet!



Cyprus will also start shortly ATH-LHR...
   But beware, CY is also flying with ex EuroCypria Charter A320 with all Y-seats - but mainly to CDG/TLV!


User currently offlinealexeu From Serbia, joined Oct 2007, 1817 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 9111 times:

Nice and open minded report!

Whats up with seating in the last seat? I take the last seat only when the engines are back to!

I didn´t know that CY flies domestically in Greece though, apart from the Heraklion-Rhodos flight. Pax from Cyprus have to clear immigration in ATH before continuing to SKG right?

cheers,
Alex


User currently offlineLH4116 From Sweden, joined Aug 2007, 1714 posts, RR: 18
Reply 6, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 14 hours ago) and read 9095 times:

Hello Flying Finn 76, aka PetteriFinn76! Nice report! Although I'm slightly concerned about your health, I mean the large alcohol consumption, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, unhealthy food is leaving me slightly worried.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
SK tail:

The h*ll are they doing there!? Jokes aside, nice to see them get their ARN route up and running.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
On some planes you have the life vest under your seat, with CY you have... water:

Well perhaps you must've regret splurging out on that bottle of water? Btw, what's the point of that anyway when there's free water onboard most of the times.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I get a minor shock when the last passenger boarding the plane turns out to be... Steve Jobs! The man is a spitting image of the Apple whizkid - so it must be him! I always knew he wasn’t dead, he just went to... Greece.

Are you mixing up your fantasies with reality again? Usually this is the case when the words "blowjob" or "lapdance" pop up, but deceased tech gurus... That's a new one!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A large bunch of solar panels have been erected on the side of the runway - I don’t think these were there the last time I flew out of here, one and half years ago:

Well at least some of the money have been spent wisely, i.e on expensive solarpanels. But then again you couldn't care less about that since you don't believe in global warming  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
looks surprisingly close to to the Finnish “tiikerikakku”:

In Swedish we call it Tigerkaka!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Our plane seems to be taking a piss - a HOT piss:

That's not a penis. It's a drain mast, used to drain various "body" fluids from the engine.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
You can see the sleeveless uniform here:

I must say that's quite inappropriate for a flight attendant's uniform, a bit too undressed not suitable at all. On SAS that would be strictly illegal!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Plenty of Nespresso - Jonas would be in heaven here:

Oh yes, heaven indeed for both me, Philip and Eric. Actually in heaven they don't have Nespresso. True story, check out the commercials starring Academy Award Winning actors George Clooney and John Malkovich  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I find a nice sofa to lie down and do a bit of reading, drinking, eating and surfing using the wifi - generally lounging then!

Yes that's exactly what you do in a lounge. Btw is that your American Airlines amenity kit?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Wow, an operational upgrade - now in my experience these are very rare on Lufthansa especially for other airline’s Star Gold members so looks like I hit the jackpot today!

Well yes you've managed to achieve the unachievable, by against all odds break the harsh food chain of Senators, HON Circle, FTL's and lowly Blue (who the f*ck came up with the idea to value them higher than *G!?! makes no sense). But then again I believe SAS EBG come after SEN on the food chain, the same way SEN come after EBG on SAS flights. They have some kind of agreements in the policies.

"Wheels Up!"
//Jonas



SAS Plus is Business Class made faux!
User currently offlineju068 From Vanuatu, joined Aug 2009, 2691 posts, RR: 6
Reply 7, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 8586 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Quoting alexeu (Reply 5):
I didn´t know that CY flies domestically in Greece though, apart from the Heraklion-Rhodos flight. Pax from Cyprus have to clear immigration in ATH before continuing to SKG right?

Cyprus Airways (or any other carrier from that region) sells LCA-SKG via ATH, or the other way around, as a connecting flight. Since Cyprus is not in the Schengen zone they have to clear immigration. However, I doubt anyone ever flies like that since there are numerous daily flights from Larnaca to both Thessaloniki and Athens.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
I must say that's quite inappropriate for a flight attendant's uniform, a bit too undressed not suitable at all. On SAS that would be strictly illegal!

That is not a member of the crew. If you look closely the dress is burgundy, Olympic uniforms are navy blue with some green details.
Of course it would be illegal, after all Nordic people tend to present themselve as puritans  Wink

[Edited 2012-05-31 02:25:36]

User currently offlineSultanils From Belgium, joined Mar 2010, 1743 posts, RR: 30
Reply 8, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 2 days 2 hours ago) and read 8529 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi FlyingMan,

Very nice episode of your travels once again. I’m a bit surprised there was not Macedonian brass band waiting for you at SKG to give The Finn a warm welcome. These guys play some addictive music you know! Next time you come theren be sure to explore the hinterland, it is a beautiful region and like you said it yourself: Greece needs your money more than ever 

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
there’s nobody in either of the security lanes but I decide to use the fast lane anyway.

Of course you had to make use of it. Not that I mean that you’re ‘living the fast lane’  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
my first encounter with Cyprus Airways - 5B-DCL “Pentadaktylos”

I love that name. And some Wiki searching reveals it indeed refers to ‘five fingers’. Greek is an easy to understand language ha ha ha!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
On some planes you have the life vest under your seat, with CY you have... water:

And hopefully a life vest as well!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Next to us a Belgian visitor:

Either a service from BRU or CRL. I’m booked on Jetairfly in Oct, heading to some warmer climes.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Amsterdam has the Fokker Farm, Athens has the Metroliner Mob:

Not quite as impressive as the Fokker Farm but still a nice sight. Love the green/blue example.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Hmm, is it just me or do those two smaller houses lack an access road:

Didn’t you spot the donkey at the roadside?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This is the famous Malév TU-154, former registration HA-LCR which landed here on its belly back in 2000 as the crew apparently “forgot to lower the undercarriage”, but in an amazing testimony to the robust Soviet engineering the pilots simply hit full thrust again and the plane took off, circled around the airport and landed this time with its gear down.

Is that a true story or some ghost tale?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
that Ezy flight is departing for Dortmund

Dortmund of all places  Wow!, the Easies are really everywhere...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Excellent legroom here on row 6:

You can call it ‘Olympic legroom’ maybe?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Our route takes us right over the island of Skiathos and its airport - looks like an interesting place to fly to:

Yes and to go spotting as well, it’s kinda like the St Maarten in Europe.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
famous and peculiar Tuborg water cans:

I knew about the beer, but not about the water. Is it a tasty brew?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Make sure you load lots of wine - it is France you are going to after all:

Usually the wine comes FROM France if it’s not Riesling or Liebfraumilch  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
“New Seat, 1A, Business Class”!

Bingo!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Finally the captain makes another announcement - apparently there’s a clause in the curfew rules for bad weather and that card has now been played, extending it by one hour

Always read the small letters. Lucky for you to get away or else it would’ve been another night of metal sleeping.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Eventually we reach Finland and I guess the summer is finally here as the new day is clearly dawning over the eastern horizon when we are landing on runway 15 - despite it being barely half past two in the morning:

At that time the sun already rises? So you already have temps in the 20’s at that time 

Sultanils



In thrust we trust.
User currently offlinevolvair From Germany, joined Oct 2011, 167 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 8142 times:

Hi FF,

great report once again. So I see we are back to full speed now and you shoot out new reports every 2-3 days? Please consider we have to read them all  

Your report confirms the positive impressions from Greek domestic flights you get from reading reports here. They seem to be great fun with great views. As long as there is no strike.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
So instead of some tasty moussaka or whatnot I settle just for a Greek salad - the quality here doesn%u2019t match the high price either

6,50 for a beer? What are they thinking?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh and don%u2019t forget the refreshing towel, always have a towel with you!

I strongly doubt that this towel will be a trustful comrade in your ventures across the galaxy.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
GhettoIFE © Kevin Marshall

I'm a frequent user of that!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I’m still somewhat surprised to get a hot meal - looks like Lufthansa hasn’t done away with these completely on European routes:

Iirc, NEK service concept is a hot meal on routes longer than 2 hours when flying back to Germany. Only on the inbound, the outbound sectors have cold meals.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I’ve ever seen outside certain “establishments”

So you visit those "establishments"? Wait... I don't really wanna know.

Oh, and congrats on the upgrade. Sorry you weren't able to enjoy it that much.


User currently offlineLXM83 From Switzerland, joined May 2005, 610 posts, RR: 5
Reply 10, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 18 hours ago) and read 7933 times:

Hi FlyingFinn76

Great part two, too.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
and buy an incredibly cheap (.....) bottle of water

Was impressed by that a few years ago. With every airport had cheap water after security.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Oh, is there any airport in the Mediterranean where Air Berlin doesn’t fly

Nope.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The restaurant is horribly overpriced

Yes, that's a quite expensive beer!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Hmm, maybe I should try an Air China widebody one day

Hey, you know I think a Chinese airline flies from Germany to ATH or something like that. Check out this forum, I think I've read something like that recently...  

Looking forward to your LYR adventure!
Cheers, LXM83


User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 11, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 17 hours ago) and read 7803 times:

Hi guys, thank you for all the comments, very much appreciated!

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
Wow, they look nice, but the seat pitch is a bit Y-esque. Can't imagine they fill them with many high-yielding pax

Funny, I thought exactly the same about the seat pitch. But should be fine at least for their shorter routes - LHR-LCA is a bit pushing it though.

Quoting gabrielchew (Reply 2):
I've been upgraded twice with LH shorthual. Once when I was 16 and got IROPSed going MAD-FRA-LHR with no status. Second was to 1A on a full LHR-MUC flight. I was very happy with both!

Wow, lighting strikes twice! Congratulations on that.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 3):
What's more, I have been very curious about CY's product on the ATH-SKG route. In the past I have flown it with OA, A3 and ZF and I was planning to do a daytrip on that route with CY as well (just out of curiosity) but you beat me to it. Instead I may now try A2 (Astra Airlines)...

ZF = Athens Airways, the guys with the tiny Jungle Jets, right?

This trunk route seems to be amazingly busy and with plenty of competition - so great for people like us, many carriers to choose from and low fares = bliss.

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 3):
I have been monitoring their progress on the extension of the runway and it seems that they will have it ready sometime in 2015 or something?

Certainly taking their time I guess!

Quoting Widebodyroga (Reply 3):
You don't have to answer.

I won't.

Quoting debonair (Reply 4):
Just for the record, the spion is HERMES AIRLINES http://www.hermesairlines.gr/

Thanks. Did they acquire an ex-Air Mediterranee A321 or what?

Quoting debonair (Reply 4):
Unfortunately, flight CY622 is no longer bookable for the summer peak season- it seems CY is well reducing their Greek domestic schedule (due to the entrance of ASTRA AIRLLINES in the Greek market?!).

Oh, that's a big shame! But maybe their international routes will fare better. I think I need to start thinking about another trip to Greece to try these new carriers. And Astra is very interesting - the BaE 146-300 (and the -100) are missing from my log and aren't exactly very commonplace these days...

Quoting debonair (Reply 4):
   But beware, CY is also flying with ex EuroCypria Charter A320 with all Y-seats - but mainly to CDG/TLV!

Hmm, I wouldn't mind logging that kind of exotic bird! But yeah, not worth the upgrade then!

Quoting alexeu (Reply 5):
Nice and open minded report!

Open minded? Me? Hell no, I'm the stereotype of conservatism!

Quoting alexeu (Reply 5):
Whats up with seating in the last seat? I take the last seat only when the engines are back to!

It has become a bit of a habit on this site, thanks to Markus.

Quoting alexeu (Reply 5):
I didn´t know that CY flies domestically in Greece though, apart from the Heraklion-Rhodos flight. Pax from Cyprus have to clear immigration in ATH before continuing to SKG right?

They started a few routes to try to see if they could make any money in that market.

This is not a tag on on the LCA-ATH flight but a whole separate flight. And coming in from non-Schengen and connecting to a Schengen flight transfer pax indeed need to clear immigration at ATH.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
Although I'm slightly concerned about your health, I mean the large alcohol consumption, lack of sleep, lack of exercise, unhealthy food is leaving me slightly worried.

Jonas, what the hell are you talking about once again? Maybe you should stick to the report and not on personal things?

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
Well perhaps you must've regret splurging out on that bottle of water? Btw, what's the point of that anyway when there's free water onboard most of the times.

Well it is not there right when I want it - you know flying dehydrates you so I always carry a bottle of water with me when I fly. Of course with the stupid liquids rule it is sometimes a bit complicated (or expensive actually). And I wouldn't call 70 cents "splurging out".

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
Are you mixing up your fantasies with reality again? Usually this is the case when the words "blowjob" or "lapdance" pop up, but deceased tech gurus... That's a new one!

What the hell are you talking about? That guy who boarded last looked like a spitting image of Steve Jobs.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
But then again you couldn't care less about that since you don't believe in global warming

Who says that? Of course I believe in it - well it is not a matter of belief actually - it is a scientifically proven fact so there's nothing to "believe in" - any more than there's need to believe that airplanes can fly, it is all based on the laws of physics.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
In Swedish we call it Tigerkaka!

That is "Tiger shit" in Finnish, btw.

Quoting LH4116 (Reply 6):
Btw is that your American Airlines amenity kit?

Yes. Used as a nice holder for all my electronic stuff - chargers, wires, spare batteries for the camera.

Quoting ju068 (Reply 7):
However, I doubt anyone ever flies like that since there are numerous daily flights from Larnaca to both Thessaloniki and Athens.

I would fly this way in a heartbeat!

Quoting ju068 (Reply 7):
That is not a member of the crew. If you look closely the dress is burgundy, Olympic uniforms are navy blue with some green details.

Hmm, is it really so? At least the crew uniform is very similar to that dress.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 8):
These guys play some addictive music you know!

No, I really don't know.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 8):
Next time you come theren be sure to explore the hinterland, it is a beautiful region and like you said it yourself: Greece needs your money more than ever

Well that would be nice, but then again going island hopping with these interesting airlines sounds more interesting to me!

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 8):
Either a service from BRU or CRL. I’m booked on Jetairfly in Oct, heading to some warmer climes.

Hope they will land on the correct airport - unlike my experience with them one and half years ago...

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 8):
Didn’t you spot the donkey at the roadside?

No?

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 8):
Is that a true story or some ghost tale?

True. Check out: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mal%C3%A9v_Flight_262

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 8):
famous and peculiar Tuborg water cans:
I knew about the beer, but not about the water. Is it a tasty brew?

Well they have Tuborg branded tonic and soda water in Greece, also served onboard Aegean.

Quoting Sultanils (Reply 8):
At that time the sun already rises? So you already have temps in the 20’s at that time 

No. It will rise in one hour or so. And no, it won't yet be that warm.

Quoting volvair (Reply 9):
great report once again. So I see we are back to full speed now and you shoot out new reports every 2-3 days? Please consider we have to read them all  

Well I don't want to end up with a big backlog, that's it. And it takes me a lot of work to write and do them as well, so don't complain!

Quoting volvair (Reply 9):
Your report confirms the positive impressions from Greek domestic flights you get from reading reports here. They seem to be great fun with great views. As long as there is no strike.

Yes, the service standards on these flights are a notch above the rest of Europe and the fares are usually very good as well.

Quoting volvair (Reply 9):
6,50 for a beer? What are they thinking?

Profit?

Quoting volvair (Reply 9):
Iirc, NEK service concept is a hot meal on routes longer than 2 hours when flying back to Germany. Only on the inbound, the outbound sectors have cold meals.

What's the logic behind that??

It's been ages since I've flown LH ex-HEL on anything but the early morning flights so no idea this was the case - the HEL flights certainly fall into this category. On the morning flights they've offered a hot breakfast sandwich, so maybe this counts as a hot meal.

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 10):
Was impressed by that a few years ago. With every airport had cheap water after security.

Oh yes, this should be the standard everywhere. Although I really loved Dubai T2: a bottle of water from a vending machine cost 10 eurocents!

Quoting LXM83 (Reply 10):
Hey, you know I think a Chinese airline flies from Germany to ATH or something like that. Check out this forum, I think I've read something like that recently...  

Thanks! I'll need to check this out.


User currently offlinedebonair From Germany, joined Jan 2004, 2442 posts, RR: 4
Reply 12, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 7725 times:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
Did they acquire an ex-Air Mediterranee A321 or what?



It's a joint-venture, operating 6 a/c's (2x B735,1x A320,3x A321) on routes to Iraq from NorthernEurope (read Sweden) via ATH. Same as VIKING AIRLINES and VIKING HELLAS did in the past...


User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5173 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 15 hours ago) and read 7716 times:

Hi, P.,

great stuff again. Always the story that entertains me. Great pictures as well.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):


I have just an hour between my flights here, so I waste no time heading back upstairs to the departure level. The first sight on top of the escalators looks surprisingly familiar - they seem to be trying to lure Greek passengers (and Markus) using the Latvian blonde stereotype:

It works, P., it definitely works!.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Sitting in the last row, where else:

Well, good choice, you know.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):


A rather young and almost cross-the-street hot (to use Mark’s terminology here) female purser is greeting us on the front door, being very cordial and welcoming to everyone.

Added to the list about the soon-to-fly airlines!.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

I wonder if my jokes about “1A” with the check in agent in Athens had anything to do with it?

Sure, there is someone above us who follows that conversations frequently.
Remember me and don´t ask proactively about any upgrades, never!.

Greetings,
Markus(FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlinevolvair From Germany, joined Oct 2011, 167 posts, RR: 0
Reply 14, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 7510 times:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
And it takes me a lot of work to write and do them as well, so don't complain!

I never will, you know I was just kidding a bit   I know how much work that goes into making into trip reports and I applaud you for your efforts!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):

What's the logic behind that??

Maybe they want to get the "fresh" stuff out first.Who knows... I read it in some forum once the service concept was first published (late 2010 iirc).

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 11):
On the morning flights they've offered a hot breakfast sandwich, so maybe this counts as a hot meal.

Yes, I guess anything that's heated up counts I guess - and it may also depend on the time of day. VNO-FRA was a heated mini-quiche once, less substantial than AB's Laugenstange, MAD-MUC a meal with similar size to yours, chicken breast with rice.


User currently offlineroberts87 From Netherlands, joined Dec 2011, 999 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day 4 hours ago) and read 7455 times:

Great continuation of the first part! Glad they were able to extend the curfew att FRA!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
looks like they now use the stands in front of A+ (now that is a really stupid name, BTW) for additional parking space:

Ah, so that's why a saw two LH Airbusses there during my last visit to FRA. For a moment I thought I missed the opening announcement  


User currently offlineba319-131 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2001, 8561 posts, RR: 54
Reply 16, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 1 day ago) and read 7313 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Another great read P. did enjoy, looks like a decent trip.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This report contains a lot of politically incorrect jokes about the situation in Greece.

- Fine by me  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
couldn’t care less about being PC, but if you are easily offended or simply lack a sense of humor stop reading now and go and watch the Disney Channel or something, it is safe, sterile and will not require you to tax your brain too much

- H,v funnl, like this  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This lounge is okay but I don’t really like the polished steel look - I’d prefer something a bit more down to earth really:

- Yes, a bit hi tech and cold feel.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
These seats look very comfortable, I’m regretting now that I didn’t shell out the 30 EUR for an upgrade via optiontown!

- Not a bad deal for just 30 EUR......

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Sitting in the last row, where else:

- So long as not having to fight over the seat with Markus  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
On some planes you have the life vest under your seat, with CY you have... water:

- Interesting!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A rather young and almost cross-the-street hot (to use Mark’s terminology here) female purser is greeting us on the front door, being very cordial and welcoming to everyone.

- Like the sound of that P  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I think I need to come back to fly this carrier, the Jetstream 41/42 is high on my missing planes list.

- From mine too!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
retrace my steps from the morning, stopping for a bit of a shopping on the way. Jonas should come here to shop - you can earn miles for your A3 account since earning them by flying seems to be too darn hard:

-  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I manage to eat the tasty shrimps (love seafood)

- Yuch!

Cheers

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 offlinePlaneHunter From Germany, joined Mar 2006, 6824 posts, RR: 77
Reply 17, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks 4 hours ago) and read 6965 times:

Hi P.,

nice report about your return trip. I'd like to try CY one day, too. Too bad the A332s are gone.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
A320 5B-DCL “Pentadaktylos”

I really like these names - it's a shame OA doesn't name its planes any more. And Aegean stopped doing so.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Two of the women and the purser seem nice enough, but one middle aged woman just turns her head away, avoiding any eye contact with passengers so she wouldn’t have to greet them. This kind of behaviour pisses me off to no end so while passing her I loudly exclame “Hello!”, not that she acknowledges it in any way.

I also hate that. Happened on my recent SIN-DXB flight on EK. They could at least nod if they don't want to say anything.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
These seats look very comfortable, I’m regretting now that I didn’t shell out the 30 EUR for an upgrade via optiontown!

That was cheap!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
...with a really peculiar name for a plane:

They also have other interesting names, e.g. "Revolution", "Enjoy" or "Brightness".

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Hmm, never heard about this airline - another failed Greek enterprise perhaps:

They have just one MD-80, leased in from Skywings. Who knows how long it will exist.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
From the inflight mag - nothing like a bit of propaganda (well they are absolutely right here):

The propaganda won't help to find a solution.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

The crew hard at work - notice the much more conservative uniforms as opposed to the OA and A3 sleeveless dresses:

Well, I wouldn't want to see certain FAs without sleeves...  

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
The restaurant is horribly overpriced with similar prices one would expect to pay in Finland which is quite ridiculous as they should be serving me food and drinks for free, after all my tax money is keeping their country afloat! So instead of some tasty moussaka or whatnot I settle just for a Greek salad - the quality here doesn’t match the high price either:

Simply ridiculous. I'm wondering how much tax the government will get from that overpriced stuff...

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Good to see that Lufthansa has christened her “Nördlingen” (after a town in Bavaria) despite it being a relatively new plane (under three years) for the fleet - many of the new planes in their fleet lack names.

Not even the new planes lack names - there are also A333s from 2005 and A346s from 2006 without names. That's strange indeed. On the other hand, names from retired 737s get transferred to E-Jets (e.g. Erding and Freising). I don't get it.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Here’s a shot for PlaneHunter again:

Thanks!   


PH



Nothing's worse than flying the same reg twice!
User currently offlinebarca From Norway, joined Apr 2012, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (2 years 4 months 3 weeks ago) and read 6911 times:

Nice tripreport from you Petri!!!

I flew LCA-ATH with A3 22.May. I got a nice baguette with red wine. The service level is about the same in A3 as it is in LH. In Athen I had to show my passport 3 times. You should have checked out the LH lounge in ATH. It is a fine lounge.
The same day I flew ATH-FRA with LH on the same time as you did. I also got a pasta, but it was lamb pasta. They served vegetarian pasta from FRA to ATH. We stopped at the gate A24 and there were two policeofficers checking people. I was of course stopped. They said that they checked people coming from Malta, Greece and Cyprus.


User currently offlinedeltamartin From Sweden, joined Dec 2010, 1061 posts, RR: 7
Reply 19, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 6 days 20 hours ago) and read 6814 times:

Hello P!

Great second half of this report!
Good idea to do that little sidetrip while in Greece. CY sure seemed like a nice carrier.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
In Athens the lounges are landside which is a bit of a pain since it makes it rather hard to estimate when to leave the lounge - more on this later.

I have always imagined that being the case with landside lounges. Can't be the same ease of mind.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
These seats look very comfortable, I’m regretting now that I didn’t shell out the 30 EUR for an upgrade via optiontown!

The seat does indeed look comfortable but I'm surprised to see so little legroom for such a seat. Still, I wouldn't mind being seated there either!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
This is the famous Malév TU-154, former registration HA-LCR which landed here on its belly back in 2000 as the crew apparently “forgot to lower the undercarriage”, but in an amazing testimony to the robust Soviet engineering the pilots simply hit full thrust again and the plane took off, circled around the airport and landed this time with its gear down. The plane was written off, though - and left to rot here:

Wow, very interesting! I had never heard that story before! Most likely because I had never heard of Tupolev or Malev when it took place.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Interesting - they don’t put these in milk cartons in Greece:

Do they do that in Finland?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Olympic line up - spot the impostor:

At least the impostor has a nice livery too!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Hmm, maybe I should try an Air China widebody one day:

If only they had a 5th freedom intra-Europe flight...  

Martin


User currently offlineTravelsUK From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2007, 134 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 21 hours ago) and read 6606 times:

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I think I need to come back to fly this carrier, the Jetstream 41/42 is high on my missing planes list.

They fly, or at least used to fly, a very interesting and subsidised PSO route from SKG to ZTH via CFU, PVK and EFL 3 times a week, turnaround in ZTH was about an hour. Great fun on J41's!


User currently offlineadamspotter From Netherlands, joined Feb 2011, 1167 posts, RR: 12
Reply 21, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 5 days 20 hours ago) and read 6581 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Hi there FlyingFinn,

Another excellent report of another excellent series, thanks!
Looking forward to your next TR.

cheers,
Brendan // adamspotter


User currently offlinesignol From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2007, 3017 posts, RR: 8
Reply 22, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 6341 times:

Excellent once again FF!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I have just enough time to shoot these photos and buy an incredibly cheap (wow, maybe those billions of support money has actually done something good like kept the price of essentials down) bottle of water from the adjacent kiosk before boarding is called.

I remarked that last week in CFU, I had a double take and asked the guy if he was correct - 50c for a 500ml bottle I recall.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
From the inflight mag - nothing like a bit of propaganda (well they are absolutely right here):

Lol, no mention of the "areas under military occupation of the UK" though!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Hmm, is it just me or do those two smaller houses lack an access road:

Quite similar to our villa in Corfu, just drive on the grass, it is dry and hard enough anyway (prickly walking barefoot on it). Why waste money on a road?  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I settle just for a Greek salad - the quality here doesn’t match the high price either:

Ouch!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):

Our route takes us right over the island of Skiathos and its airport - looks like an interesting place to fly to:

There are a few reports from there on here I recall seeing, some nice shots too from the beach at the end of the runway.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
A rather swanky looking resort

Pity about the road to cross to get to the beach!

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
I choose “Alexander”, mainly because having visited the Greek Macedonia briefly today it feels quite an appropriate movie to watch (the fact that it happens to be the only movie currently on my IPad of course has nothing to do with it)

Can I ask how you buy digital downloads without requiring a connection to stream? Blinkbox is a pain for that, and ripping DVDs seems to take forever.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Reply 1):
quite uncoordinated and unacceptably slow - come on, Lufthansa - you are capable of much better!

Indeed, B- could do better...

Thanks again

signol



Flights booked: none :(
User currently offlineFlyingFinn76 From Finland, joined Jun 2009, 1706 posts, RR: 30
Reply 23, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 16 hours ago) and read 6149 times:

Hi all,

Good to see more comments - thank you very much!

Quoting debonair (Reply 12):
It's a joint-venture, operating 6 a/c's (2x B735,1x A320,3x A321) on routes to Iraq from NorthernEurope (read Sweden) via ATH. Same as VIKING AIRLINES and VIKING HELLAS did in the past...

Ahh, thanks for enlightening me! Again I'm wondering why does everyone keep trying these routes and then fail? Surely there's some potential due to the large number of people in Sweden from the area but does everyone have to do the same mistakes again?

Quoting roberts87 (Reply 15):
Great continuation of the first part! Glad they were able to extend the curfew att FRA!

Yes, I was very happy too!

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 17):
I really like these names - it's a shame OA doesn't name its planes any more. And Aegean stopped doing so.

That sucks. I think every single plane should have a name - it is always good to have a bit more personality to them. And the names and their etymology often tell you much about the carrier and its homeland.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 17):
These seats look very comfortable, I’m regretting now that I didn’t shell out the 30 EUR for an upgrade via optiontown!
That was cheap!

Indeed, but then again it is a very short flight.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 17):
They also have other interesting names, e.g. "Revolution", "Enjoy" or "Brightness".

Hmm, these sound weird. Almost as weird as the Niki names.

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 17):
Well, I wouldn't want to see certain FAs without sleeves...  

Good point. Wouldn't work with SAS or UA  .

Quoting PlaneHunter (Reply 17):
Not even the new planes lack names - there are also A333s from 2005 and A346s from 2006 without names. That's strange indeed. On the other hand, names from retired 737s get transferred to E-Jets (e.g. Erding and Freising). I don't get it.

Hmm, doesn't sound very German thing - no organization. I wonder what goes on into naming a new plane actually.

Quoting barca (Reply 18):
We stopped at the gate A24 and there were two policeofficers checking people. I was of course stopped. They said that they checked people coming from Malta, Greece and Cyprus.

Ok, so it doesn't seem to be an isolated incident. Sure, these places do account for quite a few illegal immigrants into the EU, that much is certain.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 19):
I have always imagined that being the case with landside lounges. Can't be the same ease of mind.

There are a few exceptions like the lounge at BLQ which is landside but has its own dedicated security lane.

Quoting deltamartin (Reply 19):
Interesting - they don’t put these in milk cartons in Greece:
Do they do that in Finland?

No, there aren't that many missing children here.

Quoting TravelsUK (Reply 20):
They fly, or at least used to fly, a very interesting and subsidised PSO route from SKG to ZTH via CFU, PVK and EFL 3 times a week, turnaround in ZTH was about an hour. Great fun on J41's!

Hey, that sounds like my kind of an island hopper! I think I need to look into this soon!

Quoting signol (Reply 22):
I remarked that last week in CFU, I had a double take and asked the guy if he was correct - 50c for a 500ml bottle I recall.

Ahh, that is so decent.

Quoting signol (Reply 22):
Lol, no mention of the "areas under military occupation of the UK" though!

Are they really? Aren't they hired to the UK by the Cyprus Government? Or was this a shotgun wedding?

Quoting signol (Reply 22):
Can I ask how you buy digital downloads without requiring a connection to stream? Blinkbox is a pain for that, and ripping DVDs seems to take forever.

Well, I rip DVDs. Sure it takes ages and can be very clumsy but I usually leave it running overnight while I'm sleeping.
In recent times I've also experimented by downloading and converting recorded programs using my cloud PVR but that is such a hassle for various reasons.


User currently offlinedkdaviator From Denmark, joined Jun 2009, 91 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (2 years 4 months 2 weeks 3 days 13 hours ago) and read 6088 times:

hi FF,

Nice to read about your continued travels from down south to up north.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I’m very surprised to see five rows of real business class seats, American F style:

Those definitely do look comfy... Would be a nice way to travel on an A320.  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
In Athens the lounges are landside which is a bit of a pain since it makes it rather hard to estimate when to leave the lounge

   I so agree. I was in the exact same lounge late last year and had the same quandry. Once you are in the lounge you can't really tell how long it might take to clear security, etc. But if I remember right, there was a security check point you could get to by exiting left out of the lounge that was kind of "out of the way", and went a little quicker than the more centralized ones in the other direction. (but that might have been because of the time of day...)

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
I really love the Greek lounges for these small and tasty sandwiches they always seem to serve:

Yes, those are nice. I was so hungry before my flight, and those things are so tasty. I had longer at the lounge than the 20 minutes you had, so was able to do quite a bit of damage to the buffett spread.  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Thanks, the same to you as well:

Yea, I know what you mean. But hey, it's "all Greek to me"!  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
have any beer onboard but disappears into the back galley and comes back with a very nicely chilled can of Keo - a terribly tasty brew and hits the spot nicely:

That is some pretty nice service there.

I did the same run a couple of years ago, but it was in the opposite direction - from SKG to ATH. But I guess you covered that one too with your following flight right back to ATH.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
While waiting for a second busload of passengers I spot something rather rare arriving, a Jetstream 41 of Sky Express

Yea, when I was there I spotted a kind of opposite sort of rare thing - it was one of the huge Antonov birds that must have been there to deliver some sort of bulky and/or heavy cargo of some sort.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
always have a towel with you!

hmmm, wondering about possible references to the HHGTTU??  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
Notice the BA 767:

Interesting, seems like a big bird for being there... Is that a regular service that BA does to ATH?

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
come on, Lufthansa - you are capable of much better!

Yes, they certainly are, and usually do deliver, unfortunately not on your flight though.  
Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
After stopping on our stand a further announcement is made that the Bundespolizei is here
to inspect everyone’s papers (they seem to do this a lot in Frankfurt

I've had that happen before at FRA as well, but never from ATH, usually from more exotic locations.

Quoting FlyingFinn76 (Thread starter):
“New Seat, 1A, Business Class”! Wow, an operational upgrade

Wow, majorly cool!  

Nice report there.

D.



dkdaviator
25 Post contains images OA260 : Great report P . Nice to see a flurry of Greek reports I have to say I love the steel look of the Goldair and A3 lounges but my favourite is the OA lo
26 initious : Good day FF76! Thanks for introducing a country I'm unfamiliar with, a really good read! The sandwiches in the lounge looks really great, probably me
27 the777man : Hi FlyingFinn! Very nice report and very good to see a report on CY which is not often covered here. CY looks pretty good and I hope they do better so
28 Post contains images FlyingFinn76 : Hi guys, lovely to see more comments, thank you! Hmm, didn't notice any but I didn't really look that hard. In the end everything worked fine - I just
29 MSS658 : HI P. Nice to see your continuation of the Greece-adventure. Always sad to see all the grounded planes in ATH. However, Glad CY and OA Impressed you.
30 Post contains images infodesk : Morning P, Still playing catch up with your reports! Your photos of Greece make me want to hop on the next plane there. So many islands to discover, s
31 Post contains images akhmad : Hi P., Very nice report. A great today’s morning read. How about yourself? What a courtesy. Don’t you think you might have the sixth sense? Wow, w
32 Post contains images FlyingFinn76 : Hi folks, good to see more comments, thank you! Well considering the sea water is salty water might come handy if you survive the initial impact and m
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