Sponsor Message:
Aviation Trip Reports Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Olympic Airlines Business Class: LHR-Athens + Pics  
User currently offlineCambrian From United Kingdom, joined Sep 2003, 619 posts, RR: 5
Posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I travel to Athens several times each year on business. It is one of my favourite cities in the world and I have enjoyed witnessing the changes that have been taking place there over the past 10 years.

It was time for another trip to Athens, and my choices were as follows:



  • BA Direct from Heathrow

  • Swiss from London City via Zurich

  • Olympic Airlines direct from Heathrow


I am not a fan of BA on short-haul. Despite recent token improvements, their Club Europe product remains nothing special, and last time I flew to Athens on their drab 767 in Club, the meal was served immediately after take off, no aperitifs were served, service was non-existent, and there was no in flight entertainment, all of which made for a very long flight!

I love flying Swiss, and I usually take them to Athens. There were good prices in business class, so that was an attractive option. However, this time I decided to go with Olympic Airlines as the price was very good and I hadn’t flown them for a couple of years.


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Peter Unmuth-VAP



The main reason for choosing Olympic was due to their deployment of the A340 on the London-Athens route. I used to love flying their A300’s before they got rid of most of their A300 fleet.

I had flown an OA A340 between London and Athens a few years ago around Greek Easter, so I was looking forward to exceptional space and comfort for a European flight of just over 3 hours. I think that OA is unique in offering the A340 for a European flight?


Wednesday, May 26th
OA260 London- Athens
Dep: 12.20 (13.15) Arr: 17.55 (18.25)
Olympian Executive Class, Seat 5a

Airbus A340-300 SX-DFC “Marathon”



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Henry Jr Godding



I took a cab from my home in Mayfair and arrived at Heathrow T2 around 45 minutes later. Although T2 gets a lot of stick on these boards, I have some affection for it, not least because I took my first ever flight from there, many years ago on an IB727 to Valencia. But enough of the nostalgia trip…

I arrived at check in to find a lengthy economy queue, but no queue at all at the business class check in, denoted by the familiar blue carpet. OA is handled by Alitalia at Heathrow. Normally their check in staff can be very offhand, but today’s agent was very pleasant.

As I live near the OA office in London, I had gone their to reserve seat 5A- the left window seat in the last row of business class. I also dusted off my Icarus FF card and gave my number when I made the booking.

My boarding card was quickly issued and my bag tagged with an orange OA Priority tag. I was also given an invitation to the Servisair lounge which I know intimately from my frequent LX flights.

There were minimal queues at Security, but I was annoyed at having to take my laptop out of my hand luggage for separate screening.

As I said, I have spent many an hour in the Servisair lounge, so I was in no hurry to go there. I had a quick look around the shops and then went to one of the precious few viewing spots available in T2.

Lufthansa A321 pushing back
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02373.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02374.jpg

Croatia A319 arriving, shortly to depart for Zagreb via Rijeka
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02376.jpg

After watching a few landings, and quickly tiring of a succession of BA and bmi arrivals, I decided to head for the lounge.


Servisair Lounge, T2
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02377.jpg

The usual snacks and drinks were on offer- nothing spectacular, but perfectly adequate. The lounge was fairly quiet with a smattering of OA passengers, probably returning home after celebrating Orthodox Easter in London.

When I saw that the monitor read “Go to Gate 9”, I decided to proceed to the gate. I soon realised that this was a mistake. Flying a European route on a longhaul aircraft is good once you get onboard, but of course, a larger aircraft also means lots and lots of passengers to board, and it has to be said that T2 is not really cut out for larger loads. Indeed, there are relatively few gates at T2 which can accommodate an A340, or even an A300.

Gate 9 is at the far end of the pier, and the narrow corridor leading to the gates was congested with passengers attempting to reach their various gates. After a few moments at a standstill, I eventually realised that I had inadvertently joined the queue for the Olympic flight, although I was nowhere near the gate!

Suddenly the queue began to move and I reached the gate, which was already pretty crowded. I found a seat and waited for boarding to begin. At this point a delay was announced, but no reason was given. Thankfully the delay was short, but was later compounded by the usual lunchtime queue for take off.

Boarding was announced by row. Immediately everyone thronged at the gate. For once the agents were very strict about boarding by row, and repeatedly turned away passengers in other rows. Of course, they simply moved a few feet away, compounding the congestion. Did they think that the plane was about to leave without them?

Olympic offer lots of connections throughout the Middle East and Greek islands. They also tend to be the cheapest option, so it is usual to see lots of British travellers flying OA. As I was waiting to board, an English family sitting nearby were worrying about how the flight was going to be, and remarked that the repeated announcements for passengers to sit down and wait would never happen with BA!

A work colleague of mine once referred to Olympic as “Oddball Airlines”, despite never having flown with them. I know that Olympic has a bad press, has been in bad financial shape, and can be prone to delays, but I cannot understand the inbuilt prejudices that many Brits seem to have against certain foreign carriers. Heaven forbid that a foreign airline may even be better than a British one! At this point I should mention small details such as OA’s exemplary safety record, and their use of larger aircraft on this route, offering greater comfort to the passenger…

Also, for us airplane freaks, it has to be said that the Olympic colours are surely the most elegant and stylish to grace the A340, perhaps only matched by Airlanka before they morphed into Sri Lankan.

I waited until there were only a handful of passengers left to board, and was welcomed by a friendly OA crew member. I turned left into the spacious business class cabin.

OA Business Class
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02391.jpg

OA have 32 seats in business on the A340. The load was to just under 50% in business today, including 2 unaccompanied minors. I settled into my seat and decided that I had made the right choice for this flight.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02382.jpg

The space has to be unparalleled for a European flight. Legroom is not a problem at all, and although the seats are not flat bed, they are quite similar to the old BA Cradle Seat, and very comfortable.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02379.jpg


The seats are also PTV-equipped, whereas the main screen in the cabin is used for the safety demo and live map.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02378.jpg

As I was so late to board, in no time the airbridge was being retracted and preparations were made to push back. I overheard a member of the crew saying that there were 257 passengers onboard the flight.

Music was playing over the PA, and Eurovision fans would have recognised the Eurovision hits (and misses!) of yesteryear that were being played for our delight and delectation. As host country, Greece is obviously getting in the mood for Eurovision, and OA is one of the sponsors of the competition this year.

As final preparations were being made to push back, woman appeared from Economy and engaged one of the flight attendants in conversation, the gist of which was as follows:

Passenger: “These look like very comfortable seats. Can I sit here instead?”

FA: “No, madam. We only upgrade economy passengers when the flight is full up. We leave space for business class passengers who have paid for it.”

Full marks for trying. I wonder if that approach does ever work. Say that it works in 1 out of 10 flights, then I supposed that it is worth trying!

At this point, pre-flight drinks were offered and we pushed back, joining the long queue for takeoff. The safety video followed on the main screen in Greek and English. The captain then came on to apologise for the delay and give us some information on our routing. Today we would be flying on an Airbus A340-300 Series called “Marathon”, and our routing would take us over Brussels, across the northern tip of Luxembourg, over Germany and the Swiss and Italian Alps, passing Venice and Ancona, following the Italian coast.

Alitalia A321
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02384.jpg

It was a relatively short taxi to the runway, but as there were a number of planes waiting to leave ahead of us, we spent 15 minutes or so inching forward- plenty of time for spotting!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02385.jpg

Icelandair 757 with winglets, followed by a UA777
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02386.jpg

Domestic and Eire section of T1, as Mustang Sally tries to muscle in on my shot
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02387.jpg

We finally lined up for take off. The A340 does have a reputation for lethargic takeoffs, and this was no exception. We headed east over north Kent and the Channel, passing south of Zeebrugge and Brugge, whose network of canals was easy to make out.

Despite seemingly-clear weather, the seat belt sign was left on for some time. In the meantime the crew set about preparing the galley.

Soon we were overflying Brussels, at which point cloud began to build up.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02392.jpg


The UM’s were served a special meal immediately by one of the crew, who spent time chatting with them and making sure that they were ok.

Headphones were distributed for the audio and video channels. The inflight entertainment is the same as long haul flights- so there is a good choice of recent films and short programmes. No AVOD, and nothing too cutting edge, but above average for a flight of this length. Nevertheless, I decided to opt for the map on my PTV.

Then hot towels were given out, followed by the aperitif service. I went for champagne and was surprised to be given my own half bottle, complete with ice bucket.

I really could get used to this…

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02394.jpg

With a flight time of 3.10 service was unhurried and personal. When lunch was served, it was the Olympic fare that I remembered from 2 years ago- nice food and the usual large portions on OA! Red and white Greek wines were also served.

The choice for lunch was Beef, Vegetarian Pasta or Fish. I went for the beef.

Lunch comprised the following:



  • Green Salad

  • Marinated Seafood Salad

  • Beef filet

  • Pear and Almond Cake

  • Cheese and Crackers



http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02395.jpg

Green Salad
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02398.jpg


Marinated Seafood Salad
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02397.jpg

The salad was rather too “fishy” for my taste.

Beef Filet
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02396.jpg

This was very tasty and filling.

By now we were overflying the Alps, but I was cheated of any views due to cloud cover. There was a brief gap in the clouds as we overflew Venice.

Landmarks such as St Marks, the Rialto Bridge and Santa Maria della Salute were clearly visible.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02400.jpg

We continued our course down the east coast of Italy as coffee and liqueurs were served.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02402.jpg


I opted for my usual Grand Marnier with ice, which, added to the copious quantities of champagne that I had had, sent me off to sleep after lunch, snuggled under an OA blanket.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02404.jpg

I don’t normally sleep on planes, even in BA or LX first class, so I surprised myself by sleeping for a hour. When I woke up we were over the western Pelopponese. I was dismayed to see that the weather was cloudy. In fact, the weather was to remain so throughout my stay, until it was time for me to go home, when, of course, the sun came out again.

We made the familiar approach to Athens over Vouliagmeni. The infrastructure associated with the new airport (not so new anymore, as it is celebrating its 5th anniversary!) never fails to impress. I think that the new airport, train, motorways and metro for the new airport was planned and built in less time than it took for the planning enquiry for Terminal 5!

Final approach to E. Venizelos airport
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02405.jpg

But of course it is fun to complain about the “lazy” and laid back Greeks. I remember during the build up to the 2004 Olympics the horror stories in the English press about how the facilities would never be finished etc. Of course, Greece delivered one of the best Games ever, and on time.

Let’s see how we get on in 2012. Perhaps this is not a good time to mention Wembley, but as I am Welsh, I will say that the English have an open invitation to the Millennium Stadium anytime!!!

We made a smooth landing and were treated to a rendition of “Everything” by Anna Vissi (Greek Eurovision entry) as we taxied to the gate. Not that OA is trying to brainwash us or anything.


From centre to right: the Metro and Rail station, Sofitel Hotel, main terminal and Tower
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02406.jpg

The airport was fairly quiet at that time of day, and we had made some time up. Passport control was quick, and as usual I was impressed by the terminal at ATH.

Unfortunately the bags took a long time to be unloaded, and my annoyance was compounded by the fact that the business class bags, resplendent with orange “Priority” tags were the very last to come off the belt, nearly an hour after we landed. In fact all other passengers had melted away, leaving the handful of business class passengers to bemoan their fate and indulge in a bitching session about Olympic. Just as I was beginning to think that my bag was not going to arrive, the business class bags appeared, and mine was the penultimate bag from the whole flight!

This soured my positive experience of OA somewhat, but as I was back in one of my favourite cities, I soon forgot about it and had 5 wonderful days in Athens.

Here are some photos from my trip- scroll on to the return journey if they don’t float your boat.

King George II Hotel, Syntagma
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02409.jpg

Greek Parliament Building
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02431.jpg

“Evzonoi” Guards


http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02411.jpg

Their skirts have 400 pleats to represent the 400 years of Ottoman occupation.

May 1st demonstrations in Syntagma and Panepistimiou
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02416.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02419.jpg


The Acropolis, seen from Lykavittos (shame about the weather!)
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02424.jpg

All too soon, it was time to return home. As the sun returned to Athens, it was my time to leave.


Tuesday, May 2nd
OA269 Athens- London
Dep: 13.30 (13.30) Arr: 15.30 (15.00)
Olympian Executive Class, Seat 5a

Airbus A340-300 SX-DFD “Epidavros”



View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Josh Akbar - NYCAviation




I took a cab to the airport and arrived in plenty of time for check in.
There were long queues for the various domestic and international OA departures, but again, nobody waiting at the blue carpet business class check in.

Check in was quick as my favourite seat, 5A, had been pre-assigned.

The terminal at Athens is wearing well, and seems spacious, with few bottlenecks, even at busy times of the day. However, landside Athens is quite bad for spotting, except for the McDonalds.

Airside, I have found that the Swissport lounge in the non-Schengen sector is the best place to spot.

Check in area at Athens
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02437.jpg

View from the Mezzanine
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02436.jpg

This being Greece, many archaeological finds were made during the contruction of the airport, and some of these are now on display in the airport’s very own museum.

Airport Museum
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02433.jpg

I decided to do some shopping before heading to the Olympic lounge. The shops in the Schengen area are better than those in the non-Schengen part of the departure lounge. But here an anomaly seems to exist at Athens, as non-Schengen passengers can show their boarding pass to gain entrance to the Schengen area shops.

So I went shopping in the Schengen area, then returned to the boarding pass control point to re-enter the terminal where, in theory at least, I could hand my purchases over to a meeter and greeter. I am not sure that this ever happens, but this arrangement surprises me whenever I travel through Athens. I hope that this doesn’t change, as the shops in the Schengen part are so much better. I think that from next year, LX flights will move to the Schengen sector anyway. Of course, as Brits, we have to stay outside of everything!

I then passed through the non-Schengen boarding pass control and passport control. I find that there are never long queues at Athens for security or passport control. Perhaps this is down to the design of the terminal, as small groups of gates have separate security points.

I then proceeded to the Aristotle Onassis Lounge. This is the flagship OA lounge, and is a very pleasant place to wait. It also offers views over one of the runways at ATH.



The Aristotle Onassis Lounge
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02439.jpg

Some of you may know that Onassis was the founder of Olympic, and in the lounge there is what only can be described as a shrine to him.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02438.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02443.jpg

As much as Onassis is part of Greek history, they have not forgotten about the other parts of their heritage!

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02440.jpg

There was a good selection of sandwiches, snacks and cakes, with the usual alcoholic drinks, coffee etc.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02441.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02442.jpg

The lounge was not very busy, as the New York flight was just leaving. I did of course see the requisite Greek Priest in the lounge. Whenever I am in Athens airport, I always see lots of priest. I think that it is a good career choice to see the world! Please don’t flame me, as I am not making a religious comment.

Soon the flight was called.

The departure board

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02445.jpg

At this point I still hadn’t passed through Security, but there were few people waiting. I then caught a glimpse of Epidavros- the plane that would take me back to London.

Olympic colours look phenomenal on the A340- shame that it is so hard to take photos at Athens.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02447.jpg

I boarded without any delay and once again found myself in the spacious business class cabin, made even more spacious today by the light load of 8 people, although economy was nearly full. Each seat had a blanket and pillow on it.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02452.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02451.jpg

Pre-flight drinks were served (champagne, juice or water) and I enjoyed a glass of champagne whilst taking in the interesting sights on the ramp.

Aeroflot TU154 in old colours

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02453.jpg

Aeroflot TU154 to Moscow SVO; Egyptair A320 to Cairo; Qatar A319 to Doha; Swiss A320 to Zurich.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02454.jpg

Soon we were pushing back.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02456.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02457.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02459.jpg

This B742 was here when I arrived, and seems not to have moved in 5 days. Does anyone know anything about this airline?
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02461.jpg

The safety demo played on the main screen and final cabin checks were made before lining up for departure.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02460.jpg

We had what seemed a long roll before rotating. We took off over the eastern coast of Attica and made a left turn to head west across the north of Athens. Soon the Corinth canal could be made out through hazy cloud.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02465.jpg

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02466.jpg

On the left is Patras, European City of Culture, 2006
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02467.jpg


Legroom is not a problem in OA Business Class!
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02458.jpg

Drinks service followed- this time I didn’t get a bottle to myself, but there were many refills. We were then offered hot towels before the meal service. By now we had passed to the west of Preveza and were heading for Albania.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02469.jpg

The choice for lunch was Beef, Salmon or Crepes. I decided to try the salmon.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02470.jpg

In my experience, the catering out of Athens is better than that of Olympic flights from Heathrow.

First Course
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02473.jpg

Main Course- the salmon was good and not dry as it can be often.
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02472.jpg

Dessert
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02471.jpg
Baklava is always the highlight of the meal on a flight from Athens, and this was no exception. I was cheeky enough to ask if they had any spare, and the flight attendant was only too happy to find an extra one for me.

At this point I got chatting to her about what the future holds for Olympic. She told me that this is a time of great uncertainty for OA staff, but that they are hopeful of a buyout by a shipping consortium. She was also telling me that the loads on the London route are some of their strongest, especially in economy, and that cargo is also performing well, which is why they are using the A340 on the route. She expressed quiet optimism for the future, and I hope that she is right.

Following the Dalmatian Coast
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02477.jpg

A good way to finish lunch
http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02476.jpg

After lunch, coffee and liqueurs were offered, followed by refills, if wanted.

Yet again I was cheated of a view of the Alps, but the skymap let me know that I was missing some spectacular views from my window.

http://img.photobucket.com/albums/v711/glendore/Athens%20Apr%202006/DSC02483.jpg

The rest of the flight was uneventful, passing over Zurich and Basle, both of which were covered in cloud. We then proceeded to the east of Paris before crossing the Channel. It was the usual scenario of congestion on approach to Heathrow, which meant lots of circling in the stack, and we only broke through low cloud over Richmond, so there were no views of London to be had either.

After a smooth touchdown it was a long taxi to the same gate at T2 from which I had left on the outbound trip. Once again we were treated to some more Eurovision hits as we taxied, followed by another blast of the Greek entry- they are definitely trying to brainwash us!  Silly

At the gate passengers taking the return flight to Athens were already gathering. Passport control was quiet, and my bag was one of the first to appear at Baggage Reclaim. Yay! Within 45 minutes I was back at home.

Conclusion

I hadn’t flown Olympic for a couple of years, and I was worried that the bad news stories currently circulating about OA may have resulted in cost-cutting, impacting on service and the product.

This has not been the case, and I found OA to be consistent in their high quality (Intra-European) business class product.

This will be heresy to some of the BA Taliban who prowl these boards, but OA’s European business class product leaves BA standing. The passenger experience is greatly enhanced by the use of an A340 on this route, inflight entertainment and warm, hospitable service.

Don’t believe the horror stories about OA crew. They offer Greek hospitality in an warm and unpretentious way. I have seen so many posts on this site where people booked on OA are asking “What are they like?”, and some of the responses are less than complementary. Based upon my experiences, OA’s bad press is somewhat exaggerated and unjustified, and I hope that a Greek national airline survives in some recognisable shape or form, and prospers again in the future.

Thanks for reading my report. Comments and questions are welcome.

52 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineATLFlyer323 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 617 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

WOW I loved your report...I know not much to say but I figured you would appreciate that atleast. Im glad someone besides me seems to enjoy OA.

~Brandon



Everyday, the fluffy temptation of wheat!
User currently offlineJBLUA320 From United States of America, joined May 2002, 3179 posts, RR: 19
Reply 2, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report-- I've been hearing good things about OA recently, and this definately seems to follow in that trend. I'm glad to hear about good experiences w/ the underdog!!

JBLU


User currently offlineNWA757boy From United States of America, joined Aug 2005, 676 posts, RR: 4
Reply 3, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Very nice report. I'm going to ATH later this month and going on AF...though I really want to try OA....looks like wonderful service....and plus i should try my homeland airline.....despite my flag on here I'm just Greek...not living in Greece.

User currently offline767747 From United States of America, joined Jan 2005, 1951 posts, RR: 24
Reply 4, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report! Nice pics of OA. The food looks amazing. It's interesting that the whole Business Class meals are all on one tray. Does this happen on all flights, or just on the Intra European flights?

User currently offlineTbear815 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 704 posts, RR: 4
Reply 5, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Incredibly written TR. Most appreciated. If OA could pull their J/C act together, that would be one special flight. The catering ex-ATH just needs proper plating. Great offerings made common by poor presentation. Greece and the Greeks are without peer. Such a passion for life. It should show in their premier airline.

I was in ATH over 30 years ago the first time. OA has a legacy to recapture. Onassis had the vision - the potential is still there. If they could work the LHR/ATH route with some aplomb, simply tie into all the antiquities in London. OA, you could be on to something....

I've worked for Greeks! And learned to love them! OA - show the world what you can do!

Rod


User currently offlineANITIX87 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 3308 posts, RR: 13
Reply 6, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 10 hours ago) and read 32767 times:
Support Airliners.net - become a First Class Member!

Great report, I love seeing pictures of Greece, as it may be a while before I go back. And yes, Athens' summer games were amazing. I'd know since I was at the Opening Ceremony and several events!  Smile

One question, though. Just a minor point I picked up on. How is that the flight back was 24 days BEFORE the flight to Athens?! Did you mean June 2?

TIS



www.stellaryear.com: Canon EOS 50D, Canon EOS 5DMkII, Sigma 50mm 1.4, Canon 24-70 2.8L II, Canon 100mm 2.8L, Canon 100-4
User currently offlineLX001 From Austria, joined Jun 2004, 111 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

What a great report! Loved it!!!
Only drawback...the presentation of the meals. Looks like economy-class. But, it`s more important that it tasted good...isn`t it.  Silly


User currently offlineArdian From Netherlands, joined Oct 2000, 546 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Nice report, great to hear about the service from Olympic! Would definitely try to fly with them some day (and I love Greece)
The food looks quite delicious, but the marinated seafood salad isn't really my thing  Wink And baklava is just delicious! The pictures from Athens are also very intersting


User currently offlineSemsem From Israel, joined Jul 2005, 1779 posts, RR: 3
Reply 9, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 22 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

I liked the pictures of the meals. What type of camera do you have?

I flew OA twice to New York and once to London many years ago in Y; Comet 4, 707 and 747. They used to offer cheaper fares from TLV.

The food was always very good and the flights comfortable. However the crew were somwehat reserved and I will always remember when we landed in London many passengers got up before the plane stopped.

The crew started yelling at the passengers. I guess they were telling them to sit.


User currently offlineFbgdavidson From United Kingdom, joined Oct 2004, 3713 posts, RR: 28
Reply 10, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 20 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Excellent report! Knew when I saw it was by you I'd have to pop by.  Wink

Some great pictures in there too, particularly of Concorde, the overview of Venice and the Corinth Canal  thumbsup 

Quoting Cambrian (Thread starter):
I went for champagne and was surprised to be given my own half bottle, complete with ice bucket.

 thumbsup  biggrin 

Quoting Cambrian (Thread starter):
We made a smooth landing and were treated to a rendition of “Everything” by Anna Vissi (Greek Eurovision entry) as we taxied to the gate. Not that OA is trying to brainwash us or anything.

This is what concerned me most about this report. The fact you know Eurovision entries!!! And foreign ones at that! tut tut... Wink

Quoting Cambrian (Thread starter):
This will be heresy to some of the BA Taliban who prowl these boards, but OA’s European business class product leaves BA standing. The passenger experience is greatly enhanced by the use of an A340 on this route, inflight entertainment and warm, hospitable service.

Well presuming I am one of the 'BA Taliban' I'd be foolish to claim CE was better than your offerings. The food looked decent (despite disappointing presentation) as did the seat which is I presume OA's longhaul offering too. I'd be interested if it prices up like longhaul because if not it could be serious competition with BA's killer ex-LGW CE fares to ATH.



"My first job was selling doors, door to door, that's a tough job innit" - Bill Bailey
User currently offline9VSPO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 11, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 19 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great report and nice to see ATH check-in. I will be there in a few days!

User currently offlineRoseFlyer From United States of America, joined Feb 2004, 9666 posts, RR: 52
Reply 12, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Wonderful trip report. It is nice to read about one of the less talked about airlines.

Quoting Cambrian (Thread starter):
Also, for us airplane freaks, it has to be said that the Olympic colours are surely the most elegant and stylish to grace the A340, perhaps only matched by Airlanka before they morphed into Sri Lankan.

Some say elegant, while others say outdated. In my opinion the Olympic scheme looks like it should be adorning 707s in the 1960s when every airline painted its airplanes white with a single cheatline down the side with a tail logo.



If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
User currently offlineFLIEGER67 From UK - England, joined Sep 2003, 5173 posts, RR: 55
Reply 13, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 18 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Hi, David,
great report. I was also in Athens for several times but never with OA, last time on AF, about 4 weeks ago, great city.
About the AirUniversal B742:
AirUniversal is a AFAIK Jordanian company, but it´s AOC is registered in Sierra Leone and this country is on the EU non flying black list.
The owner of AirUniversal has founded a new company AirUniversal Cyprus in Cyprus and will transfer the planes to the Cyprus register.
The 742 was on the way, but the Cyprus authorities cancelled its landing rights on short notice according to the Sierra Leone background.
The plane diverts to ATH, no more news till know.
Regards,
Markus (FLIEGER67)



Next: London City connections!.
User currently offlineDALelite From Switzerland, joined Jun 2000, 1770 posts, RR: 25
Reply 14, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

it was great to read a report of an airline which is not so much on display.
i like that they use the A340 on this route and boy, they have nice blankets
in C-Class!! the food presentation looked more like it was an coach class tray.

enjoyed it! DALelite



They loved to fly and it showed..
User currently offlineGCDEG From Greece, joined Jan 2006, 352 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 16 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Very nice trip report and even better to see one with Olympic. Glad you enjoyed Greece! I've said this many times before - I find the OA shorthaul product to be fine. I've never had a problem with them and the times I have flown with them I can't fault them. Flown twice now on the A340 and once on the A300 LHR-ATH in economy and was excellent both times. PTV's (A340), a full (hot) meal service and all at a very reasonable price. The food in business class looks tasty! All your pictures are great and look identical to the ones I took a couple of months back!

Quoting Cambrian (Thread starter):
I hadn't flown Olympic for a couple of years, and I was worried that the bad news stories currently circulating about OA may have resulted in cost-cutting, impacting on service and the product.

This has not been the case, and I found OA to be consistent in their high quality (Intra-European) business class product.

This will be heresy to some of the BA Taliban who prowl these boards, but OA's European business class product leaves BA standing. The passenger experience is greatly enhanced by the use of an A340 on this route, inflight entertainment and warm, hospitable service.

Don't believe the horror stories about OA crew. They offer Greek hospitality in an warm and unpretentious way. I have seen so many posts on this site where people booked on OA are asking "What are they like?", and some of the responses are less than complementary. Based upon my experiences, OA's bad press is somewhat exaggerated and unjustified, and I hope that a Greek national airline survives in some recognisable shape or form, and prospers again in the future.

Couldn't agree more and although I am a huge BA fan I do agree that OAs product on this sector is great and as you mentioned greatly enhanced by the use of the A340.

Quoting Cambrian (Thread starter):
Of course, Greece delivered one of the best Games ever, and on time.

Was superb and put the previous ones to shame!

Quoting Cambrian (Thread starter):
Boarding was announced by row. Immediately everyone thronged at the gate. For once the agents were very strict about boarding by row, and repeatedly turned away passengers in other rows. Of course, they simply moved a few feet away, compounding the congestion. Did they think that the plane was about to leave without them?

Exactly how it happened when I flew with them although they didn't bother telling people to sit down! What is it with us passengers? Why can't we be a civilized lot and just wait until our seat number is called!

Quoting Fbgdavidson (Reply 10):
This is what concerned me most about this report. The fact you know Eurovision entries!!! And foreign ones at that! tut tut...

Yeah was just gonna say that too....  Wink On the topic of the Eurovision what did you think of the Greek entry? Did you like it or not? I heard the 3 songs that were to be voted for and I can tell you that "Everything" wouldn't have been my choice!

Quoting Cambrian (Thread starter):
Also, for us airplane freaks, it has to be said that the Olympic colours are surely the most elegant and stylish to grace the A340, perhaps only matched by Airlanka before they morphed into Sri Lankan.

 yes  100%

Nick



The best thing invented - Winglets!
User currently offlineJetBluefan1 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 2996 posts, RR: 14
Reply 16, posted (8 years 5 months 3 weeks 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Great job on this report. I haven't flown OA in over 10 years now, and I remember way back when the service was horrendous; you could buy a Bussiness Class ticket, but it never meant that you would actually sit in Business Class. The Crew always seemed uninterested, too.

However, it seems that OA has been getting better with age and I only hope the trend continues. Whenever I fly Cyprus to visit relatives, I always use Cyprus Airways. Just a few years ago, the airline was in pits with disgusting aircraft and horrible service. Nevertheless, my last 4 legs on Cyprus Airways have gone above and beyond all expectations and I'm really pleased. I bet OA is just the same.

Great pictures, too! I love Athens and cannot wait to go back.

JetBluefan1



Most people on a.net hate JetBlue. Get used to it.
User currently offlineDoor5Right From United Kingdom, joined Dec 2005, 707 posts, RR: 16
Reply 17, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 6 days ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Cambrian (Thread starter):
I went for champagne and was surprised to be given my own half bottle, complete with ice bucket.

Heaven!

Certainly makes the BA Club Europe product look a tadge miserly!



My soul is in the sky...
User currently offlineTK787 From United States of America, joined Jan 2006, 4455 posts, RR: 12
Reply 18, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 5 days ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting LX001 (Reply 7):
Only drawback...the presentation of the meals. Looks like economy-class

I agree, on the flight over though, that green salad looks terrible, may i have the seafood dishx2 for my entree.
How about that landing photo over the highway at 18:25 on a wed. We could all wish to have highways that empty.
Thanks for a great report.


User currently offlineJoeCattoli From Italy, joined Aug 2005, 569 posts, RR: 3
Reply 19, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Cambrian (Thread starter):
Soon the Corinth canal could be made out through hazy cloud



Quoting Cambrian (Thread starter):
There was a brief gap in the clouds as we overflew Venice

These 2 photos are amazing, It's great to hear about Olympic Airlines.

great trip report mate, really nice to read about it.

Ciao  wave 
Joe


User currently offlineGCDEG From Greece, joined Jan 2006, 352 posts, RR: 4
Reply 20, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting Cambrian (Thread starter):
Final approach to E. Venizelos airport

I just noticed that in this picture on finals into Athens you can see the factory where my Uncle works! It's just to the left of the centre of the photo! How cool - will need to show him!

Nick



The best thing invented - Winglets!
User currently offlineMas777 From United Kingdom, joined Jul 1999, 2936 posts, RR: 6
Reply 21, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

thanks for that great trip report. I am flying to Athens for a conference next week and then seeing some friends in Mykonos for the weekend if I manage to change my return flight (been booked on BA unfortunately having read your report).

Your knowledge of Eurovision is somewhat interesting!!!  Smile


User currently offlineCedarjet From United Kingdom, joined May 1999, 8145 posts, RR: 54
Reply 22, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Quoting 767747 (Reply 4):
It's interesting that the whole Business Class meals are all on one tray. Does this happen on all flights, or just on the Intra European flights?

Just Intra European. ATH-LHR is basically shorthaul. Do you get a meal on a three hour flight in domestic first class in the US these days? My buddy flew in business class on American from LAX to JFK and didn't get a meal.

Quoting Tbear815 (Reply 5):
Greece and the Greeks are without peer. Such a passion for life. It should show in their premier airline.

I agree, but in a way it does. I am a big fan of Olympic, have flown them within Europe and twice to Sydney and Melbourne on their now-retired 747-200s. Professional service, great food (and BIG portions), perfect safety record. A very good and historic operation that could still deliver big time.



fly Saha Air 707s daily from Tehran's downtown Mehrabad to Mashhad, Kish Island and Ahwaz
User currently offlineTbear815 From United States of America, joined Jun 2003, 704 posts, RR: 4
Reply 23, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

Cedarjet,

You're so right about domestic US service. "Maybe" UA's p.s. can mean something, but we Americans (and I am proud of that) have no imagination or care when it comes to inflight/passenger products or service. With OA, their product is great - I'm just surprised they don't serve things with a flair. Greece is known for drama - positive inflight drama can be overwhelmingly captivating. And terrific for return traffic. Imagine an A-340 to ATH fully loaded, and the pax are made to feel like guests at a Greek party. Just think of what that feeling could do for Greek tourism? Happy pax spread good words. And don't look to US airlines for inflight ideas today. The days of Pan Am and TWA are long gone........


User currently offlineEddieDude From Mexico, joined Nov 2003, 7592 posts, RR: 42
Reply 24, posted (8 years 5 months 2 weeks 3 days 21 hours ago) and read 32767 times:

David, this is a fantastic trip report. I feel now tempted to try OA (if possible in business class) the next time I am in Europe so that I can experience their service. Thank you very much for your descriptions and for the pictures. And to OA and its people, I hope the future will be better, with new investors, a new business plan and prosperity for the staff of such a legendary airline.


Next flights: MEX-GRU (AM 77E), GRU-GIG (JJ A320), SDU-CGH (G3 73H), GRU-MEX (JJ A332).
25 AirxLiban : My feelings exactly. Thanks for this report Cambrian. For one thing I was very interested to see what the C-Class cabin on the OA 340s looks like. Th
26 Cambrian : Thank you all for your kind comments- it makes the hard slog of a trip report worthwhile! Yes, I find that OA is in the category of airlines that are
27 Post contains images Taichen : Very nice report ! I think you're right, catering out from ATH seems much better. Still, it reminds me of old good days Y catering I can only disagree
28 Post contains images Boeingfanyyz : Wow, OA looks like an AMAZING airline! Those seats look absolutely amazing for an international business class product, although still not comparably
29 AirxLiban : Read this report back in the day but have just read it again now and now that I have been on this route and seen Athens it makes it all the more inter
30 Cambrian : I used to stay at the GB, but once it was booked up, so I decided to give the King George a try, and I haven't been back to the Grande-Bretagne since
31 Post contains images A340600 : IB offer 343/6 flights between MAD and LPA. Fantastic report, the food looks good, just a shame about the presentation, Sam
32 Trintocan : What an excellent trip report. Greece and Olympic Airlines (not Airways, the name changed last year) seem to be great! I have friends from Greece and
33 Post contains images GCDEG : Not anymore unfortunately - both of them were repainted back into OA colours soon after the Olympics. Nick
34 BA319-131 : Nice report as usual, many thanks. Had I not flown and A343, OA would have possible been the carrier of choice on this route, however since the 343 is
35 Comeflywithme : Great report and pics. I agree that Olympic get a raw deal so it's good that a report like this shows that they offer a good product in Business. Athe
36 Post contains images Mundotrekker : i dig your thorough report and pictures you've included with your trip. I've flown OA back in 2001 and it was good. Thanks for sharing.
37 PacNWJet : The only time I flew Olympic was in 1994 on a flight from Madrid to Athens. This was back when smoking was still allowed on flights. What I remember m
38 B747forever : Excellent TR. really liked your pics. I must try OA some time in the future.
39 Post contains images Olympic707 : Very good trip report. JFK - ATH OA flights are very good too. Food is always better from OA catering. You can't eat the presentation, the quality and
40 OA260 : WOW ....Im seeing this report for the second time and I notice I didnt comment !! Sorry !!! This is a fantastic report and the photos are brilliant. N
41 Post contains images Airbuseric : Good story and even better to see OA is performing well in C class! Really great service, something I didn't expect to be honest. Your pictures are ve
42 Olympic707 : What aircraft will OA use on the LHR flight? OA has 1 A300 left and I've been told that it will be sold to FedEx in early 2008. OA has shortages on a
43 OA260 : Last A340 flight will be on 27th October and from then on all flights will be operated by 737-400's!!! Such a shame to see the 340 go.
44 QXatFAT : Very nice trip report! I enjoyed your pictures very much. Good job! Question...if you do not mind me asking, about how much would a Buisness Class tic
45 OA260 : Actually panic over LOL....I just heard its comming back to the LHR route on 6th January 2008!!! So just off for the winter!!
46 WINGSOFMAN72 : Interesting this came up again. I took OA270/269 back in June 2 and 9 this year for similar reasons, I like the 340 on the short route and the fare wa
47 EXAAUADL : The meal looks like a decent coach meal, definitely not J class standard.
48 OA260 : When did you last get a coach meal on a 3hr30min flight like that ??? With a personal ice bucket with champagne in it??? The only thing is I would li
49 Cambrian : Sad that we are losing the A340 from the Athens- Heathrow route from October 07- Jan 08. For me the use of the A340 was always a compelling reason to
50 OA260 : Half Greek on my Mums side of the family. Not Irish at all , just live and work here for the last 12 years!! Greeks are still keeping most of the tra
51 Cambrian : My Partner is Greek, and I am also learning Greek at the Hellenic Centre in London. These are bad times for Greece at the moment... Are there lots of
52 Post contains links and images OA260 : Nice that you have a Greek girlfriend although be careful of the temper LOL..... Good that you are learning the language, it must be difficult for yo
Top Of Page
Forum Index

Reply To This Topic Olympic Airlines Business Class: LHR-Athens + Pics
Username:
No username? Sign up now!
Password: 


Forgot Password? Be reminded.
Remember me on this computer (uses cookies)
  • Trip reports only! Other topics here
  • If criticizing an airline, express yourself in a dignified manner.
  • No adverts of any kind. This includes web pages.
  • No hostile language or criticizing of others.
  • Do not post copyright protected material.
  • Use relevant and describing topics.
  • Check if your post already been discussed.
  • Check your spelling!
  • DETAILED RULES
Add Images Add SmiliesPosting Help

Please check your spelling (press "Check Spelling" above)


Similar topics:More similar topics...
American Airlines Business Class (JFK-GRU) Pics posted Sun Nov 11 2007 09:22:24 by Yankees
United Business Class: LHR-IAD (w/pics+vid) posted Fri Jul 13 2007 06:03:49 by Fbgdavidson
American Airlines Business Class: JFK-LAX (Pics) posted Tue May 29 2007 18:23:44 by Yankees
BMI Domestic Business Class- LHR-EDI + Pics posted Fri Oct 6 2006 20:35:50 by Cambrian
Lufthansa Business Class/FRA Spotting/Pics+Vids posted Wed Feb 6 2008 17:03:27 by OA260
AKL-SIN-CDG Singapore Airlines Business Class Wpix posted Sun Dec 9 2007 16:01:41 by Eoinnz
Virgin Atlantic - Upper Class - LHR-JFK (+ Pics) posted Fri Feb 23 2007 01:01:15 by Demoose
SK973 BKK-SIN On Business Class (A Lot Of Pics) posted Fri Nov 25 2005 19:32:01 by Kennethsk
UA C- Class LHR- MIA (Pics) posted Sat Jul 30 2005 19:17:49 by Paul
MUC-KUL New Lufthansa Business Class Lots Of Pics posted Mon Jan 17 2005 21:49:35 by Skippy777
American Airlines Business Class: JFK-LAX (Pics) posted Tue May 29 2007 18:23:44 by Yankees
BMI Domestic Business Class- LHR-EDI + Pics posted Fri Oct 6 2006 20:35:50 by Cambrian
Turkish Airlines Business Class: BKK > SGN (4/9) posted Sat Sep 22 2012 11:30:34 by Knightsofmalta
Asiana Airlines Business Class, Naha To Seoul posted Sun Jun 3 2012 12:00:20 by Knightsofmalta
Singapore Airlines Business Class MEL-SIN posted Fri Mar 2 2012 20:51:17 by rushed
BMI Business Class LHR-NCE-LHR posted Sat Feb 18 2012 06:25:18 by eco
SIN-BCN-GRU, Singapore Airlines Business Class posted Fri Dec 9 2011 12:18:27 by Docpepz
Qatar Airways Business Class LHR-DOH posted Sun Mar 2 2014 06:01:04 by jonnyclark
Austrian Airlines, Business Class To Larnaca posted Fri Jan 17 2014 12:48:41 by knightsofmalta
Live Report From JAL Business Class: LHR - NRT posted Fri Dec 27 2013 14:00:30 by knightsofmalta
Turkish Airlines Business Class To Singapore & KL posted Fri Aug 16 2013 11:50:03 by LH4116
Turkish Airlines Business Class: BKK > SGN (4/9) posted Sat Sep 22 2012 11:30:34 by Knightsofmalta

Sponsor Message:
Printer friendly format